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Watch Your Baby Grow!

How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child's development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. This guide should be used simply as a general guideline for monitoring development. Take this with you and talk with your child's doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

Newborn to 1 Month Visit | 2 Month Visit | 4 Month Visit | 6 Month Visit | 9 Month Visit | 12 Month Visit | 15 Month Visit | 18 Month Visit | 2 Year Visit | 3 Year Visit | 10 to 11 Year Visit | 12 to 13 Year Visit | 16 to 17 Year Visit | 18 to 19 Year Visit | 20 to 21 Year Visit

Newborn to 1 Month Visit

Look at what your baby can do!

Infants at this young age feed frequently. Their sleep cycle may be erratic. They are totally dependent on adults for care and comfort. Parents may be quite tired because of the high demands of care and the lack of uninterrupted sleep. The first office visit is the opportunity to assess the adjustment of both child and family. At this age, infants will raise their head slightly from prone position (laying on their stomach) blink in reaction to bright light, focus and follow with their eyes, and respond to sound either by silencing or turning toward the source.

What to expect next:

Over the next month it is likely that the baby's schedule will become more regular, and they will become more sociable. This is a good age to make or buy a mobile, since babies begin fixing their vision on moving and bright-colored objects. At this age babies start to grasp, so having a rattle or similar toy would help babies hold onto objects. Parents are encouraged to place their baby on their tummy occasionally while awake.

What can I feed my baby now?

Breast milk is the golden standard that we strongly recommend (formula is the alternative if breast milk is not a possibility). If a mother needs more help or information on breastfeeding please go to www.inursemybaby.com, for comprehensive information on how to make breast feeding an easy process.

  • Newborns up to 3 months typically need 52k cal/lb/day (1 fluid oz of either breast milk or regular formula contains 20k cal).
  • A baby who weighs 7 lbs would typically need 52x7= 364 k cal divided by 20 k cal= 18 0z (that means 9 sessions of 2 oz each feed i.e every 2.5-3 hours).
  • Weight gain is average 30 grams a day in the first 3 months, (1 oz) a day. Then decrease slightly, but generally baby will triple the birth weight by 1 year of age.

2 Month Visit

Look at what your baby can do now!

Babies have become responsive to their parents by smiling, cooing, and vocalizing reciprocally at them. Babies have also begun to establish a more regular feeding and sleeping schedule. Babies at this time can be very demanding and require a great deal of attention from their parents, but can briefly calm himself/herself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand). Babies at this age are able to hold their head up temporarily and can briefly hold a rattle. Babies also track and follow objects visually and respond to sounds. It is around this time that babies will communicate with coos; parents may also notice differentiated crying for various needs. Infants may also begin to relate to mother, father, siblings, and other caregivers in different ways. The responsiveness of the infant to stimuli is important.

Language/Communication

  • Coos, makes gurgling sounds.
  • Turns head toward sounds.
  • Start to smile at people, called a social smile.
  • Tries to look at parent.
  • Able to trace a mobile object when placed near to him/her.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Pays more attention to faces, mainly care givers, family members.
  • Starts to follow things with eyes and recognize people.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Can hold head up and begins to push up when lying on tummy.
  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs.
  • Can have 180 degrees head movement.

What can I feed my baby now?

  • Infants should be fed every 3 to 4 hours during the day and at longer intervals at night.
  • Vitamin D supplementation (400 IU/d) should be considered for exclusively breastfed babies or for those who do not receive enough indirect sunlight.
  • Iron supplements (up to 15 mg/d) should be considered for premature or anemic infants.

*There is no nutritional advantage to feeding an infant solid food before 4 to 6 months of age.

4 Month Visit

Babies are usually sleeping less, crying less, and smiling more than they had been. They are delighted with their parents, siblings, and other adults when they talk to them. Babies at this age reward attention with smiles, squeals, and laughs. Babies become more curious about their environment and surroundings and eagerly look at anything new or stimulating. They are able to hold their head up, raise body using arms as they lay on their tummy, and may support weight on legs. They begin to reach for and grab objects and put their hands together. Colic typically resolves by this age. The introduction of solid foods can begin at 4 to 6 months of age. Sleeping should be more regular. Most babies will sleep through the night and take an average of three naps a day. It is normal for your baby to sleep up to 16 hours a day.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
  • Would like to play with people and might cry when playing stops.
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning.

