Childrenís diet should now change from a high fat (50% of calories from fat) to a low fat (30%) diet. While we were all raised that milk is good for you, it is actually very high in fat and most medical organizations now recommend only drinking skim milk or no milk after 2 years of age. Calcium and vitamin D can be obtained from other sources (cheese, green leafy vegetables; fish, sunlight). Pacifiers should be taken away by 2 to 3 years or sooner if the front teeth appear to be molding to the shape of the pacifier. Vitamins are only necessary if your child does not get a balanced diet. Many children, who donít seem to get a balanced diet, actually do get one if you average what they eat over a few days. In other words, they eat meats well one day, and fruits and vegetables well the next. You may still give a vitamin if you wish. Only give liquid vitamins until you are sure your child will not choke on a chewable. Vidalyn and Polyvisol are two liquid brands. Make sure to get the one with iron, and follow the directions on the box for the dose. If you have well water, please let the doctor know.


                Temper tantrums and behavior problems are a common complaint at this age. There are probably more opinions on this subject than there are grandparents in the world. I will give you some basic pointers, but ultimately, you should listen to all those opinions (mine included) and as parents decide how you want to proceed with child rearing. The pointers:

Most parents start potty training their children at about 2 years of age. There are many methods and which one you use probably doesnít matter much, just stick with one. I do have some basic pointers you should always follow:


       Remember to buy a helmet with the first tricycle. Children have had surprisingly bad head injuries from even falling off a tricycle. Please donít let this message prevent you from buying a tricycle, just buy the helmet also and be careful. Booster seats are meant to raise your childís hips up enough that the seatbelt works as a lap belt like it should, instead of a waist belt. If the belt is above the hips, then it could tear into the abdominal organs or aorta with even a mild crash.


We schedule check ups at 24, and 30 months, then every year starting at 3 years of age.  Your child should not need another vaccine until they are 4 years old (except for foreign travel and any newly developed vaccines). At the 3 year visit, we do a finger stick test for anemia and a urinalysis (if they will urinate in the cup).

 2005 Joe Matusic, MD