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Loss of appetite in children: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

If you have noticed that lately, your child has less appetite at mealtime, don’t worry as it is a fact that usually occurs between 3 and 4 years of age. Their growth rate is slower at this stage, so the child needs fewer calories, making them less hungry.

Therefore, we should not be alarmed or, much less, force him to eat. Remember that force-feeding is counterproductive as it will make your child understand food as punishment and will consistently refuse to eat. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will discover the causes and treatment of Loss of appetite in children.

Causes of Loss of appetite in children

During the 3 to 5 years, the most common is that the child experiences a loss of appetite. Therefore, it is a common situation that primarily affects infants and does not have to cause us great concern. Above all, we have to make sure that our little one continues to maintain optimal energy levels and that his growth continues to be expected; In case you notice any abnormality, it is best to go to the pediatrician for an exam.

Among the causes of Loss of appetite in children, it should be noted that this situation occurs because their growth slows down. They no longer need so much energy (calories) and, therefore, their body asks for a less amount of food.

Therefore, you mustn’t force your child to eat at this stage because doing so can negatively affect their health. In case of doubts, the best thing is that you take him to the pediatrician for an examination, and he will tell you if there are no reasons to worry.

How to treat Loss of appetite

To treat the Loss of appetite in children, what we have to do is allow him a little freedom so that he is the one who chooses the amount of food he wants to eat. We have to check that he eats varied and enough, but, as we have already said, we have to bear in mind that it is normal for him to eat in smaller quantities at this stage.

That said, to stimulate your child’s appetite and therefore make him eat a little more and healthier, we recommend that you follow these recommendations:

  • 5 meals a day: it is essential to distribute the amount of food at different times of the day so that the portions are smaller and your child is well-fed.
  • No snacking: if there is still 1 hour left to eat and your child is asking for something to snack on, it is better that you prepare the food now than not satisfy his appetite with a juice or biscuit because, in this way, he will make it reach the time to eat without hunger and therefore eat poorly.
  • Limit milk: it is prevalent that, during childhood, parents give milk to their children because they consider that this drink helps them in their bones and their growth. And although this is true, we should not spend or give them more than 2 cups a day, or what is the same, 500 ml, because it is a very caloric and satiating drink that will reduce the child’s appetite.

How to better control the situation

Children eat the amount that their appetite-regulating system, located in the brain, tells them to eat to meet their growth and energy needs, so we do not have to worry if they show less appetite at around 3 or 4 years of age.

These are some of the things we can do to control the situation:

  • Let’s avoid snacking. Many children are not hungry at mealtime because they have pecked between meals. Offer no more than two nutritious snacks between main meals. If you are thirsty, it is better to drink water than juice. – If you ever skip a meal, nothing will happen.
  • Don’t feed him yourself if he can do it alone. If he is hungry, he will eat by himself.
  • Don’t force him to drink too much milk. It will fill you up and decrease your appetite for other things you need.
  • Remember that meals have to be pleasant moments. Let the child participate in the conversation, avoiding limiting the dialogue to adults. And don’t tell your child to eat all the time.
  • Please do not talk in front of him about how little he eats or praise him when he eats everything you think he has to eat. Praise him if he behaves well at the table, if he is sitting calmly or if he handles the silverware well. Put the amount of food you eat aside.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Loss of appetite in children: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Well-being category.

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