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5 common causes of loss of appetite in kids that every parent should know!

NITI Aayog Adviser Alok Kumar reveals that only 9 per cent children get proper nutrition. ©Shutterstock

No 4 is something that is increasingly common and we ignore it the most.

Many parents usually complain that their kids have a poor appetite. But sometimes it is an outcome of careless parenting mistakes that we all do in a pinch. Some kids fill their stomach with the junk food which they get at home or while frequenting a restaurant with parents. Others make up their diet by picking at a home cooked lunch and binging on a packaged snack in their next meal. Most parents ignore these mistakes which are in a way responsible for lack of appetite in kids. For kids over a year old, appetite increases and decreases according to age, energy levels and their body s requirements, etc. Here are five common parenting mistakes that kill your child s appetite.

Mostly, loss of appetite doesn t indicate anything serious unless you notice excessive weight loss, fatigue and general weakness. Here, we talk about certain conditions that lead to loss of appetite in kids.

  1. Constipation: This is one of the prime reasons for appetite loss. In fact, loss of appetite is also a sign of constipation. If your child is unable to pass motions and doesn't have a bowel movement two to three days at a stretch it is obvious that her digestive system is not working properly, which is why she is not unable to eat her meals. Once you are able to help your child clear the bowels she might regain her appetite slowly. Here are seven home remedies for constipation in kids.
  2. Intestinal worms: You may not even realise that your child has threadworms till the symptoms worsen. These worms are responsible for a host of digestive issues like dysentery, inflammation, intestinal bleeding and loss of appetite. Here are five tried and tested home remedies that will kill intestinal worms.
  3. Anaemia: If your child is not consuming enough iron-rich foods this could lead to childhood anaemia. Children suffering from anaemia are usually weak, fatigued and irritable. Lack of iron in their diet also makes them fussy and usually, they refuse to have food given to them.
  4. Depression: We don t talk much about childhood depression but it does exist. It makes the child unsocial, sad and lose interest in a number of activities. Lack of appetite is just a part of it. Depressed kids find it hard to eat and express that food actually does nothing to lift their moods. These are the kind of kids who will not eat even if you try to bribe them with chocolates and savouries.
  5. Medications: Sometimes kids are on various kinds of medications if they are weak and fall sick easily. Antibiotics usually rob kids of their appetite. However, if the course of the medication is over and you still think that your child s appetite is not returning to normal it is better to visit the paediatrician.

Inputs by Dr Suresh Gowda, consultant neonatologist and paediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru.

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