My baby is 2 yrs. old and suffers from loss of appetite. Kindly help.

An occasional loss of appetite is a normal thing for growing up child and is generally not a cause of much concern. Variation in appetite is quite normal for children of this age. There can be a various reasons for the child to lose her appetite. One of the reasons may simply be the reduced need of the body. However, loss of appetite may also indicate that she's suffering from some ailments (like mouth sores) or she doesn't like the taste of what is being fed. Also, at an age like this, when the child learns to be mobile, she tends to be more interested in other activities and therefore is not as interested in food as before. Occasionally, a child may also refuse food to draw attention. It may be a bit difficult to distinguish actual loss of appetite from a simple reduction in food needs. As long as the child does not show any problem with her growth, she should be fine. However, if the loss of appetite lasts for more than a couple of days or you suspect poor growth rate or weight loss in the child, you should consult a pediatrician. If there is any underlying illness that causes loss of appetite in the child you may see one or more of the following accompanying symptoms: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, or a general crankiness.

Try and offer the child different kinds of foods and see how she responds. This way, you'll get to know if she has not been eating because she didn't like the taste. Try and find out when the child tends to become most hungry. The child becomes hungry according to her own body clock, so it's necessary that she is fed accordingly, and not according to the family routine. Also, make a conducive environment for her to eat properly. Children of this age are often distracted easily, therefore it is important that a person supervises her eating and stays with her until she finishes her meal. You can also administer multiple small meals in a day if she refuses to eat much at one go. One of things to keep in mind is to never force food on the child, just because you suspect that the child is not eating enough. It is normal for a child to refuse food when not hungry. She will eventually eat when she feels hungry. Forcing food on her, in fact, may be harmful for her. Also, do not lure the child into eating by promising to give her something in return. It leads to bad habit, and the child learns to manipulate by refusing food.

answered by G R

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