3½ to 4 Years

I am learning to do more for myself.

I need STRUCTURE AND SUPPORT to be a good eater.

To do my best with eating, I need healthy meal and snack options from you. It’s up to me to do my job with eating.

YOUR JOB IS TO DECIDE:

MY JOB IS TO DECIDE:

Don’t worry if I don’t want to eat a meal or snack.
Tell me when you will offer my next meal or snack.
I will probably be hungry by then.

Mom Daughter shopping

SUPER SNACKS

Snacks help me get what I need to grow, play, and learn. My stomach is small, so I get hungry every 2 or 3 hours. Offer me one snack between breakfast and lunch, one snack between lunch and dinner, and one snack before bedtime.

Here are some examples of what meal and snack portion sizes might look like on my plate.

Breakfast

¼ cup diced raspberries

½ cup low-fat or fat free milk

1 slice whole wheat toast

1 cooked, scrambled egg

Lunch

1 medium wedge, cut up melon

1 cooked, small ear of corn

½ cup water

1 slice whole wheat bread

with 1 ounce lean deli turkey or ham

with 1 slice cheese

Snacks

½ cup chopped blueberries

with ½ cup low-fat yogurt

5 or 6 whole grain crackers

with 4 or 5 cubes cheese

½ cup sliced carrots

with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

water between meals and snacks

Dinner

½ cup sliced peaches

½ cup cooked broccoli florets

½ cup low-fat milk

½ cup cooked brown rice

1 ounce drained, canned salmon

Daily Suggested Food Group Amounts

FRUITS

3 servings a day – 1½ cups total
1 serving = ½ cup

Cooked or soft, raw fruit.

Mashed, sliced, or chopped.

Many kinds and colors: red, yellow, orange, blue, and green.

VEGETABLES

3 servings a day – 1½ cups total
1 serving = ½ cup

Raw or cooked, mashed, sliced, or chopped veggies.

Many kinds and colors: dark green, orange, red, yellow, and purple.

GRAINS

6-8 servings a day – 3-4 ounces total
1 serving = ½ ounce

Whole grain bread, tortillas, rice, noodles.

Dry or cooked cereal.

PROTEINS

3-4 servings a day – 3-4 ounces total
1 serving = 1 ounce

Cooked lean meat, poultry, or seafood.

Eggs.

Cooked beans, peas, or tofu.

Peanut butter.

DAIRY

5 servings a day – 2½ cups total
1 serving = ½ cup

Low-fat or fat free milk.

Yogurt.

Cheese.

Mom reading bedtime story

Look what I can do!

Child washing hands

Keep me safe and healthy

Make sure foods are cut up small enough so I won’t choke on them.

Take me to the doctor for my check-ups.

Help me brush my teeth 2 times every day with a small, soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Teach me how to spit out the toothpaste and floss my teeth every day.

We need to wash our hands often. Teach me how to wash my hands with warm water and soap. I need to wash them for 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

I need simple rules. Set limits on when, where, and how often we have screen time. Talk about what I’m learning as we watch together, and keep me safe from what I shouldn’t see. Let’s focus on each other during meals and snacks, not a screen.

Feeding a 10-12 Month Old

Breast milk is the most important source of nutrition for your baby, even after you start offering solid foods.

Feeding a 8-9 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon. Never put cereal in a bottle.

Feeding a 6-7 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon and from a bowl, never from a bottle.

Tips

Breast milk and formula feeding:

Around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age, babies may experience a growth spurt when they feed more often.

As they grow babies can hold more milk, so feedings may become further apart and take less time.

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Start offering whole milk when your baby is one year old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months and beyond.

feeding-solid-foods

Feeding solid foods:

Wait to offer solid foods until your baby:

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Try one new food at a time. Wait 5 days before trying another new food to watch for allergies. Food allergies may include wheezing, rash, or diarrhea.

Introduce peanut butter around 6 months. Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter or nut butter thinly on a cracker.  Watch your baby for any reaction for the next 2 hours.

Babies under one year should NOT have honey or foods that can cause choking like nuts or whole grapes.

All babies are different. Talk with WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider about your baby’s needs.

Feeding Cues

Feeding a 4-5 Month Old

Before teeth come in, wipe gums with a soft, clean wash cloth after each feeding, especially before bed.

Feeding a 0-3 Month Old

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to be fed often. In the first few weeks, you may need to wake your baby to feed if they sleep longer than 4 hours.

Growth Spurts

Many babies are fussy during a growth spurt and will want to nurse longer and more often. This is called cluster feeding. This is your baby’s way of helping you increase your milk supply so that you can keep up with their needs. Remember, the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body makes.

Growth spurts can happen at any time, and every baby is different.

They often happen at these ages:

2 to 3 Weeks

6 Weeks

3 Months

6 Months

What foods can I get?