Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Sunday, December 25, 2011

How to Improve Appetite in Your Child

To hear your child ask for more food must seem like sweet music to your ears, especially if your child is underweight. One of the causes for children being underweight is attributed to preference for junk foods like chips, cookies and fries, preceding healthy food choices. Sometimes, a combative home atmosphere may increase your child's anxiety levels and kill his appetite which in turn will weaken your child's immunity and make him susceptible to even minor ailments.

It is normal for a child to lose appetite occasionally but it can be a cause for concern if poor appetite persists for long periods of time, which warrants a visit to a pediatrician, who in turn, will examine your child and diagnose if the cause is emotional, mental, illness or if your child is just plain picky. If you follow the pediatrician's directives as well as employ a few techniques of your own to stimulate your child's appetite, he will definitely start munching his way to good health.

Involve your child while shopping for food in order to let him choose his preferred cereal, fruit or yogurt.

Play your child's favorite song during meal times. Be creative and arrange veggies and fruits to shape it like a smiley face and eat together as a family should, at least once in a day. This will bring about a sense of well-being in your child and improve his appetite.

Track your child's eating pattern and look for foods that turns off his appetite and foods that stimulates his appetite with various food textures.

Give your child fresh fruits juices or freshly cut fruits as opposed to artificially flavored juices, as the added sugar content in them are bad for your child's teeth and his appetite. Remember to serve the juice after a meal. If your child insists on tetra packed juices, dilute half the glass with water.

Make delicious smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit. A boiled egg white added to the smoothie will fortify him with protein without altering the taste of the smoothie.

Make homemade granolas with dry fruits that are rich in iron and fiber. Your child can eat it as a snack in between meal times.

Add veggies and fruits to your child's preferred foods and fortify it essential minerals and vitamins.

Avoid arguing or talking shop during meal times. Children are sensitive to mood changes and react unfavorably. Avoid forcing your child to eat, which may result in achieving the opposite, making your child even more resistant.

Give in to your child's food choices occasionally, even if they are unhealthy ones, as eating something is better than not eating at all. You could coax your child to promise to eat a wholesome meal if you offered him a cookie or chips.

Involve your child in plenty of physical activities to work up an appetite. Exercise activates hunger causing hormones in the body and stimulates appetite to restore calories.

These tips should most definitely turn your child around for the better. However, don't despair if you still find his appetite lacking. Children usually eat more than you think. Though children don't conform to a normal diet chart, they show better growth patterns and good health when they are measured on a full scale growth chart.

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