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.
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.
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
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.
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