Most toddlers are picky eaters and making them eat is tricky. No matter what, we parents have to ensure that they get all the nutrients. But the question is HOW??
Here are some tips and tricks to increase your child’s appetite and make them enjoy food and eat better.
DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST
Breakfast is must and ensure that it is a compulsory meal at your home. Eating a healthy breakfast boosts their metabolism, breaks the fast after the night and helps to increase your child’s appetite.
BE A ROLE PARENT
Children always look up to their parents and love to copy what they do. Be a role model for your kids and set an example by eating a variety of foods. Enjoy your food and try out new foods. This will, in turn, encourage them to do the same.
AVOID FEEDING BATTLES
Would you like someone forcing you to eat something? Then why force our kids. Accept that your child is eating what his/ her body needs. Try offering them small portions of food and wait for them to finish. Even if they cannot finish, it’s fine. Children will eat until the time they want. They will stop when they are full. Never force them. Be happy with how much ever they eat, but always try offering them a variety of foods.
FEED EVERY TWO HOURS
If your child is a fussy eater, try feeding him/ her small portions of food every two hours. Smaller meals will help stimulate their appetite.
MAKE MEAL TIME FUN
Offer them a variety of foods and make food attractive to encourage them to try them. For example, make different shapes out of food like cutting the roti into lovely shapes or by decorating idli with vegetables. Give them time to enjoy the meal.
OFFER WATER AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE MEAL TIME
Offer your child water 30 minutes before the meals as water activates the digestive juices and enzymes that helps to increase the appetite and also boosts digestion.
INCREASE THE INTAKE OF ZINC
Zinc is a very important meal that is required for the growth and development and for boosting immunity. Deficiency of zinc can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss etc. Try to include pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, spinach, beans in your child’s diet as they good sources of zinc.
CHECK IRON LEVELS
Keep an eye on their iron levels as low iron levels can lead to loss of appetite in children.Kids less than the age of 9 years need about 7 to 10 milligrams of iron in a day. Try to incorporate iron rich foods like spinach, eggs and lentils in their daily diet.
ENCOURAGE SELF FEEDING
Give them their own utensils to encourage self-feeding or give them finger foods to eat. Toddlers usually like to eat on their own.
LIMIT LIQUIDS LIKE MILK
When children have milk or other liquids as fillers or snacks, it kills their appetite for the next meal. Do not consider milk as a meal.
Do share with us ideas/tips that helped increase your child’s appetite in the comments section.