Children with poor appetite are often referred for pediatric nutrition consultation. Indeed, this brings a lot of concerns for parents, especially if the development and growth of the child are affected.
There are many reasons for a poor appetite, but in general, keep in mind that a child's appetite varies greatly from meal to meal and day to day. 'other. So don't worry if your child refuses to eat a meal or only takes a few bites of it.
However, if your child eats only two bites at each meal, there may be cause for concern. As parents, here are some tips for dealing with small eaters and optimizing their growth.
Always offer your child three food groups on the plate: cereal products (rice, pasta, bread, cereals, etc.), meat or its substitutes (legumes, fish, chicken, veal, tofu, etc.) and vegetables (preferably brightly colored).
The portion for each group should be approximately 1 tbsp. tablespoons per year of age. For example, serving a 3-year-old child: 3 tbsp. rice, 3 tbsp. chicken, 3 tbsp. tablespoons of vegetables). As an accompaniment, offer milk or another dairy product as well as a fruit for dessert or snack. Afterwards, it is up to the child to decide how much he needs according to his hunger. We must at all costs avoid forcing the child to eat, but rather encourage him by using the phrase: “you can”. For example: “You can taste rice if your belly is hungry”. This gives him a choice rather than feeling pressure from you.
Regularize meal intake
The timing of meals is very important for a small eater. If he has access to the pantry at all hours of the day, it is clear that his appetite will not be there at me altimes. Snacks have their place in a day, but be sure to leave a minimum of 2h-2h30 between each meal and snack. This will allow ample time for the child to digest and better feel their feelings of hunger and satiety in preparation for the next meal.
Water can be offered between meals, but keep milk and juice with meals as these contain calories and may affect appetite.
If you or your doctor are concerned about their weight, it may be appropriate to enrich your child's diet. What he eats in small quantities must be "paid".
So that means we have to optimize the calories in the little food he ingests. Adding good fatsis therefore often used. For example, add olive oil-based vinaigrettes to vegetables or rice, spread margarine on toast in addition to peanut butter, add cream to fruit, etc. Prefer high-fat yogurts such as Liberté-méditerranée or Astro-original. Offer her avocado guacamole with raw vegetables or crackers.
Other tips exist and it is always best to consult a nutritionist so that she can adjust her recommendations according to your child's needs.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/3 cup sour cream, light
- 1 c. lemon juice
- 2 pressed garlic cloves
- Remove the flesh from the avocados with a fork.
- Blend in a bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients until smooth.
Bet on fun
Despite the concerns you may have, the child with a small appetite must still take his meals in a pleasant atmosphere. So bet on the pleasure at the table, despite your child's refusal to eat. Talk as a family about the good times of the day, tell funny stories, imitate your child, etc. The goal is for the meal to remain a positive moment.