Loss of Appetite in Babies – Symptoms, Causes And Tips To Improve.

Childhood is a very familiar problem. Everyone from parents and family is worried about the taste of the child. There may be several reasons for decreasing the risk of infants.

Causes For Reducing The Appetite Of Infants.

Let’s Take A Look At The Major Causes For Reducing The Appetite Of Infants:

  • Not being sensitized to feed the child:

Parents’ role in feeding a child is very important. Sufficient care should be taken while feeding. These factors should be taken into consideration when feeding the baby and when the baby’s stomach is full. The time to eat should be attractive to the child.

  • Insist on food:

Many times it is seen that the child is not hungry, yet he is forced to feed on forced labor. It is in contrast to the opposite. It is one of the main reasons for decreasing the child’s taste. Studies have shown that due to stress, children are afraid and reluctant to eat food. So the child should not be forced to feed. Instead, it is necessary to establish proper communication with the child. According to the needs of his body, he will have to give food and he will have to get accustomed to the rules.

  • Reduced child time:

Nowadays due to various busyness, it is not possible for parents to provide adequate time for their children. This issue has adverse effects on the child’s development. Especially, the mental development of the child is interrupted without getting the appropriate time from the mother. Studies have shown that if the mother does not give proper time and does not care, the child’s taste decreases. Children who care for babies with adequate time are happy with their children.

  • Illness:

Physical illness is a common reason for decreasing the taste. Usually, the amount of fever, throat pain, respiratory infection, or diarrhea reduces the amount of baby food. When the disease gets better, most of the baby’s chest becomes OK. If the child is physically ill, then it can not be stressed to feed. In this case, the child will have to be fed several times. As well as for quick recovery, doctors should take treatment like advice.

  • Vomiting infection:

Germ infection is a very bad thing for children. The worms enter the digestion of the child and live as parasites. This leads to an increased risk of children getting infected with various diseases. The taste also decreases. If there is a worm infection, the child will be given Kidney medicines according to the doctor’s advice.

  • Anemia:

Anemia is one of the main reasons for decreasing the taste. Children suffering from anemia are weaker and tired than other children. They are often annoyed and often cry. The medical and mental development of these children is hampered due to the timely treatment of anemia.

  • Stress:

If there is a stress on the child for any reason, his taste decreases. If the child reduces the taste, sleep is low and the child feels annoyed all the time, but understand why the child suffers from stress. At this time the child will have to give adequate time. To ease his emotional pressure, make arrangements to keep laughing. Normally the children suffer from depression when they are afraid, or when they get less time from their parents.

  • Teething:

Temporary loss of appetite is common for teething babies, and usually gets resolved in two weeks. Your baby may eat less due to the pain caused by the teeth tearing through the gums. The discomfort increases when they eat food or feed from a bottle.
Teething even causes inflamed gums, leading to ultra-sensitive teeth. Even the slightest touch can cause pain. If the baby refuses to eat because of the pain, it may affect her health. Make sure she drinks lots of fluids and try tempting her with some treats. A few chilled fruits and ice lollies may be suitable while teething. If your baby is old enough for solid foods, you can feed her yogurt and applesauce as they are easier to eat. If the baby does not gain a normal appetite after two weeks, then you should consult a doctor.

  • A sore Throat:

A sore throat caused by a strep throat or a viral infection can also be one of the reasons for loss of appetite in your baby. It can cause difficulty while swallowing. If a sore throat accompanies fever and swollen glands, you should immediately seek a healthcare provider’s help to get rid of the infection and increase your baby’s appetite.

  • Overheating:

Overheat can cause sweat and crankiness, makes him difficult to eat thus affecting your little one’s appetite. Though it is a common issue in hot weather, you can take the following measures to combat the problem:

  • Cooling down:

Your baby may not feel like eating when it is too hot and uncomfortable. So, you may take these steps to cool her down:
*Dress your baby in a light cotton clothing and a cloth nappy that will not stick to her body.
*Keep her in a breezy, shady and cool area.
*Give her a bath with lukewarm water.
*Cool your baby instantly using a tidy wet cloth.

  • Changing menu:

Your baby may feel regular meals heavy and uncomfortable because of the heat. Offer wholesome foods which may be lighter on her tummy.
During the hot weather, your baby will not use energy so as to maintain her body temperature. Therefore, she may not eat properly so as to replenish her body. Keep her active by allowing her to play indoor games and activities. It may work on the appetite.
If these tips don’t work and you feel your baby is still overheating, you should take immediate steps. Make sure you keep her hydrated properly and keep her cool always. If symptoms does not seem to improve, take her to a doctor for help.