Language/Communication Development

  • Begins to babble.
  • Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears.
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Lets you know if she is happy or sad.
  • Responds to affection.
  • Reaches for toy with one hand.
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it.
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side.
  • Watches faces closely.
  • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Holds head steady, unsupported.
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface.
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back.
  • Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys.
  • Brings hands to mouth.
  • When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows.
  • Trying to reach for objects with hands.

What can I feed my baby now?

  • The number of feedings should be decreased to about 4 or 5 per day.
  • Bottle fed infants can take up to 32 oz per day.
  • Vitamin D supplementation (400 IU/d) should be considered for exclusively breastfed babies with dark pigmented skin or those who are not exposed to sunlight often.
  • Bottle fed babies should remain on formula containing iron.
  • Breastfed babies should receive iron supplements or iron-filled foods by 6 months.
  • The introduction of single-grain cereals and fruits and vegetables can begin.
  • Parents should introduce foods one at a time in 3 to 4 day intervals, starting with iron-fortified cereal.
  • Grains and cereals- ½ to 1 oz twice a day.
  • Vegetables- ¼ cup twice a day.
  • Fruits- ¼ cup twice a day.

6 Month Visit

Your baby may have started raising their body up on his or her hands, holding their head steady when pulled up to sit, and transferring objects from one hand to the other. They may have also started turning their head toward sounds and familiar voices, as well as showing pleasure and excitement with your interactions or that of caregivers. During diaper changes, you should allow your child to explore his or her genitalia. At 6 months old, most babies usually take a nap twice a day. A child may resist going to sleep because of separation anxiety. Your infant may resist staying with anyone other than you or sometimes their grandparents or favorite baby-sitter. Your infant is more active now and is also more prone to injury.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger.
  • Likes to play with others, especially parents.
  • Responds to other people's emotions and often seems happy.
  • Likes to look at self in a mirror.

Language/Communication Development

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds.
  • Strings vowels together when babbling ("ah," "eh," "oh") and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds.
  • Responds to own name.
  • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure.
  • Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with "m," "b").
  • Can imitate some sounds.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Looks around at things nearby.
  • Brings things to mouth.
  • Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach.
  • Begins to pass things from one hand to the other.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front).
  • Begins to sit without support (or with support).
  • When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce.
  • Rocks back and forth on knees, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward.
  • Can hold a rattle or other objects in hands.
  • Can alternate objects between hands.

What can I feed my baby now?

  • Breastfeeding should continue.
  • Offer the baby sips of a drink from cup.
  • The baby may be fed 3 to 4 meals per day introducing new foods every 3 to 4 days.
  • Iron-fortified cereals should be included in the baby's diet.
  • Vitamin D supplementation (400 IU/d) should be considered for exclusively breastfed babies with dark pigmented skin or those who are not exposed to sunlight often.
  • Breast milk or infant formula- 24 fl oz-32 fl oz on demand.
  • Grains and cereal- 1 oz (28 g) twice a day
  • Vegetables- ¼ cup twice a day
  • Fruits- ¼ cup twice a day
  • Meat/beans- ½ oz

9 Month Visit

A big change occurs in babies between 6 and 9 months of age. Now they are usually able to get around on their own, they have developed an efficient way to pick up small objects and get them to their mouths, and they have begun to develop a mind of their own. The normal hesitancy of babies this age to let their parents out of sight may complicate and prolong some daily routines. Infants at 9 months of age become more aware of strangers and are more likely to become upset and less cooperative than before. At this age, many infants begin to interact in a purposeful manner, play with toys, and cry when familiar caregivers leave the room. Babies will start to experience "separation anxiety," this is when the babies will cry when parents leave their presence. This behavior is normal and does not reflect that they are "spoiled."

