Time to trim the fat! 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. You don’t have to zealously monitor fat intake. Just switch from whole milk to 2 percent, and look for low-fat versions of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. For the rest of her diet, provide a balanced offering of whole grains, lean meats or beans, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t cut out fats entirely; your preschooler’s growing brain and body depend on them for proper development. And many dairy products that contain fat are also terrific sources of calcium.
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 5 pounds this year. If you’re concerned that your preschooler is overweight, talk to her doctor rather than instituting any dietary restrictions on your own. Kids’ nutritional needs are different from adults’, so you should get his guidance.