Toddlers tend to have erratic appetite due to their growth spurts and psychological development. There may be a variable intake of meals in a day, as well. If your toddler appears healthy and seems to be growing at a normal pace, then there is probably no reason to be concerned about their poor appetite. However, parents need to know the reasons behind the lack of appetite in toddlers.
What Are The Causes Of Loss Of Appetite In Toddlers?
- Extra calorie intake.
- Alternative food preferences.
- Changes in the body.
- Changes in attention span.
- Throwing tantrums.
You can usually identify the cause behind the toddler’s weak appetite through observation and experience. However, it is good to seek medical help under certain circumstances.
When To Seek Medical Help
See a doctor if you experience any of the following situations with your toddler;
- Loss of appetite for a month
- Loss of weight
- No weight gain in six months
- Gagging and vomiting of food
- Eats only a few foods
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Other health issues, such as fever, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and cough
- You observe jaundice or yellow-colored urine in the child
An eating disorder can cause difficulty in consuming adequate food and leads to a poor diet. The toddler may also consistently insist on eating only one type of food. An undiagnosed eating disorder may cause a chronic loss of appetite and affect a toddler’s growth.
How To Get Your Toddler’s Appetite Back
Here are some ways to encourage your toddler to eat properly and overcome the loss of appetite;
- Make mealtime interesting
- Give freedom of choice: Providing a choice to the toddler can help change their perception towards eating. It can help curtail the loss of appetite over the long term.
- Serve small portions frequently, several times a day.
- Provide healthy snacks
- Make them drink more water than juices that contain added sugar.
- Do not force-feed – instead, serve the quantity of food that they are likely to consume.
- Keep changing the menu and introduce new foods: Keep shuffling between different nutritious food picked from a food group to make healthy meals.
- Maintain an eating environment free of distractions, such as watching TV or playing with toys.
You can also let the toddler watch you prepare meals. Let the toddler play their part,such as taking out the vegetables from the basket or washing the fruits. Making food interesting and fun is an excellent way to improve a toddler’s eating habits and resume a normal diet.
Loss of appetite in toddlers can be managed through appropriate and consistent steps. Over a period, parents are likely to notice a pattern in the toddler’s loss of appetite. Use food that the toddler likes to feed other food. This can prevent any loss of appetite due to fussiness. Do not hesitate to seek professional help for any concerns about loss of appetite in toddlers.