Infants at this age are able to sit well, crawl, and may walk while holding onto furniture. They will continue to pick up small objects using their thumb and index finger. They may begin to feed themselves, bang objects together, and can be encouraged to drink from a cup. Babies have become more interested in the trajectory of falling objects. They will respond to their own name, participate in verbal requests such as "wave bye-bye" of "where is mama or dada?" imitate vocalizations, and babble using several syllables. Infants will enjoy social games with familiar adults such as peek-a-boo and patty-cake. Sibling rivalry may intensify at this age when the infant begins to crawl or walk and gain access to the toys and play space of his/her siblings. This is a good age to begin regular daily reading. A regular bedtime routine should be established.

Social and Emotional Development

  • May have stranger anxiety (be afraid of strangers).
  • May be friendly with familiar adults.
  • Has favorite toys.
  • May enjoy social games with familiar adults such as peek-a-poo and patty –cake.

Language/Communication Development

  • Understands "no."
  • Makes a lot of different sounds like "mamamama" and "bababababa."
  • Copies sounds and gestures of others.
  • Uses fingers to point at things.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Watches the path of something as it falls.
  • Looks for things he sees you hide.
  • Plays peek-a-boo.
  • Puts things in her mouth.
  • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other.
  • Picks up things like cereal between thumb and index finger.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands, holding on.
  • Can get into sitting position.
  • Sits without support.
  • Pulls to stand.
  • Crawls.

What can my baby eat now?

  • Breastfeeding or formula should be continued. Most children need 3 to 4 feedings per day.
  • From 7 to 10 months, offer strained or mashed fruits and vegetables like bananas or applesauce, egg yolk, and some textured table foods. Can also have finely chopped and cut meat or poultry.
  • From 9 to 12 months try things like yogurt, cheese, beans and introduce soft combination foods such as casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti.
  • Breastmilk or formula- 24 fl oz
  • Grains and cereal- 1 oz (28 grams) twice a day. (Be sure to include whole grain options)
  • Vegetables- ½ cup twice a day
  • Fruits- ½ cup twice a day
  • Meat/beans- 1 oz

12 Month Visit

Baby should be able to sit up on their own, pull themselves and walking with support, and feeding themselves using either a spoon or their fingers. Parents should begin to phase out bottle feedings. Babies will like to play with adult-like objects such as combs, telephones, and cooking equipment. Your infant will love to play games like peek-a-boo and patty-cake. He or she will start to wave good-bye to everyone, even strangers, and will be able to look at pictures in books and magazines, and follow simple commands (ex. Points when asked "Where is mommy?"). Your infant's appetite may diminish within this second year of life and they may become pickier eaters. Infant to toddler sleeping patterns vary, and they may take only one nap a day. At this age, they can use "mama" and "dada" correctly and may also have three to five additional recognizable words. Within the next 6 months language skills are quickly developing. They may begin playing imaginary or "pretend" games and imitate your activities, such as sweeping or cooking. Your toddler will want to explore more and want more independence in everything they do.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Still has social anxiety (afraid of strangers).
  • Cries when mom or dad leaves.
  • Has favorite things and people.
  • Shows fear in some situations.
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story.
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention.
  • Plays games such as "peek-a-boo" and "pat-a-cake."

Language/Communication Development

  • Responds to simple spoken requests.
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head "no" or waving "bye-bye."
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech).
  • Says "mama" and "dada" and exclamations like "uh-oh!"
  • Tries to say words you say.
  • Likes to look at pictures in books and magazines.
  • Waves bye-bye.
  • Follows simple commands.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing.
  • Finds hidden things easily.
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it's named.
  • Copies gestures.
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair.
  • Bangs two things together.
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container.
  • Lets things go without help.
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger.
  • Follows simple directions like "pick up the toy."

Movement/Physical Development

  • Gets to a sitting position without help
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture ("cruising")
  • May take a few steps without holding on
  • May stand alone.

What can I feed my toddler now?

