Ensuring that our little ones receive suitable nourishment is key to their growth and development. However, if your child struggles with a poor appetite, meal times can become stressful. Fear not, there are numerous strategies to boost appetite and awaken their interest in food to help them gain healthy weight.

1. Regular Meal and Snack Times

Establishing a routine can aid digestion and instigate hunger. Aim for three balanced meals and 1-2 healthy snacks at regular intervals throughout the day. 

2. Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Large meals can be overwhelming for little appetites. Instead, serve smaller portions spread throughout the day, focusing on nutrient-dense foods.

3. Involve them in Cooking

From grocery shopping to prepping, to cooking, involve your child in the process. This can spark their curiosity and interest in food.

4. Make Meals Appealing

Kids eat with their eyes too! Design meals creatively, use colorful vegetables, and interesting shapes, or serve food in fun dinnerware to make it appealing.

5. Healthy Fats

Incorporate sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds that can help increase the calorie content of meals without adding a large volume of food.

6. Regular Exercise

Physical activity can boost a child’s appetite. Engage them in outdoor games, walks, or any form of exercise they enjoy.

7. Stay Hydrated, Wisely

While hydration is crucial, drinking liquids before meals can suppress appetite. Aim to serve drinks or soups halfway through or after meals.

8. Limit Distractions

Make meal times a focused event, free from distractions like technology or toys. 

9. Positive Environment

Keep the atmosphere positive and relaxed during meals. Avoid forcing or rushing your child to eat.

10. Talk to a Professional

If your child consistently struggles with appetite, consult a pediatrician or dietitian for personalized advice.

Remember, every child is unique. What works for one may not work for another. Explore different strategies and remain patient. After all, fostering a healthy relationship with food is a lifelong gift you can give your child. Here’s to nourishing meals and joyful appetites!

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Anthony Emecheta

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