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His Royal "High-Chairness" is Just Not Hungry

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.

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