  • Babies should be weaned from breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
  • The appetite in the 2nd year of life may diminish so routine meal times should be set rather than snacking on demand.
  • From 9 to 12 months continue to try things like yogurt, cheese, beans and introduce soft combination foods such as casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti.
  • Milk (breast, formula, or cow)- 16 to 24 fl oz
  • Grains and cereals- 2 oz (at least ½ should be whole grains)
  • Vegetables- ¾ cup 3 times a day
  • Fruits- 1 cup 4 times per day
  • Meats/beans- 1 ½ oz

15 Month Visit

This is the golden age for language development. The neurons in the language areas of the brain are rapidly elaborating their branches and making connections. As toddlers become sure of their ability to move around their environment, they also find barriers to their continuing explorations. In order to keep them safe and to maintain order and balance in the family, the parents have to impose rules and limits on toddlers and frustrate some of their excitement. As toddlers acquire more independence physically, they also begin to assert their own will, resulting in their well-known temper tantrums and abundant challenges to their parents' patience and self-confidence. Babies will be able to feed themselves with fingers or a spoon, scribble with crayons and stack two blocks. At this age, they will begin to say single words (approximately 5-15) and communicate with gestures. Children will typically seek opportunities for autonomy in eating and playing. Independent eating and exploration should be encouraged. Reading books, singing, and talking will stimulate language development in children.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Can give and take toys.
  • Can play simple games with parents.
  • Baby can test parental limits or rules.

Language/Communication Development

  • Baby can name one or two body parts on request.
  • Communicates with gestures.
  • Can respond to simple commands.
  • Can point to pictures in books.
  • Can listen to stories being read.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Shows functional understanding of objects (pretends to use a toy phone), holds a comb near hair.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Feeds self with fingers or a spoon.
  • Scribbles with Crayons.
  • Stacks 2 blocks.

What can I feed my toddler now?

  • Should be eating 3 meals a day.
  • After 12 months, give low- or reduced-fat (1%-2%) cow's milk.
  • Bottle feeding should be ended if not already done so.
  • Milk- 16 to 24 fl oz
  • Grains and cereals- 2 oz (at least ½ should be whole grains)
  • Vegetables- ¾ cup 3 times a day
  • Fruits- 1 cup 4 times per day
  • Meats/beans- 1 ½ oz

18 Month Visit

Toddlers really develop "a mind of their own" around this age and may be frustrating when they refuse to do what others ask of them or insist adamantly on doing things their way. At this age, the child is experiencing a growth spurt of language. Many children will have a vocabulary of 20-50 words, and speak simple two word sentences. Children who live in a bilingual environment are expected to be about 6 months behind in language milestones. They are astutely listening to the two languages and analyzing the vocabulary and grammar. They might say some words in one language and use the other language for others; for example, the Spanish leche for milk and English for other nouns. Some parents (and day care teachers) might express concern because the child isn't talking. Then, after the second birthday, the child often starts speaking basic sentences in both languages. At your provider's office, your toddler's weight, height, and head circumference is taken, along with a general physical examination. A hemoglobin or hematocrit should be performed for children at risk. Lead levels should be measure at least annually for children at risk for lead exposure. Children by this age should be feeding themselves independently and drinking from a cup. Bedtime routines and regular bedtimes should be encouraged and continued. A regular routine of reading to children at bedtime fosters language development and decreases bedtime problems. Sleep problems may arise such as resistance to falling asleep, nighttime awakening, and night fears. Toddlers may still use self-comforting behaviors (such as thumb sucking or an attachment to a favorite toy, animal, or blanket) as a way of handling stress or tension. Temper tantrums are common during this age. Children are rarely distracted or redirected like before.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Likes to hand things to others as play.
  • May have temper tantrums.
  • May be afraid of strangers.
  • Shows affection to familiar people.
  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll.
  • May cling to caregivers in new situations.
  • Points to show others something interesting.
  • Explores alone but with parent close by.

Language/Communication Development

  • Says several single words.
  • Says and shakes head "no."
  • Points to show someone what he wants.
  • Can respond to 2 steps command (go get me the spoon).

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Knows what ordinary things are for; for example, telephone, brush, spoon.
  • Points to get the attention of others.
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed.
  • Points to one body part.
  • Scribbles on his own.
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures; for example, sits when you say "sit down."

