12 February 2009

Appetite Slump

The Tatapilla has a poor appetite for several days now. He has a mild common cold, could be the cause. Although, I told myself that I should not worry – this is the first time that happened to him. He had been sick before but he never lost his appetite on food. He is the type that eats whatever is served to him. Even his carer noticed that and told me about it. He is not picky when it comes to something to stuff his face.

He is usual self – happy, active, and cheeky and a chirpy little imp. There’s really nothing to worry about but I’m sure most of the Mums would agree with me that although we don’t worry, matter such as this is always in our mind.

I did a bit of reading about toddlers’ slump of appetite. I just want to share this:

Appetite Slump in Toddlers
What is an appetite slump?Between 1 and 5 years old, it is normal for a toddler's appetite to slow down. It will probably seem like your child doesn't eat enough, is never hungry, or won't eat unless you spoon-feed her yourself. As long as your child's energy level is normal and she is growing normally, your child's appetite is most likely naturally slowing down.

What is the cause?Between 1 and 5 years of age many children normally gain only 4 or 5 pounds each year even though they probably gained 15 pounds during their first year. Children in this age range can normally go 3 or 4 months without any weight gain. Because they are not growing as fast, they need less calories and they seem to have a poorer appetite (this is called physiological anorexia). How much a child chooses to eat is controlled by the appetite center in the brain. Kids eat as much as they need for growth and energy.

Many parents try to force their child to eat more than she needs to because they fear that her poor appetite might cause poor health or a nutritional deficiency. This is not true, however, and forced feedings actually decrease a child's appetite.

How long will the appetite slump last?Once you allow your child to be in charge of how much she eats, the unpleasantness at mealtime and your concerns about her health should disappear in a matter of 2 to 4 weeks. Your child's appetite will improve when she becomes older and needs to eat more.

When should you call your child's health care provider?your child is losing weight
your child has not gained any weight in 6 months
your child also has symptoms of illness (for example, diarrhea or fever)
your child gags on or vomits some foods
someone is punishing your child for not eating
following these guidelines has not improved mealtimes in your house within 1 month
you have other questions or concerns

If you have the same concern and want to know how to help your child, check here.