Is your child’s lack of appetite bothering you day and night? Presented in this article are tips to increase appetite in children that will be helpful to you.
You set the table for lunch or dinner for the entire family. You have tried hard to make healthy tempting meals. The lunch begins and you see that your child has not even finished half of his serving. He is picking at his food and seems to be lost in his own world. You reprimand him and force him to finish his meal quickly. You will surely be bothered if this is a daily scene in your home at meal times. Your child is clearly suffering from loss of appetite.
There are several reasons that can lead to lack of appetite in children. If your child frequently keeps on munching snacks or candies, he will not have an appetite to have a full meal. Having soft drinks or aerated drinks in between meals also fills up the stomach quickly, causing a drop in appetite. Secondly, lack of physical activity or having a sedentary lifestyle is another reason for causing loss of appetite. Thirdly, suffering from any disease or disorder, or even common cold is another reason why the child eats less.
Tips to Increase Your Child’s Appetite
If loss of appetite is due to any sickness (like due to common cold or flu), it will subside as soon as the illness is treated. On the other hand, if it is not caused due to any serious problems or disease, you can undertake the following methods to increase appetite.
- Lack of energy is one of the common reasons for causing lack of appetite in children. Therefore, in order to increase appetite, children should be encouraged to undertake some physical activity or sports. When calories are burnt, the child will feel hungry and eat. Toddlers should also be encouraged to play indoors or outdoors every day.
- The second important tip is to have meals at regular times every day. The human body adjusts itself to regular schedule of eating and sleeping. Therefore, if the child has meals at specific time daily, he will feel hungry at that time. You, as a parent, should set an example of having meal at regular time so that the child follows suit.
- You should not encourage the child to have snacks like chips, cookies, soft drinks, etc., 1 hour before meals as it suppresses appetite.
- It is not recommended to force the child to have large amounts of food. Start with smaller serving of food, let the child finish it and then serve more.
- The type, quality, and appearance of food also plays an important role in making the child eat meals heartily. If your child does not eat properly, try to include at least one food item of his choice in the meals. You can sneakily add vegetables to dishes like pies, pasta, etc.
- You can try to make the appearance and texture of food attractive to increase your child’s appetite. For e.g., cut sandwiches in different shapes, make pasta in different styles, etc., to tempt your child to eat.
- Meal times should also be made enjoyable, and preferably the entire family should eat together. You should avoid scolding the child at dinner table; rather encourage him to follow example of others and finish his meal.
- Lastly, if your child insists on eating unhealthy food, relent for sometime as it is better for the child to eat something than nothing at all. However, make sure that the unhealthy food is accompanied with some healthy food.
These methods will definitely help in increasing appetite in children. Lastly, note that if none of these methods work, consult the doctor to know the cause of the condition and get it treated immediately. Take care!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.