Movement/Physical Development

  • Walks alone.
  • May walk up steps with one hand held.
  • Can run.
  • Can walk backwards.
  • Can climb onto an adult chair.
  • Pulls toys while walking.
  • Can help undress herself.
  • Drinks from a cup.
  • Eats with a spoon.

What can I feed my baby now?

  • Children should be feeding themselves and drinking from a cup.
  • Milk (Fat-free, reduced-fat)- 16 to 24 fl oz
  • Grains and cereals- 2 oz (at least ½ should be whole grains)
  • Vegetables- ¾ cup 3 times a day
  • Fruits- 1 cup 4 times per day
  • Meats/beans- 1 ½ oz

2 Year Visit

Children at this age continue to improve their gross motor skills. They are able to run, jump in place, walk up and down stairs, and throw balls overhead. Their energy level is at the highest and they seem to always be on the go. Running becomes much more coordinated and their gait changes from the wide-based toddle gait to a more adult-like, heel-toe gait. At this age, they also typically communicate in short phrases. Toddlers explore the limits of acceptable behavior. It is at this age that parents should watch for signs of the child's readiness to use a potty for toilet training. Children should continue to have a regular hour for bedtime and predictable bedtime routine. Toddlers are to be sleeping on their own throughout the night. Bedtime book reading continues to promote language development and is an effective part of a quiet bedtime routine. Because children this age are exploring the opportunities for independence and its limits, they can be especially challenging for parents. Parents should continue to encourage the child's emerging independence and offer choices to the child wherever possible while retaining their authority to make and maintain family rules. Family rules should be established for mealtimes, bedtime, and getting ready in the morning. Toddlers are also able to brush their teeth and dress themselves with help.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children.
  • Gets excited when with other children.
  • Shows more and more independence.
  • Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to).
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games.

Language/Communication Development

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named.
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts.
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words.
  • Follows simple instructions.
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation.
  • Points to things in a book.

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) Development

  • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers.
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors.
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books.
  • Plays simple make-believe games.
  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks.
  • Might use one hand more than the other.
  • Follows two-step instructions such as "Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet."
  • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog.

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands on tiptoe.
  • Kicks a ball.
  • Begins to run.
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help.
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on.
  • Throws ball overhand.
  • Makes or copies straight lines and circles.

What can I feed my toddler now?

  • Should include low fat milk in diet.
  • Should not drink more than 1 quart per day.
  • Milk (Fat-free, reduced-fat)- 16 to 24 fl oz
  • Grains and cereals- 2 oz (at least ½ should be whole grains)
  • Vegetables- ¾ cup 3 times a day
  • Fruits- 1 cup 4 times per day
  • Meats/beans- 1 ½ oz

3 Year Visit

Three-year-olds may continue to test limits of acceptable behavior or may be showing increasing acceptance of social limits. Their language skills may exceed cognitive understanding, so their insights may be quite humorous. An active imagination and imaginary friends are common. Children at this age should be eating a well balanced diet and avoiding junk foods. They should be feeding themselves using utensils. By age 3, approximately 90% of children are bowel-trained; 85% of children are dry in the daytime, and 60% to 70% are dry at night. No treatment is necessary for children who are not yet dry at night. Occasional night fears are usual. If feasible and culturally appropriate, parents should be discouraged from sharing their bed with their child. Parents should encourage active play with blocks, simple puzzles, beads and pegs. Passive activities such as watching television should be discouraged. Language development is facilitated by direct conversation. Parents should be prepared to answer questions about where babies come from and the difference between boys and girls. Parents should answer these questions honestly, at a level appropriate to the child's understanding and within the boundaries of the question. Parents should also use correct terms for the genitalia and to understand that the child's sexual curiosity and explorations are normal. Children at this age are curious and will continue to ask questions until they feel satisfied with the answer.

What can I feed my toddler now?

