5 Ways to increase your child’s appetite

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Do you suspect your child is underweight? Boost your little one's love for food in order for them to have a healthier and happier childhood with these tips!

Is your child a picky eater? It can be worrisome to have a child who doesn't seem to be getting all the nourishment he needs. But there are simple ways you can boost their appetite.

Here are five tried-and-tested tips.

1. Find out the cause of poor appetite

There are a variety of reasons as to why a child doesn't seem to be in the mood to eat. It could be that there is an underlying illness---like sore throat, fever, diarrhea, constipation, and intestinal worms---or that they're simply not motivated to do so. Talk to your child or consult a pediatrician or nutritionist to prevent your child from growing up malnourished or underweight.

2. Rethink food choices in favor of enjoyable ones

You know your child better than anyone. Are they hesitant when it comes to new textures and tastes? Don't pressure them to be open to new food if they're not. List down all the nutritious food they have found delicious in the past and use this knowledge to plan your meals around. Give it time and be consistent. Soon enough, they'll be more comfortable with accepting new foods into their daily diet.

Make it fun! Create food art to promote enjoyment while eating.

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photo: dreamstime

3. Don't take exercise for granted

Making sure your child gets active helps boost hunger and appetite. It also promotes health, as exercising prevents them from growing up used to a sedentary lifestyle. According to the CDC, kids need at least an hour of exercise daily. It could be running, riding bikes, or swimming. Plus, getting your child into sports helps improve their mood, which can help boost appetite, and build strong socioemotional skills that would benefit them greatly throughout life.

4. Go for foods that are rich in calories

A smart way to make sure picky eaters still get the nutrients they need is feeding them calorie-rich foods. Examles of these are granola bars, yogurt, almond milk, and avocadoes.

5. Stick to a routine

Serve snacks and meals around the same time each day. Don't be a "short order cook" that responds to every little craving. Make sure there is a mealtime schedule to be followed to train them to be ready to eat at a designated time. Avoid offering too much juice and water in between meals because it might make them feel to full when mealtime comes around.

sources: LiveStrong, Mayo Clinic

READ: Is your kid a picky eater? Boost her appetite with these 10 foods!

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