Section 1, Article 1 - The early childhood is marked by many rapid changes. Children this age experience increased muscular and skeletal growth that equips them to actively engage in the world around them. For example, skeletal growth includes the emergence of new and the loss of baby teeth. The preschool period between the ages of 2 and 6 is referred to as the play years. Average growth patterns predict that preschool-age children will be between 40 and 50 pounds and stand at least 3 ½ feet tall. The average height increases by 3 inches each year and average yearly weight gain is 4 ½ pounds. Differences between girls and boys becomes more apparent at this stage and they have the lowest BMI of their childhood, developing lean adult like proportions.
Decreases in growth rate are accompanied with a lessened appetite during this stage of life. Despite a decrease in appetite and are common present day issues for preschool-age children. Getting the right amount and type of food is very important for the developing body and brain. Introducing preschoolers to a variety of dark green and orange vegetables can establish healthy eating patterns and ward off malnutrition issues like iron deficiency, a common nutritional issue among young children (). Avoiding fried food and sugar can prevent common oral health issues like cavities and tooth decay that many preschoolers experience.
Children at this stage of development tend to display a preference for a particular order for things and can seem picky with their clothing, food, and daily rituals. A compulsivity about their daily routines is known as the “just right” phenomenon. This normal phenomenon peaks around the age of 3 and fades by age 6 ().