Are you struggling with a picky eater at home? Thousands of parents face this problem as children experience a drop in growth rate once they hit the 1 year milestone, resulting in reduced appetite. In these times, something as simple as everyday lunch can turn into daunting task that drains away all your energy. Moreover, parents tend to start worrying about whether their dear children are getting all the nutrition they need to be healthy, active, and mentally sharp. But in most cases, it’s nothing serious. If you’re wondering how to increase appetite in toddlers naturally, here are some tips.
How to Increase Appetite in Toddlers Naturally
1. Increase Zinc Supply.
Research has shown that insufficient levels of zinc can lead to lesser hunger. Zinc helps in the generation of hydrochloric acid, which ultimately maintains a healthy appetite. Moreover, zinc is essential for healthy growth in children. Offer your toddler zinc-rich foods like fortified cereal, peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, chickpeas, kidney beans, yogurt, and oatmeal. But don’t overdo it, since zinc toxicity is a thing. You can read more about it here.
2. Limit Beverages.
Children love to drink sweet juices all day. But beverages can curb appetite since they keep the stomach full. Milk, being great for growth, is commonly consumed by children. But it’s very filling. If your child sips on juices throughout the day, chances are that he or she simply doesn’t have any more space for meals. As a rule of thumb, make sure that your toddler doesn’t drink anything half an hour prior to meals. And stick to offering your little one up to 3 glasses of milk a day. But don’t limit water intake – it’s important to stay hydrated.
3. Cook with Appetite Boosting Spices.
Ayurvedic spices can be extremely effective in boosting appetite as well as improving digestion and overall health.
- Cardamom tackles indigestion and flatulence while boosting appetite.
- Black pepper treats stomach problems, improves nutrient absorption, and can be easily sprinkled on food.
- Ginger is wonderful for the digestive system; it stimulates ‘agni’ or digestive fire.
- Oregano also boosts appetite and is extremely simple to use.
- Asafoetida takes care of excess gas while increasing hunger.
- Holy basil improves overall digestive health.
- Cinnamon is sweet in taste and increases appetite quite well.
- Chyawanprash is technically a combination of herbs, but can be an extremely effective solution. And it boosts immunity too. Make sure to consult your doctor regarding its suitability to your child.
- Ashwagandha is another powerful appetite as well as health boosting herb for children.
4. Offer these Fruits.
If you’re wondering how to increase appetite in toddlers with fruits, here are some great solutions:
- Carrot is popular for its hunger-boosting effects on little kids. Being sweet and bright orange, it’s appealing to children. You can offer your toddler some yummy carrot puree. A tiny cup an hour before meals should do the trick.
- Papaya, another sweet and bright coloured fruit is excellent to stimulate hunger in toddlers. It’s also quite nutritious. An hour before lunch and dinner, chop up a tiny papaya and offer it to your kid.
- Pomegranate juice can also boost your toddler’s appetite well. Offer it the pulp of half a pomegranate.
- Lemon is another hunger increasing fruit that can be an effective solution if summer heat is what has brought your toddler’s appetite down. Offer your kid lemon juice.
5. Make Food Fun!
It’s super-important to make eating a fun experience for your little one. You can try a bunch of things. Get him or her involved in cooking in any tiny (and non-messy!) way possible. Let your child accompany you to the grocery store and pick fruits and vegetables. Always offer rather than forcing. Don’t insist on finishing everything on the plate – let your child stop when he or she feels full. And have happy conversations at the dining table!