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How can appetite be increased in a toddler despite normal weight gain?

Answered by
Dr. Diptanshu Das


Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3750 Questions

Posted on Wed, 24 Apr 2019 in Child Health
Question: my 2 year old daughter is just not eating any food. she weighs 12.7 kgs and is active otherwise. but she refuses to eat any food . even biscuits or chips or sometimes even refuses chocolate.
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:

The weight gain is proper.

Detailed Answer:


Let me assure you that the weight of the child is appropriate for the age and so the weight gain is proper.

This indicates that perhaps your expectations from her (regarding food intake) are not realistic.

Children can often be fussy eaters but that does not mean that you should try to force-feed. Rather, it would only make matters worse. My suggestions for you would be:

* Please be informed that there are NO syrups, medicines or tonics that can help in changing the situation. I would insist you not to go for any one of them.

* Do not force feed the baby. This will increase the child's apathy towards food. Rather wait for the child to get hungry. At times you may have to wait several hours. Be patient. The urge should be her and not yours.

* Visit a dietician and discuss the scenario so that she can design a calorie-dense diet chart in accordance to the preferences of the child.

* The build of a child depends upon the build of the parents. If you and your spouse were thin in your childhood you cannot expect your child to be otherwise.

* Try to avoid any minor feeds between meals. They take the appetite away.

* Treat the child as a member of family and make him dine together with others. Even if the child is not eating, make her sit with others while they take their meal.

* Keep the meal amounts small and keep other food items readily available for the child to pick up. For example, keep fruits ready to be picked up from the table.

* Take the child along with you while you go to fetch groceries. Pick fruits and vegetables as per his choice (ask for her choice). Make food preparations using those food items. The child is more likely to eat those without a fuss.

* Award the child a star for every day be feeds well. After she collects a certain number of stars, promise him some non-food reward like extra sleep time or something that you would possibly have given him anyway (a pencil, eraser etc. of his choice).

* Please avoid chocolates and sweets.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Diptanshu Das, Pediatrician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana

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