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Your 2-year-old now
It's time to make some changes to your child's diet: Once your child turns 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you reduce her fat intake to less than 30 percent of her daily calories.
One way to do this is to gradually switch to lower fat dairy products. Ask your pediatrician about specific guidelines for your child.
You don't have to monitor fat intake zealously and you should never cut out fats entirely; your preschooler's growing brain and body depend on healthy fats for proper development. And many dairy products that contain fat are also terrific sources of calcium.
For the rest of her diet, provide a balanced offering of whole grains, lean meats or beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Soon your child will begin looking more like a "big kid," as her limbs and torso start to lengthen and her proportions begin to resemble those of an adult. She'll gain about 2 1/2 inches and 4 pounds this year.
If you're concerned that your preschooler is overweight, talk to her doctor rather than imposing dietary restrictions on your own. Kids have different nutritional needs than adults, so it's important to get professional guidance.
Your life now
Research shows that children whose parents talk to them often build bigger vocabularies. So give her plenty to listen to.
In addition to the comforting and nurturing words drawn from your daily activities, be sure to talk about less familiar interests, like lions and tigers found in books or zoos, or changes in the neighborhood.
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