  • Children should be feeding themselves using utensils.
  • Should be eating balanced diet and avoiding junk foods.
  • Milk (Fat-free, reduced-fat)- 16 fl oz
  • Grains and cereals- 3 oz (at least ½ should be whole grain)
  • Vegetables- 1 cup 3 times a day
  • Fruits- 1 cup 3 times a day
  • Meats/beans- 2 oz

10 to 11 Year Visit

Children this age may be in middle childhood or may have entered early adolescence. In early adolescence, children become focused on body image. Their peer group becomes an increasingly important influence on style, attitudes, and values. They may begin risk-taking activities such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. At this age, the child may be expected to display self-confidence with a sense of mastery and pride in school and extracurricular activities, make friends and participate in group activities, understand and comply with most rules at home and at school, and assume reasonable responsibility for his or her own health, school work, and chores. The age of 10 is a prime year for sports competition. Parents should prepare girls for menarche, and answer any questions the child may have.

What nutrition does my child need now?

Boys

  • 10 year-old boy needs 1,600 to 2,200 calories daily.
  • 11 year old needs 1,800 to 2,200 calories daily.

Girls

  • 10 year olds eat between 1,600 and 2,000 calories each day.
  • 11 year old needs 1,600 to 2,000 calories daily.

12 to 13 Year Visit

Early adolescence typically begins between 10 and 14 years of age. It is characterized by rapid physical growth and sexual development (puberty). It is a time of beginning independence and separation from parents; the child becomes unwilling to participate in some family activities, concentrates on peer relationships, casts off old patterns of behavior, and challenges parental authority. Early adolescents may show a continuation of concrete thinking or may show early signs of the ability to think abstractly. Adolescents in this stage show an increased concern with their developing body and often compare themselves with peers to assess their own normality. Heterosexual and homosexual experimentation are common. Early adolescence may be a particularly trying time for both adolescents and parents.

What nutrition does my child need now?

Boys

  • 12-13 years old need about 2,500 calories each day.

Girls

  • 12-13 year olds should consume about 2,200 calories daily.

16 to 17 Year Visit

Most adolescents in this age are in middle adolescence, although some are entering late adolescence. Puberty may be complete, particularly in girls. Preoccupations with the body and with attractiveness decrease after puberty. At the same time, the importance of the peer group may increase. The peer group sets the standards for dress, recreation, behavior, and values. Adolescents experiment with many risk-taking-behaviors. Conflicts with parents over issues of independence are at their highest peak at this time. It is also a time of sexual exploration and experimentation. Recognition of sexual orientation occurs for many individuals in middle adolescence; for gay and lesbian youth such recognition may precipitate severe depression. At this stage the adolescent is frequently idealistic and altruistic. Plans for the future in terms of a career or relationship may still be rudimentary.

What nutrition does my child need now?

Boys

  • 16-17-year-old boys need about 3,000 calories each day.

Girls

  • 16-17 year olds should consume about 2,200 calories daily.

18 to19 Year Visit

In late adolescence, emancipation is nearly complete, and there is increased interest in career choice. Social skills become enhanced, and long-term, intimate physical and psychological relationships develop. Body image and gender role definition are nearly completed. Common problems at this age include pressure to engage in sexual relations, somatic complaints, loneliness, discouragement, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, menstrual disorders, use of alcohol or other drugs, acne, and anxiety.

What nutrition does my child need now?

Boys

  • 18-19 year-old boys need about 3,000 calories each day.

Girls

  • 18-19 year olds should consume about 2,200 calories daily.

20 to 21 Year Visit

By this age, emancipation is completed for some late adolescents and in process for others. Career choice may be a major concern for some individuals. Social skills become enhanced and intimate physical and psychological relationships occur. Body image and gender role definition are generally completed. It is appropriate to plan for the transition to an adult health care professional.

What nutrition does my child need now?

Boys

  • 20-21 year old male should eat no more than 2,600 calories daily if living a sedentary lifestyle and no more than 3,000 calories daily if living an active lifestyle.

Girls

  • 20-21 year old female needs about 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day. A more highly active female may need up to 2,200 to 2,400 calories, while a sedentary female of the same age needs closer to 1,800 calories a day.

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