Poor appetite in a child: what to do?


A good letter and a good question that I cannot leave unanswered.

You know that in order to develop normally, a child must receive adequate nutrition.

The child is not that difficult, but it is simply impossible to feed him.

So let’s discuss what to do if your child has a poor appetite and how to deal with this problem.

What is appetite and the reasons for its violation

A person instinctively chooses for himself the food that his body requires. Appetite is based on the feeling of hunger that occurs in the hypothalamus.

It should be understood that young children (6 months and a little older) do not eat out of hunger. They may well gorge themselves on breast milk, but they still begin to ask for food from their mother’s plate.

It’s an interest in food. The most powerful stimulus for a healthy appetite. If food interest is disturbed, there are problems with appetite.

Why does the child eat badly?

There are medical and pedagogical reasons for poor appetite.

In the first case, children refuse to eat if they have health problems. This can be fever, pain in the joints and abdomen and during teething.

Pedagogical reasons include:

  • snacks between feedings, especially sweets;
  • overfeeding and irregular feeding;
  • if accustomed to cartoons while eating, but they are not included;
  • no food rewards;
  • the child is not in the fresh air and moves a little;
  • Bad mood.

Attention! If you promise to buy a new toy for good food or turn on a cartoon, then you are making a big mistake. A habit is developed quickly, but getting rid of it will not be easy.

In addition, children can eat poorly during heatwaves, with late introduction of complementary foods, from the fact that it is difficult for them to chew. Also, babies do not want to eat when they are given too large portions and monotonous food.

There may be psychological reasons:

  1. parents force-feed the child;
  2. if mom is not around;
  3. stress during the period of adaptation to a kindergarten
  4. family conflicts or the appearance of another child.

Disruption of appetite can be temporary or permanent.

  • A short-term disruption can be associated with the quality of food, with the organization of meals, insufficient drinking and the monotony of dishes;
  • For a long time, appetite can be disturbed due to intoxication of the body and gastrointestinal diseases, with problems with the nervous system.

What does a poor appetite lead to?

If children are malnourished at an early age, it can lead to problems in mental and physical development. Since the baby does not receive all the nutrients he needs from the products, he may lag behind in growth and development.

When a student is malnourished, he does poorly at school. Serious food refusal leads to anorexia.

Important! The most vulnerable are children under five. From poor nutrition and lack of nutrients, they develop anemia and often get sick.

Also, a monotonous and unbalanced diet can cause damage to health.

If the baby does not eat well for a long time, then you can clearly say that he is malnourished. At the same time, all the necessary nutrients that it needs for development and growth do not enter the child’s body.

Inadequate nutrition gradually leads to a decrease in immunity and low body weight, the baby is often sick and gets tired quickly, does not study well and develops poorly. Poor nutrition can have serious health consequences for your baby.

Attention! Many parents give their baby any food, even harmful, believing that the main thing is to replenish the amount of food. However, this is a gross mistake, because such a tactic leads to the fact that the baby quickly gains weight, which only aggravates his health.

Causes of poor appetite by age

  1. In infants, appetite decreases with incorrect introduction of complementary foods;

If during feeding you overfeed your baby, force-feed and distract his attention while eating cartoons and games, then you will get a problem with appetite after a while.

  1. Children over one year old and children of preschool age do not eat well, if the diet is violated, they interrupt their appetite with sweets, in the interval between the main meals;

At any age, appetite decreases with:

  • acute and chronic diseases;
  • low hemoglobin and endocrine diseases;
  • cardiovascular disease and liver problems;
  • poisoning;
  • excess vitamin D;
  • while taking medications.

 How to improve appetite

If a child does not eat well, how to increase his appetite? To begin with, you need to diversify the menu, pay attention to serving and make sure that the baby is not afraid of being forced to eat.

  1. Appetite usually improves if the child eats with all family members. You can feed him with other children or at a common table;
  2. In this situation, it is more important to eat a more nutritious meal;
  3. It is necessary to cook foods that stimulate the appetite;
  4. For normal bowel function, it is important to give cereals, fruits and vegetables;
  5. For appetite, the baby should be in the fresh air, play outdoor games, play sports and undergo hardening procedures;
  6. Cooking meals together will help to raise the baby’s appetite.

In no case do not scold the baby at the table and do not force him to eat, this only discourages the desire to eat.

Older children can be encouraged to make a “false choice” by offering him pasta or mashed potatoes, vegetables or porridge.

When you feed your baby, there are some rules to follow:

  • try to eat food with the whole family;
  • make sure that the baby does not interrupt his appetite;
  • do not allow your child to eat in front of the TV;
  • plan your baby’s daily routine so that he builds up an appetite.

The problem with appetite during a latent chronic illness is eliminated by a pediatrician after a full examination.

Some tips for mom

All children are individual, so everyone has their own approach to eliminating the cause of poor appetite.

However, there are a few secrets that you might find useful:

  1. Make sure that the child does not have a snack between meals;
  2. Do not allow knocking with a spoon and playing with food;
  3. Try to concentrate the baby’s attention on food intake;
  4. If the baby does not eat any foods, then introduce them little by little into the main dish, after rubbing them in mashed potatoes;
  5. Don’t force-feed;
  6. Control how the little person chews and swallows food, do not put a spoon in his mouth until he has had time to open it for the next portion of lunch.

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