A healthy foundation for your preschooler
Preschoolers should be eating a variety of foods. They will let you know which foods they like and which they don’t. Try not to let your child’s picky eating dictate what you feed him. Giving into demands for unhealthy foods can set the stage for unhealthy eating habits.
A healthy diet
The key to a balanced diet is to serve a variety of foods from all of the food groups every day— grains including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, meat and beans and dairy. It’s also important to serve a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. An assortment of colors expands your child’s tastes and provides him with a variety of nutrients.
A healthy weight
As your child grows, it’s important to continue to offer healthy foods, and be a good role model by eating as you wish your child to. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 10.4% of children ages 2 to 5 are obese. Encourage good habits by eating together at the dinner table. Be willing to serve a variety of healthy foods even if you don't necessarily care for them yourself. In addition to good eating habits, encourage plenty of active play. This along with a balanced diet can help provide the foundation for a healthy, active life.
Preschoolers need to learn how to recognize their fullness cues so that they will stop eating when full. Help them by serving small portions at first and give more if they are still hungry. Avoid making them eat when not hungry or clean their plate. Don’t use food as a reward or for consoling them.
Learn more: Check out our Preschooler Nutrition Guide.