Combating Poor Appetite in Children

Long-term poor appetite in your child can lead to severe health complications. Typically, a child who feeds poorly will lack sufficient nutrients to build strong bones and a healthy body. If you notice that your child has a poor appetite, consider taking them to a pediatrician so they can be examined for underlying causes such as emotional distress and digestion issues. You may also employ the tips below to help boost your child's poor appetite.

Proper timing

Controlling what you child ingests prior to meals is vital to improving their appetite. If you fill up your child on snacks shortly before meals, they may be too full and lack interest in eating. Be sure to give them about 2 to 3 hours to digest food, leaving room in their tummies for the next meal. If your child wants a snack prior to mealtime, you may give them something light such as a banana or small tub or yogurt to boost their appetite. Be sure to also serve meals at approximately the same time each day to establish a healthy and steady routine. 

Additionally, make it customary to feed your child earlier so their tummy has ample time to digest the meal before bedtime. This will allow proper digestion, a restful sleep, and ensure that your child will have a healthy appetite for breakfast the following day. 

Finally, remember to keep conversations positive during mealtime. Criticizing or reprimanding your child at the dinner table is likely to create a negative atmosphere that will usually lead to a poor appetite. 

Serve fewer fluids during meal time

Giving your child large amounts of juice, water, and other fluids shortly before, during, or immediately after meals can affect their appetite over time. Essentially, the stomach produces digestive juices prior to meals to help with digestion and to increase appetite.

Taking large amounts of fluids can dilute these digestive juices, leading to digestion problems, bloating, and eventual loss of appetite. To avoid these issues, make it a habit to serve small amounts of warm water or soup around meals to support digestion. 

Poor appetite in your child can often affect their physical growth, leaving them underweight and with poor muscle tone. This condition can also lead to issues with emotional development, often affecting your child's moods, concentration, and ability to sleep.

With the above tips, patience, and conscientious meal plans, your child can develop a healthy appetite which could improve their overall health.