Wednesday 17 February 2016


A child who seemingly won't eat anything can make meal times a tough experience for parents. This can be discouraging. It does happen quite often especially as kids transition from being infants to toddlers.  Nevertheless, there are simple ways to make your child eat and make meal times a more enjoyable experience for the child and family.

What Causes Appetite Loss In Toddlers?

A toddler can lose his or her appetite for one of the following reasons:
  • Illness can cause a loss of appetite in toddlers
  • Your toddler is probably eating in between meals
  • Your toddler is drinking juice or other liquids (other than water) in between meals
  • Your toddler is exerting less energy than usual.
For children over 1 year old, appetite increases and decreases according to age, energy levels, mood and growth stage.

If the toddler appears perfectly healthy and happy, there is no need to worry too much about his or her appetite

How to Help Boost Your Toddler's Appetite

The following tips will help you boost your toddlers appetite and desire to eat.
  • Make Meal Time Fun Time. Believe it or not, meal times are important social times for growing children. Make this time of the day enjoyable for them so they look forward to it. Offer them a variety of food and let them have fun eating them. Eat along with them too to show good example of having fun while eating.
  • One good way to prevent feeding struggles in toddlers is to teach your child to feed themselves. Allow them pace their feedings. Don't worry, your toddler will survive this toddler picky feeding slump.
  • Don't Force Feed Your Child! Doing so will make meal time feel like punishment and your toddler will eat less. If your child is hungry, they'll definitely eat. Your child's brain will make sure they are getting enough calories for energy and growth by making them eat.
  • Put A Limit On Snacks. Offering snacks all day will make them not get hungry. Put a limit to snacks of no more than two per day
  • Put A Limit on Beverages and Drinks With Calories. If your toddler is thirsty between meals offer them water to drink. Offering juice or other calorie containing beverages will only make them less likely to get hungry. You don't want that.
  • Serve Toddlers Food In Small Portions. Your child has a small stomach. Serving your child five or six small sized meals a day would be better accepted than 3 heavy portions. it will also aid digestion in toddlers.
  • Avoid Distractions During Meal Times. Turn off the TV. keep toys and play books away during meal time. let your toddler know that meal time is all about enjoying his meal and nothing else.

Source: University of Utah healthcare USA

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