Seeing their child eat well brings joy to parents. When their little one refuses to eat or becomes picky with their food, parents can't help but worry that the child is not getting the right nutrition. They wonder if vitamins are needed to boost appetite.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a number of factors come into play for a child's decreased appetite. Toddler kids, especially, are becoming more attuned to what they like and don't like — it's normal for them to be stubborn about food and only eat what they want.
Most doctors will recommend that kids get the nutrients they need from food. Should they find a deficiency, then it's the only time that supplements may be approved.
When to consider giving appetite stimulant
Speaking for the multivitamin brand, Appebon Kid, Dr. Maria Lourdes G. Genuino, MD., FPPS, FPSPGHAN, says, "a decrease in appetite is normal for children 2 to 5 years of age."
"However, throughout childhood, a slower weight-gain than expected, no weight gain or even weight loss because of poor appetite should raise a pediatrician’s concern," the pediatric gastroenterologist adds.
A visit to the pediatrician when appetite loss is observed is crucial to trace its cause and address possible health problems as early as possible. (Read here to know common reasons for appetite loss among toddlers.)
"Causes could be as simple as a change in a child’s routine to as complex as an underlying illness," Dr. Genuino explains.
Dr. Genuino says there are two instances when parents can consider giving their kids multivitamins to boost their appetite. One is when "a child’s weight falters because of poor appetite," and the other is "when a child is recovering from an illness."
Along with a proper diet and healthy lifestyle, appetite stimulants can increase one's desire to eat.
Aside from appetite loss, Dr. Genuino also highlights the need to combat iron deficiency and vitamin B complex deficiency among kids.
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Dr. Genuino says iron deficiency "is one micronutrient that remains to be highly prevalent." She also pointed out "reports that vitamin B complex deficiency is common during infections in children that the deficiency is considered an 'invisible foe' that needs to be addressed."
It's always best to consult your pediatrician when changes in your child's eating habits are observed. This way, you can properly manage their growth so, they can be the best they can be.
Click here for tips on what parents can do if their children are picky eaters.