Parents often have problems with their child who has a low appetite or is picky with food. It’s difficult to ensure their child gets enough nutrients when he refuses to eat. Those who have an underweight child with no appetite may struggle even more to ensure that their child is getting the essential nutrients. Read on to learn how to increase appetite naturally in kids.
A child’s growth and development are often affected when his appetite is low. An underweight child with no appetite may even be more prone to getting sick since he does not get all the nourishment needed.
Before finding out how to increase appetite naturally, you should understand what causes a low appetite first.
How to Increase Appetite Naturally in Kids
Talk to your child or consult a pediatrician or nutritionist to help you find out what’s causing your child’s low appetite. It may be easier for you to think of strategies on how to increase appetite naturally once you know the reason behind it.
There are a lot of possible reasons why a child has a low appetite. Some of them are listed below.
Zinc is one of the most essential micronutrients related to digestion and metabolism. Zinc is responsible for producing hydrochloric acid. This acid is necessary for the stomach to digest food.
Mild zinc deficiency in your child may cause loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, and increased vulnerability to infections. An underweight child with no appetite may need more zinc in his food.
It’s difficult to find ways on how to increase your child’s appetite when he’s sick or just recovering. Digestion and other bodily functions are affected when a child is ill.
It may take some time for your child’s digestion and appetite to go back to normal, especially if medications have been given. The medicines may also be affecting how food tastes, making it more challenging how to increase your child’s appetite.
It becomes even more challenging to feed an underweight child with no appetite when he is ill. Aside from already lacking nutrients, it further depletes when he doesn’t want to eat.
Slow down of growth
A child’s low appetite concerns most parents. However, it doesn’t always mean that there’s something wrong with your child.
An infant’s appetite may be consistent or gradually rising in the first few months of growing. When he reaches 4-5 months, his growth and the energy needed to grow begin to slow down a bit. This may result in reduced appetite, which is normal.
The case may be different for parents with an underweight child with no appetite. He may not grow as fast as his peers are. His growth may even be slower because he isn’t getting enough nutrients that he needs.
How can I increase appetite naturally?
There are a lot of tips on how to increase appetite naturally and how to increase your child’s appetite. It’s challenging to convince your child to eat more, but here are a few things you can try out.
Stick to a routine
Having a mealtime schedule trains them to be prepared to eat for each meal. You can also include snack time in the schedule. If you do so, make sure to offer nutritious snacks at reasonable proportions. Too much juice and junk snacks may make your child too full for the next meal.
Change the meal structure
Adults are more used to the three-meal structure every day. However, this may not be ideal for children. Their growth is at peak and they use up more energy. Give your child proportioned meals every hour, instead of three big meals in a day. This keeps them energized while ensuring they’re eating the right amount for the day.
Make eating fun
Your child gets excited when he sees his favorite food. List down what foods make him eat more, and incorporate them more in your meals. You can also try doing food art, or incorporate food with different colors to make it colorful. Try sneaking in small bits of foods that he doesn’t normally eat to introduce it to his meals.
And instead of giving them juice, milk or snacks give them water in between meals.
Add more zinc
Aside from digestion, your child’s immunity, growth, and development also benefit from zinc. Incorporate zinc-rich food to your child’s meals such as pumpkin seeds, nuts, spinach, beans, and mushroom. They may help with how to increase your child’s appetite.
Ask for your child’s help
Ask your child to help you pick out fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods at the grocery. At home, you can ask them to rinse the fruits and veggies, stir batter or soup, or set the table. Children tend to get excited about the things that they took part in.
Low appetite is a common dilemma for most parents. The situation may even be more worrisome for those who have an underweight child with no appetite.
The best way to increase appetite naturally in kids is to meet them where they are.
Children often get highly engrossed in activities that they find fun. They may even use these activities as an excuse to skip meals.
You need to find ways on how to increase appetite naturally and how to increase your child’s appetite so they get the urge to eat meals.
Having an underweight child with no appetite doesn’t mean that they’ll be like that until adulthood. Teaching him good eating habits and finding ways to increase appetite naturally will help him eat and grow more.
Learn more about child health and nutrition here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.