  • Type of Food:

Some foods take a longer time to digest and therefore your baby’s tummy may be full, and she will refuse to eat even after a significant break. Whole grains are one such food which makes your baby’s tummy full because of their rich fiber content. They could cause loss of appetite in babies.

  • Introducing Solid Foods:

Till now your baby is only on milk and if you suddenly introduce solid foods, her body would take time to adjust. The process of digestion would take a longer time, and she may eat lesser.
To reduce the above changes, you may introduce new foods in little quantities until you find your child receptive.

  • Worm Infestation:

Another common cause for low appetite is worm infestation. Your little one may be at greater risk of intestinal parasites and worms. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea and appetite loss. It is very important to seek an immediate medical help if your child is affected by worms.

  • Poor Health:

If your baby is suffering from ill health, she will be reluctant to take food and can cause low appetite. If she has a fever, cold, cough or stomach upset, she loses appetite. She can gain that back after recovering from the illness.
Bacterial and viral infections can also make your baby reluctant to food. Conditions such as ear infections, bronchitis, and flu can cause rapid heartbeat and pain, making it difficult for your little one to eat. Seek an immediate medical assistance in this case. Also, make sure, she is given vaccinations against all the common infections.

  • Excess Fluid Intake:

Excess intake of fluids such as juices and water can be another reason for low appetite in babies. Once the tiny stomach is filled with formula or mother’s milk, they will not require any additional water. Giving excess water will also hinder her from absorbing nutrients in breast milk or formula milk. It makes him feel full, therefore, makes her resistant to foods and lowers the appetite.

  • Food Intolerance:

Intolerance to some foods such as eggs, milk, soy, and peanuts can cause symptoms like itching, bloating, diarrhea and mainly low appetite. You should identify the foods your baby is allergic to and thus, avoid them.

  • Vaccination:

Some vaccinations would cause the temperature to shoot in babies. Temperature along with the pain of the prick can make your baby less hungry.

  • Constipation:

If your baby suffers from constipation where bowel movements become difficult, she may not be hungry. You should ensure that she has proper bowel movements.

  • Anemia:

If your baby has low iron content or is anemic, she may suffer from loss of appetite. Generally, babies with anemia will be weak and exhausted most of the times. It is good to take her to a pediatrician as it can affect her development. Also, offer foods which are rich in iron content.

  • Too Much Strain:

It can also be one of the causes of appetite loss in babies. They would play for a long time making them too tired to eat. Regulate your baby’s playtime to avoid tiredness.

When To Call The Doctor?

In spite of taking immediate attention and care, if you don’t observe any improvement in the appetite of your baby, you may have to check with a doctor.
Examine the food habits of your baby carefully for a few days. Do not be worried if she does not eat for two days. But if it continues for one week or more then take her to a doctor.

  • If appetite loss accompanies a rash, fever or change in stool color, check immediately with a physician.
  • If you note that your baby’s appetite is low, and her weight is reducing, check with a pediatrician immediately.

What Can You Do To Treat Poor Appetite In Babies?

When your child is consuming lesser than usual, notice her habits carefully. In most of the cases, she will restart eating on her own.
Offer age-appropriate foods to your baby.

Give her healthy diet and also, schedule a proper gap as it helps greatly in keeping appetite on track.

How You’ll Increase Your Baby’s Appetite?

These are some ways you can encourage your baby to eat and maintain appetite.

Increase Zinc Levels:

Zinc helps to produce hydrochloric acid which aids proper digestion. Low amounts of zinc in your baby’s body system can cause low appetite. You can increase zinc content by giving chicken, pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts to your little one to improve her appetite.

If kids are too warm, they eat less

Yes, it’s true! If it’s too hot or suffocating in the house, appetite goes down. Place your child’s high chair or dining table near an open window for some fresh air to enter. You will notice the change.

Offer fresh lime juice

When your child fusses over food and says that he/she is not hungry, offer sweetened fresh lime juice, instead of water. Lime improves digestion and appetite.

Avoid stressful topics at meal times

Sometimes, parents discuss finances or plan the child’s school schedule during meal times as spending time together is a rarity. Having said that, avoid stressful or serious discussions during meal times. It kills a child’s appetite. Just Try talking about happy things and see him/her wipe the plates clean.

Try homemade remedies

Try remedies like ginger juice with honey and peppermint chutneys to improve appetite. These can be made easily at home. They are great for the immune system as well.

Keep a food journal

Where you note things they ate on good-food days. Ideas that worked on those days can be used for future reference. Doesn’t hurt if a retrial works its wonder again, does it?

Don’t skip dessert

Fruit-based desserts can help in building an appetite. They work towards digestion and boost metabolism. Psychologically, fruit-based desserts attract children to finish their meals faster. Best appetite-boosting fruits are berries, grapes, and apples.

