9 Common Reasons For Loss Of Appetite In Children

Has your child turned into Miss Picky overnight? Is she now refusing to eat foods that used to be her favorites? Are you worried that her sudden loss of appetite may indicate a serious health condition?

The poor appetite of their kids is a common complaint among mothers. In most of the cases, kids make up for their poor diet by eating more at the next meal. For kids over 1 year old, appetites increase and decrease according to age, energy levels etc. This is a common problem among young children between the ages of 2 to 6 years. However, if weight loss accompanies your toddler loss of appetite, then you must consult a pediatrician to identify the cause & correct it. The article here tells you 9 common causes of loss of appetite in children. Want to know more? Read on!

Causes Of Loss Of Appetite In Children:

Here are 10 main reasons for toddler no appetite:

1. Slow Growth Rate:

Changes in growth can cause an appetite slump in children. During the first year, children grow rapidly. But after the first birthday the growth of the child slows down, and she may eat less food now. During this time, a decline in appetite is perfectly normal.


2. Sickness:

Illness can often cause a significant loss of appetite in children. If your child is suffering from sore throat, stomach flu, diarrhea, headache, fever or other symptoms, then she may eat lesser than what she normally eats. Thankfully, most of the children recover their appetite when they get better.

3. Stress:

Stress can have many negative effects on toddlers and young children, including loss of appetite. If you find your child is losing interest in eating or having a hard time sleeping, then she may be suffering from stress. To cure the poor appetite of your kid, you need to identify the cause of her stress and alleviate it. Some common causes of stress during childhood are:

  • Family issues like a death in the family, death of a pet or the birth of a sibling.
  • Bullying
  • Inability to cope with academic pressure and the impractical expectations of parents.

4. Depression:

Depression can be another reason for child loss of appetite. Most of the parents mistake depression for sadness. But sadness and depression are not the same. It is important for you to understand the difference between sadness and depression so that your child can get the help she needs. Feelings of sadness go away with the passage of time, but depression does not.

Depression not only makes the child sad, but also interferes with her normal life. If your child shows a lack of interest in activities that she previously enjoyed performing, then chances are that she may be suffering from depression. A change in eating habits is a strong indicator of depression. You may need to seek medical care to help your child come out of depression.

5. Anorexia Nervosa:

Sometimes, in a bid to ape their screen idols children develop a psychological aversion to eating. They try to go without eating as long as possible. Even when they eat, they choose a low-fat food and later feel guilty about eating it. If you can relate your child to this food fad, she may be suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. You must take her to an eating disorder specialist. The specialist will tell you how to help your child regain a healthy appetite (1).

6. Medications:

Several medications can take a toll on your child’s appetite. If the pediatrician prescribed antibiotics for your child recently, chances are she may be suffering from a poor appetite. A loss of appetite in a child is a common side effect of antibiotics (2).

7. Anemia:

Anemia is another possible cause of the decline in appetite among children. A low iron count is common in kids who don’t consume an iron-rich diet. Children suffering from anemia seem weaker, tired and irritable than others. If left untreated, anemia can interfere with your child’s development and school performance. Get a blood test done if you suspect anemia in your child.

8. Intestinal Worms:

Intestinal worms can cause loss of appetite in kids. Worms enter into the kid’s digestive system and live there like a parasite, causing intestinal bleeding, loss of appetite, dysentery, etc.

9. Constipation:

Irregular bowel movements in children can lead to constipation. A loss of appetite in toddlers is a classic symptom of constipation (3).

Tips To Prevent A Loss Of Appetite In Children:

Here are some handy tips to prevent a loss of appetite in children:

Offer food that is also a visual treat for your kids. You can present healthy foods in a delicious avatar.

  • Do not argue or scold the children during the mealtime.
  • Adjust the meal schedules so that you serve food only when your child is hungry.
  • Encourage your child to make healthy food choices.
  • Allow your child to snack between the meals.
  • Serve small portions at regular intervals.
  • Encourage your child to be more physically active.
  • Do not force your child to eat if she is not hungry. As a parent, demanding that she finishes the food on her plate is a bad idea.

Remember, it is common for children to lose their appetite, so don’t be alarmed every time it happens. If your child is healthy, happy and can sleep well, then there is no need to worry. But a prolonged loss of appetite needs medical attention. So keep an eye on your child’s eating habits.

Did your child suffer from a loss of appetite? What treatment did the doctor advice? Please share your experience and advice with us.

Leave a Comment