You can see a child’s development by how they play, learn, speak, and act. Parents play a critical role in their child’s development. Providing a safe and loving home and spending time together – playing, singing, reading, and even just talking – can make a big difference! Learn more below about your child’s growth and development and other resources about topics such as developmental disabilities, immunization recommendations, and screening.
Language and Communication
More Than Baby Talk: 10 Ways to Promote the Language and Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers, a brief guide that describes ten practices that early childhood teachers can use to foster language and communication skills among infants and toddlers. The guidelines are based upon the latest research findings on optimal adult-child interactions for promoting strong language and communication skills among young children.
Milestones & Schedules
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide lots of information about giving babies a healthy start to life. Start here to learn about Developmental Milestones, Growth Charts, Immunization Schedules and so much more!
Nutrition for Infants and Toddlers
Time and attention are necessary to make sure infants and toddlers get all the nutrients they need for normal growth and development.
It’s never too early to set the stage for healthy eating habits. Even in infancy, feeding choices can have a lifetime impact on health and weight. For example, breast feeding can reduce a baby’s risk of some types of infections and illness. It also increases their chances of having a healthy weight later in life.
What is USDA’s Choose My Plate?
MyPlate is USDA’s primary food group symbol, a food icon that serves as a powerful reminder to make healthy food choices and to build a healthy plate at mealtimes. This visual cue that identifies the five (5) basic food groups from which consumers can choose healthy foods to build a healthy plate. Please visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for resources, tools and specific information about what and how much to eat. Consumers will also find specific recommendations for each USDA Food Group, based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), including proportions based on research that relate to individual calorie and nutrient needs. At ChooseMyPlate.gov, consumers can determine their individual eating patterns that fit their lifestyle and food preferences.
Benefits of Eating Foods in Season
Every month you should celebrate a food that is in season because that is when your children and you get the most flavor and nutritional value and when it is the most affordable. For the greatest freshness look for foods that are locally grown and are in season.
Visit https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/south-carolina to learn more.
In spring, focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season. The greening that occurs in springtime should be represented by greens on your children’s plate, including Swiss chard, spinach, Romaine lettuce, fresh parsley, and basil.
In summer, stick with light, cooling foods. These foods include fruits like strawberries, apple, pear, and plum; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn; and spices and seasonings like peppermint, rosemary, sage and cilantro.
In fall, turn toward the more warming, autumn harvest foods, including carrot, sweet potato, onions, and garlic. Also emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.
In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, lamb, and venison. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.
There are lots of web resources with information about baby’s growth and development. Check out a few below.
Being a parent of a baby or a toddler can be both fun and hard work. If your child is age three or younger, this web page is meant for you and additional links will help you learn how to give your child a healthy start to life.
Learn more now at https://www.cdc.gov/parents/infants/index.html.
This site offers child health information to both parents and professionals. The publications section is particularly helpful to obtain the latest policies and publications regarding children’s health and safety.
Learn more now at https://www.aap.org/en-us/Pages/Default.aspx.
Current and emerging preventative and health promotion of infants, children, and families. This site features guidelines for health supervisors; a section for developmental issues and strengths in the infancy period; and related publications.
Learn more now at https://www.brightfutures.org/.
This Web site offers resources and information on early immunization. The new 1997 immunization schedule is posted. A program of the American Nurses Foundation, the campaign offers an Immunization Partners Conference and community action activities.
Learn more now at http://www.ecbt.org/.
Developed by pediatric medical specialists, this site offers information on child health to children, parents, and medical professionals. The parenting section offers information about specific illnesses and parent support groups.
Learn more now at https://kidshealth.org/.