It is so surprising to see your child eat to his heart’s desire one day and the next he simply just won’t even look at food. I have been through this and I’m sure every parent has, at one point or the other. According to my pediatrician, it’s just a phase and if the child at least has enough milk, you should not worry so much. But if you think that the child has no appetite at all, it’s a cause of worry and needs medical intervention. At the same time, there are a few very easy tricks to improve your baby’s appetite. Let’s talk about those.
1Water is a prerequisite
You may not know this but if you give your baby water to drink at least half an hour before his meals, it will help increase his appetite and improve digestion. Water is known to activate digestive juices and enzymes, making your baby feel hungry and wanting to eat.
The very first thing you should feed your child is water as soon as he is up. And you will see a definite change in his desire to eat.
ALSO READ – Why My Baby is Not Eating Enough
2Make sure your baby’s iron levels are in check
When iron levels are low it leads to a loss of appetite in not only children but adults as well. Also, low iron levels run the risk of causing anemia in your baby. If your baby is less than 9 years of age, his iron consumption per day is anywhere between 7 and 10mg.
Foods rich in iron such as green veggies including spinach, eggs and lentils should be given to the kids on a daily basis. If nothing, you should ensure you give at least one egg (in any form your baby likes) a day. Also, if you give your baby iron fortified foods with vitamin C, it will help increase the absorption of both.
3Feed your child every few hours
As goes with adults, the same habits should be inculcated in children as well, especially if they refuse to eat willingly. If your baby has very low appetite, make it a point to feed your baby smaller quantities of food, fruits, snacks… every 2-3 hours. It will make sure that your baby’s tummy is full and he will have enough energy to play around and do his activities during the day.
At the same time, you should remember that giving your baby three heavy meals a day may not stimulate their diet so much as giving smaller proportions. As snacks, you could also include dried-fruits and peanuts as snacks as they help boost appetite. Not only that, they are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients.
4Get creative with offering food
I have found this to be extremely helpful and I got the idea from my sister who uses creativity in food that she feeds her year old daughter. If your baby does not want to eat parantha or chapatti, find out something that they do like eating like jams. Spread the jam on the parantha or chapatti, and feed it. Similarly, you could give your baby bread and jam as an excellent alternative to snacks.
Another way of making my baby finish off her boiled veggies is – she loves pizza , so I cut the chapatti in pizza shape and spread a bit of cheese on it and top it off with her boiled veggies. She may not eat the chapatti though but she does finish off her veggies thinking that she’s eating it off of a pizza.
The more creativity you put in your baby’s food, the more chances of them finishing it.
Tell us about your experience of how you improved your child’s appetite. Let us know what did and did not work for you.