6 Main Causes of Loss of Appetite in Children and the Solutions

6 Main Causes of Loss of Appetite in Children and the Solutions

What are the causes of loss of appetite in children? Loss of appetite in children is a problem that is very common to experience. As parents, while we may need to stay calm and relaxed, it is much better not to underestimate it as well. If the problem persists, there will be more bad effects to wait for.

As you may have known, children, even below 16 years old, are in their growth period. If you cannot optimize the nutrition intake, it may cause several problems including malnutrition, stunting, brain development disorder, susceptibility to viruses or bacteria infection, and many more. Therefore, make sure to take some actions to bring back the children's appetite.

But before acknowledging the solutions to the problem, you should know the causes of loss of appetite in children. This way, you can know and take the right actions to solve it. What are those causes? Here they are.

Being Afraid to Try New Food

It is human nature that some of them may feel afraid or doubtful of new things. The same happens to children when they see new food in front of them. Particularly toddlers of around 2 years of old, most of them have a problem of being afraid to try new food. This condition is called Neophobia and it becomes one of the most common reasons why children at that age are not willing to touch their spoons.

To solve this problem, you can regularly introduce the kid's new menu. The menu should be varied in terms of tastes and flavors, whether it is sweet, savory, sour, or even plain. Pay attention to what kind of taste he or she likes the most. It is better also to set up lunch or breakfast together. Show the kid that eating the food is something enjoyable, not scary at all. More importantly, don't force them to eat when they don't show any interest at all in it.

They Don't Like the Taste, Aroma, or Texture of the Food

Just like adults, kids also have their own tastes. When you offer them a certain food, they may not like the taste, aroma, or even texture of the food. Moreover, children tend to have twice more receptors than adults. It makes their sense of taste more sensitive particularly toward strong tastes or flavors such as salty, fishy, and bitter.

There are also many kids below 10 years old who reject food because of the texture, color, aroma, look, and even movement. Yes, it is right, some food can "move" such as jelly that can be bouncing. For this problem, the solution is to make food look more attractive and even colorful. If your kid doesn't like vegetables, for example, cut and arrange some veggies to form a certain shape or character. Add more spices, as long as it is not too much, to make them tastier.

When the kid shows any rejection of certain foods with certain aroma or taste. That's okay. Don't push him or her to eat it now. Try again at another time when their mood looks good. Or, cook the food in other ways to awaken their appetite.

They're Exhausted

Children are included in the group of ages that can be easily exhausted. It is because they tend to be very active all day long for playing, running, and other activities. Uniquely, those children may not realize that they are exhausted and so do their parents. However, you can know that they have such a problem by seeing some characteristics. One of them is that they loss of appetite.

Often, the feeling of being super tired is only felt in the evening during dinner time or at night when they are ready for bed. If this is the case, most of the children always have any food offered to them. So, solve this problem by offering them more food for breakfast or dinner. Make sure to bring them real food with a high amount of nutrition.

If they are hungry at night and keep rejecting the food, you can offer them snacks instead. Of course, it is much better if the snack also has enough nutrition to help them grow up well when sleeping.

There are Distractions

Some things and activities around them can distract children from eating. It can be screens like smartphones or TVs, toys, and even people including parents, siblings, or friends. Yes, while some parents may think that turning on the smartphone or TV can help them feed their kids, otherwise, it may worsen their eating habits. Therefore, those things need to stop.

The solution is to set up a good atmosphere for eating for the kids. Instead of letting the kid eat their food alone, you can let other family members including siblings eat together. This lessens the possibility of him or her being distracted by siblings or friends who probably play or run around. More importantly, during eating time, there must be no gadgets at all. This rule also applies to adults for sure.

Picky Eater

Some kids are considered picky eaters. This term is for those kids who only want certain foods and reject others. It is actually not a big deal as long as what is chosen by them is nutritious food containing enough carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and soon needed by their body. Meanwhile, it is certainly a big problem if what they want are snacks with a large amount of sugar and no nutrition at all.

As a solution for kids who only want snacks for eating, try to offer them snacks with high nutrition. Let them do many activities suitable for kids at their ages to enable them to feel hungry. Then, offer them healthy food in that condition. You can also lessen the consumption of milk and juice which can make their tummy easily full. Vary the daily consumption to avoid them being bored.

Health Problems

Children may lose their appetite when they feel unhealthy and uncomfortable with their bodies. Some common health problems suffered by kids and toddlers are teething, constipation, allergy, virus infection, GERD, and more. Besides, iron deficiency also reduces their appetite mainly if it has happened for a long time.

After knowing what the health problems they suffer, prepare food that can make them feel more comfortable. For the teething problem, help the baby or toddler with soft and smooth food. Meanwhile, offer more fruits, veggies, and pure water for those with constipation. Consult this problem with the pediatrician if those efforts don't show any good results.

Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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