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His royal "High-Chairness" is just not hungry

Your 12-month-old can't sit through dinner? That's called "normal." After the first year, baby's eating habits change. Here's how to adapt.
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Now that your baby is becoming a toddler, you'll probably notice a dramatic drop in appetite. This is perfectly normal development. While babies often triple their weight in the first year, they usually gain only five or six pounds in the second year.


Discriminating palates: a.k.a. "picky eaters"

Changes in eating habits at one year reflect not only changing bodily needs but also growing independence. Toddlers show definite likes and dislikes when it comes to food. This is a sign of their emerging individuality. Instead of pushing your child to eat a particular food, offer a variety of healthy foods and let your baby choose. In one well-known experiment, one-year-old babies who were allowed to choose from a range of wholesome foods with no pressure from adults selected what they required — and ate balanced diets over a month's time.


Impatient diners

Sometimes a baby who has just learned to walk hates to sit still for mealtimes. So respect this desire to be on the move and don't keep an active baby confined in the high chair for periods of more than 10 minutes or so.


The scoop on the spoon

Now is the time to let your child experiment with a spoon. Parents need to be prepared for messier meals and to call on all their diplomatic skills to strike a balance between helping their child and letting the child do it alone. Some parents have found that using two spoons helps: The child practices with one, while the parent pops at least a few bits into baby's mouth with the other.

It will probably take many months before your baby becomes adept at using a spoon, however. Some toddlers can use a spoon efficiently by the time they are 16 months old, but others need much more time.

Remember that you'll want to reduce your part in the feeding more and more and let your toddler take over. If you keep on feeding now, you may find that your child will lose the urge and demand that you do all the work.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 5reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by While this article might be helpful for most, it wasn't really for me. My son had ceased to gain any weight between 12 mths and about 20 mths. We had to add in extra "weight" check appointment's with his doctor, and a few visits with a nutrition specialist. While his issues stem a little bit from all of these (other than being a picky eater) He's gaining weight again but the key was finding what worked for us, if your having similar issues to what we've been going through, I've learned that adding modular things to hid food such as extra cream to his milk, and lots of fatty dipping sauces, more calories in less bites. I still keep it pretty healthy and organic but it does take a lot more time and patience; honestly paying attention to what your kid wants usually leads to more success than some of what this article out lines... but maybe thats just me. January 29, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by It seems like my 1 and 3 year old eat in two or three day cycles. They nibble on food for two or three days then on the third day they eat at least one good meal. January 20, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by my 21 month daughter seems to be a very picky eater and sometimes she won't eat at all. this article helped me to try more variety in her diet and she seems to be catching on very well. January 3, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by This was really helpful, because I have been dealing with my sons drop in appetite and it was nice to hear that it is normal. I liked the suggestions for getting him to sit still for some food, and that it is okay sometimes to allow for food to be leftover and not force feed my child. November 16, 2010
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