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His Royal "High-Chairness" is Just Not Hungry

Now that your baby is becominga toddler, you'll probably notice a dramatic dropin appetite. This is perfectly normal development. Whilebabies often triple their weight in the first year,they usually gain only five or six pounds in the secondyear.

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

Changes in eating habits at one year reflect not onlychanging bodily needs but also growing independence.Toddlers show definite likes and dislikes when it comesto food. This is a sign of their emergingindividuality. Instead of pushing your child to eata particular food, offer a variety of healthy foodsand let your baby choose. In one well-known experiment,one-year-old babies who were allowed to choose from arange of wholesome foods with no pressure from adultsselected what they required — and ate balanced dietsover a month's time.

Impatient diners

Sometimes a baby who has just learned to walk hatesto sit still for mealtimes. So respect this desire tobe on the move and don't keep an active baby confinedin the high chair for periods of more than 10 minutesor so.

The scoop on the spoon

Now is the time to let your child experiment with aspoon. Parents need to be prepared for messier mealsand to call on all their diplomatic skills to strikea balance between helping their child and letting thechild do it alone. Some parents have found that usingtwo spoons helps: The child practices with one, whilethe parent pops at least a few bits into baby'smouth with the other.

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

Remember that you'll want to reduce your partin the feeding more and more and let your toddler takeover. If you keep on feeding now, you may find thatyour child will lose the urge and demand that you doall the work.

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