30 Months Old

As an infant and toddler, your baby has regularly scheduled doctor’s visits to monitor their growth closely. At these visits, your child’s weight is checked to ensure they eat enough nutrients to support their development. As your child gets closer to three years of age, they will not have as frequent doctor visits. The frequency of these visits is at least one scheduled every 12 months. One of the key strategies to ensure your child is off to a healthy start includes their own body image and perspective. Body positivity promotes a healthy body image, celebrates diversity, and manages media exposure. Research has shown that children begin to develop their body image and perspective by three years old. Children with positive influences have better inspirations in their daily lives and are willing to make positive, lasting changes.

Developmental Milestones

  • Social & Emotional: Your toddler will play with other children, learning to engage with others around them. They will also want to show you what they can do by saying, “Look at me!”.
  • Language & Communication: By two and half years old, your child can say about 50 words and create two or more-word sentences, like “Dogs runs.” They can also identify objects with pictures when you point and ask about the object.
  • Learning & Thinking: Your child will show simple problem-solving skills, like moving a small stool to reach the sink better. They can follow two-step instructions like “Put the toy down and close the door.”
  • Movement & Physical Development: At this stage, your toddler’s physical development will include independence when undressing, turning book pages, and jumping off the ground with both feet.

Nutrition Needs

Growth Charts

When visiting the doctor’s office, your healthcare provider may record your child’s height and weight on a growth chart. Growth charts are a clinical tool for providers to track your child’s growth trends visit after visit.

    • The first Growth Charts were initially created in 1977 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) by taking an average of growth trends for children in America. In 2000, these growth charts were updated to reflect the measurements of children in America.1
    • Nowadays, there are over 16 types of Growth Charts for boys and girls, divided based on age, gender, and specific measurement types. Charts are usually labeled using these factors.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) has created charts for children between 0 and 2 years old, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collected data to generate growth charts from 2 to 20 years old.
    • While these growth charts are promoted for all racial and ethnic groups, it is essential to remember that every child has a unique development. No two children should be compared.

Factors that Affect Weight Gain

Many factors can affect your child’s weight gain and growth. These factors can be divided into two different categories: non-modifiable and modifiable factors.

    • Non-modifiable factors are those that you cannot change, such as genetics, permanent health conditions, and regular medications. Where you live, learn, and play also affects your child’s health since these aspects cannot permanently be changed.
    • Modifiable factors are those that you can change to affect your child’s growth rate. These factors include the types of food you eat, physical activity levels, and sleep routines. Encouraging healthy habits around what your child eats, how much they play, and when they go to sleep are all crucial for ensuring regular weight gain.

If you are concerned about how your child is gaining or losing weight, talk with your healthcare providers. You do not always have to wait until your next doctor’s visit. Call to schedule an appointment when you notice significant changes or have questions.

Promote Body Positivity

As children grow, it is important to promote a positive environment that respects, honors and supports the continual changes of life. This includes the changes that children’s bodies go through over time. As their parent, you can help your child discover their identity by promoting and supporting your child as they grow.

    • Promote health. Physical health includes health indicators, like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart rate, percentage of body fat, and your child’s ability to perform physical activities. Never rely on weight as an indicator of health.
    • Encourage active play. Weight loss should never be the goal for a growing child. Instead, encourage active lifestyles, like regularly walking, playing, and moving, to modify modifiable factors of weight gain.
    • Talk about food. Use mealtimes as a way to educate your child about what they eat and why it is important. Talking regularly about your child’s likes and dislikes with food can help you to understand how they feel about certain foods.
    • Monitor your own “food talk.” Your child will pick up on how you talk about food or the way you feel about your body. Studies have shown that children as young as three years old start to form their attitudes about their body shape and size. Limit and avoid negative talk that can influence how your child feels about themselves.

Family Engagement Activity

  • Knowing how much food to give your toddler can sometimes be tricky to measure. If you do not have measuring cups and spoons nearby, use your most “handy” tools (aka your hands) to quickly figure out how much food you are serving each time.
  • San Francisco State University has created a helpful handout called Handy Guide to Serving Sizes that includes pictures and diagrams to make portioning your child’s meals much easier.

Caregiver's Corner

Heather Borowiec, CPNP, DNP, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at CHRISTUS Children’s, discusses weight gain throughout the first years of life and ways to ensure your child is developing healthy habits. Ways to ensure your child is developing healthy eating habits include:

    • Promote water as their go-to thirst-quenching drink. Too many sugar-sweetened beverages, like Gatorade, fruit drinks, soda, and sweetened teas, can offer excess calories that are not always needed.
      • Note: 100% fruit juice should be limited to 1 cup a day.
    • Offer vegetables, fruits, and whole grain snacks in between mealtimes. Snacks rich in these foods will offer plenty of fiber, which can help your child feel satisfied and full for extended periods.
    • Encourage minimally processed foods and limit ultra-processed foods. Minimally processed foods are ingredients that look like how they were grown and provide us with a rich source of vitamins and minerals needed for your child’s growth.