The appetite of a baby differs as she grows, according to the needs of her body. The growth requirements of the baby alter with the growing age, which results in the varying appetite patterns. The appetite can decrease due to a myriad of reasons. The baby grows at an impressive rate during the first year and the growth rate reduces in the later years, causing her dietary needs to alter from time to time.
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If the baby has low mobility and he does not walk or play, he will not feel hungry. The baby should be encouraged to play with blocks or participate in fun activities like hokey-pokey, ups and downs, climbing on the cushions and pillows or doing simple one-piece puzzles to enhance his physical and mental development. Higher activity will result in burning more calories and can lead to an increase in appetite.
While feeding the baby, make sure that the food is delicious. The nutritious value of the food needs to be a priority but a relishing taste can be complemented to trigger the taste buds of the baby. For example if honey is added to food, it will make it tastier and healthier and the child will fancy it. The likes and dislikes of the child regarding the food should be considered or he may become repulsed by the idea of eating.
The baby should be given healthy and nutritious food instead of junk food. The junk food will fill his stomach, diminish his appetite and will not help in the development of the body. It can lead to bad health and inactive lifestyle as these are known as "empty calorie foods." Fruits and dissolved healthy meals should be preferred for proper nourishment of the baby. Water and fruits should be preferred over giving juices to help develop the teeth of the baby.
Babies need a pleasant atmosphere. They tend to get irritable and anxious if the surroundings are hostile and that may result in a loss of appetite. During the meal time, distractions should be kept at a minimum. Parents should take their meals with the kids to regularise the meal times and foster bonding between them, which can help in automatically linking the kid’s meal timings with the family’s meal time.
Decreasing the Amount of Milk
One reason that many babies reject solid food as they grow may be the excessive intake of milk. As the baby grows, it is important to adjust her intake of milk accordingly. Cutting down on the quantity of milk can increase the need for the solid food intake. The baby should be allowed to play with utensils during meal times to make eating a pleasant activity for her.
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- "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children;" Aviva Romm and William Sears; 2003
- "Healthy Babies, Happy Kids;" Stanley Cohen; 1982
- "Essentials of Life Cycle Nutrition;" Judith Sharlin and Sari Edelstein; 2010