Do you often find yourself running after your child to eat breakfast? Or perhaps they play hide and seek every evening to avoid dinners? Or maybe they deliberately take naps during lunch time to avoid food altogether? As a mother prepping, cooking and serving meals is all done, so your child enjoys every bite of it, but if your little one pushes her plate away it can be very frustrating. If you are wondering why your toddler isn’t eating or if something is wrong with her, then that is not the case. In fact, it is entirely reasonable for toddlers to have a slow appetite from the ages of 1 and 5 years. Though it is very unsettling for a mom to accept their child is never hungry, it is important to note that as long as your little one’s energy levels are not affected and they are growing healthy, it is alright.
The amount of food your toddler eats is accredited to the appetite center present in their brain. By birth, babies are programmed to eat as much as they require for energy and growth. Though many parents force their kids to gorge down extra food for the fear that they might develop a vitamin deficiency, however, the good news is that this is not the case, the bad news is that this forced eating can make mealtimes feel more like punishments and thereby make them avoid it at all together. Your child is most likely going to improve their eating habits by the time they join kindergarten, so be patient. As long as they are healthy, it is all good.
As a parent you need to trust your child, their brain will make them hungry as often as their daily calorie requirement is not fulfilled. You can try a few sneaky tricks such as placing healthy snacks whenever your toddler gets hungry between meals. Limit their snacking to twice a day only to make sure they are hungry by meal time. Some parents take their toddler’s spoon, smile and shove it in their mouth, this can backfire easily as the child might get moody and run away. These power struggles can create an adverse effect and make your little one feel bad about meal times and even themselves. Instead of reminding your kid to eat or to eat more, try eating in front of them. Kids have a tendency to mimic parents, so if the adults are happily enjoying their meal, the child is most likely going to start eating as well. Remember to monitor them, as preschoolers are at high risk of shoving too much food in their mouth in one go and then chocking on it. Furthermore, limit the intake of milk and juices as they can fill up your kid easily. The key to eliminating feed struggles will end once you teach your child how to feed themselves.
Here are 11 ways to boost your toddler’s appetite:
Breakfast is the most potent meal of the day so make sure your child eats a delicious, healthy one. It boosts appetite and kick-starts their metabolism. A balanced breakfast gets the body working which enhances energy levels. Make sure this meal is a compulsory meal for all members in your home as it sets the tone of the day.
Water Before Meals
Just like adults should have water first thing in the morning, so should children. It is wise to give kids water 30 minutes before meals as water activates enzymes and digestive juices which improve digestion and aid appetite.
If you find your child grazing chips and nibbling on crackers no wonder, they don’t get hungry since they do not get a chance to feel hungry. Make sure your child is chomping on healthy meals presented with a gap of two to three hours as this will make them hungry enough to enjoy full meals rather than just snacks.
Decrease Mealtime Gaps
Kids play around, climb, run and jump all day long so they need every ounce of energy they can get. If your kid is a fussy eater and is seldom hungry feed them small portions with a two-hour gap. That’s right if three big meals are not something they enjoy then try giving them small meals. This promotes appetite and reminds them to eat throughout the day.
Peanuts aren’t just called king of nuts for no reason. They are rich in protein building attributes and help stimulate appetite. Incorporate peanuts into your kid’s diet in the shape of peanut butter sandwiches or fried crispy peanuts.
Try Appetite Boosters
Along with trying these tricks, you can also give your child Herbion Vivabon Syrup. Made with a nature-based formula, it contains the power of barley malt, dates and honey. This efficacious syrup reduces the time of recovering from illness, it promotes teeth and bone health. Furthermore, our amino acid syrup is ideal for enhancing appetite and for supporting mental and physical growth among children.
Milk is a Complete Meal
Since toddlers have milk as fillers in between meals, their belly is already full before the next meal. Instead offer it in other forms such as cream, yogurt and cheese. Yogurt is vital for growing children as it is loaded with calcium and probiotics which build immunity and enhance appetite.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Just as adults get bored eating the same meals day in day out, children get bored as well and like it or not they get bored much faster. Which is why you need to prepare a variety of meals that your kid finds appetizing. As a parent, you need to sit with your child and list down all foods he finds delicious and vbthen incorporate those as often as possible. However, if your toddler doesn’t even like the very sight of food, then it is best to let them eat whatever they please to get their metabolism running and then offer them healthy alternatives.
Playing games and indulging in physical activities tire your kid and drain their energy. Low energy increases appetite. So the next time you find your child bored sitting in a corner ask them to join you in a game of football or any game of their choice.
Make Meal Times Happy Times
Some parents discuss boring topics at the dinner table such as finances, taxes and bills which the kids cannot talk about. Some parents even dare to conduct heated debates at the table during meals. Serious talks can kill your child’s appetite. Instead, make time for it later, mealtime should be fun and relaxing. Discuss topics such as games, what your kid did all day, which new activities they tried, talk about cartoons, the weather or discuss plans for spending the weekend. Happy and positive talk engages your child’s appetite and helps them wipe their plate squeaky clean.
Desert is a Must
Introduce your little one to fruit-based desserts as these promote digestion and improve the metabolism. Some healthy desserts to consider include apple pies, banana custards, fruit kebabs and strawberry yogurt.