Adequate Gap Between Meals:

Babies can take three to four hours to digest their meals. If you do not maintain the gap and give her food in quick succession, she may not eat properly.

Foods That Increase Appetite In Babies:

Foods that can improve your baby’s appetite are as follows. But it is advisable for you to consult a pediatrician before you offer them any of these:

★ Ajwain:
Ajwain water can be given for six to eight months babies. Soak a few seeds in water and leave for a few hours. For those who have started eating solid foods, you can mix ajwain seeds in their food.

★ Asafetida:
Also known as ashing, it is an anti-flatulent. Add a pinch to your baby’s food or buttermilk, or any vegetable curry. It helps to improve your baby’s appetite.

★Basil:
You can start giving basil to your baby when she is eight months old. It increases the digestion ability and improves appetite.

★Cinnamon:
It contains hydroxychalcone, which can boost appetite. You can give this to your baby when she is around seven to eight months. Add cinnamon powder to any mash, porridge or smoothies, dessert, bread, and cakes.

★Ginger:
Ginger is another effective appetite booster. Crush some and add the juice with some salt and pepper to buttermilk and give it to your baby.

★Mint:
Mint initially suppresses appetite but after some time causes severe hunger. You can add little of it to your baby’s milk or any meal.

★Peanuts:
Peanuts contain high zinc amounts, which aid in proper digestion and improve appetite. But some babies can be allergic to peanuts. So you should use them cautiously. You can give a few roasted peanuts, apply peanut butter spread on her bread or add to milkshakes.

Compulsory breakfast

Eating a good, healthy breakfast is bound to increase your child’s appetite. A balanced breakfast boosts metabolism after the night ‘fast’ and gets the body working for the day. Ensure that breakfast is a compulsory meal in your household. It’s a tried and tested formula, give it a shot!

Offer water 30 minutes before mealtime

Children should have water first thing in the morning, even before milk. Also, they should have water half an hour before meals. These basics help a lot!

Feed every two hours

Children who fuss over food because they’re not too hungry should be offered food every couple of hours. The standard three meals may not be boosting their digestive system enough to make them feel hungry. Regular meals once in two hours will also help. Try it!

Snacks are meals

Snacks should be as good as meals if you want a better appetite. Instead of a cookie, offer a sandwich; instead of chips, offer muesli or cereal. Think of healthy replacements for snacks and notice the change in your child’s appetite.

Peanut is not just any nut

Peanut is sometimes called the king of nuts for its appetite-boosting and protein-building properties. Incorporate it into your child’s food in the form of peanut butter or just fry it to be eaten as crisps. The next time your child fusses for chips, offer him/her fried peanuts. You’ll be doing his appetite a favor.

Don’t make milk a meal

Many children, who have low appetites, suffer from what can be called the ‘too much milk’ problem. When children have milk as fillers, appetizers, or snacks, it kills their appetite for the next meal. Introduce dairy in other forms like cottage cheese, yogurt, or cream.

Offer favorite foods

For some children with low appetite, the very sight of food might be a problem. If such is your child’s case, try offering his/her favorite foods initially to get the metabolism running. Healthy food can follow once your little one starts accepting the very idea of eating.

Offer small bites

Small bites of food build metabolism, which in turn, improves appetite. Offer smaller bites of food to your children if you think they have reduced appetite. Slowly, their want for food will increase. You should continue offering small bites till they start eating on their own and decide on their bite-size themselves.

Yogurt is a must

One cannot stress enough about how important yogurt is for a child. It’s a dairy product with healthy probiotics and calcium which are amazing for the appetite and immunity of the child.

Avoid pungent or strong food

Most children don’t enjoy extreme odors or overpowering tastes.
If low appetite is an issue with your child, check if your kitchen has food odors and/or if your food has a strong taste of Indian masalas, garlic, and so on. Eliminate these flavors. Chances are that your child will start eating properly.

Use appetizing spices

Oregano, cinnamon, coriander, and fennel (leaves and seeds) are all spices and herbs that aid in building an appetite. Add a dash of these here and there in your child’s food. However, ensure that these are not too visibly garnished on their plates.

Don’t make oily food

Traditional Indian homes have the tendency of offering ‘ghee-based’ food to children. Unlike popular belief, such foods kill their appetite. Go easy on fatty products and dairy since these might be the reason why your child has a low appetite.

Play/exercise more

It’s common knowledge that playing sports or exercising improves appetite. Don’t you think we forget this common idea when it comes to our children? If your child has a declining appetite, increase play time. You will see the hunger coming back!

Did your baby suffer from an appetite slump any time? What did you do to improve the appetite? Share your experience with other moms here.

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