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Growth During the Preschool Years

The preschool years are an important time for developing healthy habits for life. From the ages of 2 to 5, children’s bodies grow and develop in ways that affect the way they think, eat, and behave. Check out these Behavioral Milestones to learn what eating behaviors to expect at each age. The timing of these milestones may vary with each child.

Is my child growing the way he or she should be?

There is a wide range of normal growth. Between the ages of 2 and 5, the average child grows about 2½ inches, and gains 4 to 5 pounds each year - but every child is different. You and your preschooler's doctor are partners in maintaining your child's health, so discuss your child’s growth with them.

Growth charts

Growth charts are a good way to monitor your child's growth and health. Visit your child’s doctor regularly. As part of the visit, your doctor will weigh and measure your child and plot their information on a growth chart.

  • Over time, the curve of the growth chart will show your child's growth pattern and whether their height and weight are changing at the right rate. 
  • Your doctor will monitor the growth chart to be sure your child follows the same curve over time and that their growth pattern stays on track. Your preschooler's growth is an important sign of good health and nutrition.
  • To see how your child compares to other children their age and sex, use our growth chart tool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website provides more information about growth charts.