The poor appetite of their kids is a common complaint among mothers. In most of the cases, kids make up for their poor diet by eating more at the next meal. For kids over 1-year-old, appetites increase and decrease according to age, energy levels etc. This is a common problem among young children between the ages of 2 to 6 years. However, if weight loss accompanies your toddler loss of appetite, then you must consult a pediatrician to identify the cause & correct it.
The article here tells you some common tips to fuel your child’s appetite:
- Serve small portions. Children have smaller stomachs than adults. They do not eat as much at meals. Five or six smaller meals or snacks may better meet your child's nutrition needs.
- Try to make the meals as nutritionally dense as possible. This means making small meals that are more concentrated in essential nutrients. Scrambled egg, soft cheese or smooth peanut butter on toast or oatcakes, followed by a yoghurt or fruit and custard is far more nutritious than jam and butter on toast and a biscuit and makes an ideal teatime meal for a small appetite.
- When teething and sore mouths are a problem, offer foods that are softer but still contain lots of protein such as baked beans and scrambled egg, creamy macaroni cheese, chicken soup with broken up bread floating on top. On the other hand, your child may prefer something hard to bite on, so fingers of cheese on toast or French toast soldiers with peanut butter are ideal.
- Be more active. Encourage your child to go outside and play, or go for a short walk: the fresh air and physical activity can jump-start his appetite.
- Focus on the foods your child will eat and give them a small choice. For example: ‘Shall we all have peas or carrots with our dinner today’. This autonomy can be very empowering for a small child. Even better, they could help you buy and prepare the food, using some of their own choices at the shops. All children love cooking, even if it’s washing vegetables!
- Finally, don’t panic and get stressed. Calmly remove the food without any comment. Babies and young children won’t starve. If they are hungry and ask for food before the next meal, offer a drink of water and a small amount of fruit.
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