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Maryland Department of Health
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Help Me Be Healthy: I am 3 1/2
My stomach is still little.
Start with about 3 tablespoons of each food. Let me ask for more.
I like to make some choices. Let me choose between healthy foods.
I get hungry between meals. A healthy snack helps me get what I need to grow and learn. Pick foods from the 5 food groups.
Don’t worry if I don’t eat a meal or snack. I will eat more on some days than others. Please don’t beg me to eat or fix other food for me.
Too much sugar fills me up, but does not give me what I need to grow healthy. Please give me fruit to eat. It tastes sweet and is good for me, too.
Praise me with words, not food. Do not use food to reward or punish me. These words are the best reward: “I am proud of you!” “You did a good job!” “ Thank you!”
Make our family meals relaxed
I want to help. Let me set the table with you. I can count the plates, cups, and forks.
Please let me serve myself. I can spoon food from a large bowl onto my plate.
Please turn off all of our TVs and cell phones while we eat. Let’s focus on our family and our food.
It is okay if I don’t eat a food. It takes me many tries to see if I like something. Please be sure to try that food with me again.
I need to sit down while I eat or drink. Let me sit in my booster seat at the table.
Give me a small spoon or fork and a small plate and cup. I may still be a little messy when I eat. I am learning!
Let’s wash our hands together before and after we eat.
Help me to enjoy vegetables
I want to eat foods that taste good and are healthy, so I can play and grow!
You are my teacher. If you eat many kinds of vegetables, I will learn from you.
Let’s try some raw vegetables. I can eat broccoli flowers dipped in salad dressing.
If I am hungry between meals, let me eat some vegetables or fruit.
I can learn to eat vegetable soup or salad with dressing. I will be messy. Please tell me you are proud of me for trying.
Let’s jump in and out of a hula hoop.
Let’s pretend I can hop like a frog or gallop like a horse.
I am ready for a tricycle now.
Can we make an obstacle course that I can go over, under, around, and through?
Let’s walk to the playground with our friends and swing on the swings.
Help me keep my smile bright
Take me to the dentist twice a year.
Let me start brushing my teeth each day. Then you brush them too, for hard to reach spots.
Get me a small toothbrush with soft bristles.
I need just a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Remind me to spit out the toothpaste.
Please floss my teeth once a day to clean between them.
Sugary drinks can hurt my teeth. Let me drink water instead of punch, tea, or soda.
For details, please download Help Me Be Healthy : I am 3 1/2