When you look at your skinny two-year old running around the house, you can't help but wonder how all that chubbiness disappeared so quickly. It’s quite normal at these times to worry about whether your precious bundle is underweight.
Before you jump to conclusions, it is necessary that you consult a pediatrician and ensure that your child is indeed underweight. More often than not the lack of chubbiness is simply a sign of increased activity.
As long as your child is gaining weight steadily and his/her energy level doesn't drop you needn't worry. However, if there is no weight gain or perhaps even weight loss, that too steadily over a period of time, then it’s time to examine the reasons why.
Some causes of underweight toddler tendencies could be:
In all these scenarios the solution is to increase the calorie intake of the child. This doesn't necessarily mean increase the portions; it simply means add foods with high calorie count in his diet.
If your child is a tad underweight and is picky and fussy about his food, then it might help to maintain a food journal to keep track of what he eats. Over the period of a week or two you will be able to determine what your child likes to eat, when he eats more, and what foods he fusses about. Proper Nutrition for underweight toddlers is very important as they may otherwise suffer from many growth and developmental problems.
This will then help you chalk out the appropriate diet schedule and menu for him. Now, it is natural for most kids to opt for candies or juices during the day rather than a bowl of porridge for lunch. But if he consumes too much of this, he won’t have an appetite left for solid foods.
It is also advisable to avoid letting your toddler drink milk or juices just around mealtimes. Your journal will also tell you the type of food your child likes. Does he like dry, crunchy food or wet sticky portions? You can accordingly model his meals. Keep mixing it up, add variety and keep experimenting with how you present the food.
Also check if your child's lack of appetite has anything to do with distracting influences. Sometimes, children get too involved with television or with observing the older sibling or even with a toy. In which case, you need to ensure none of these are available at mealtimes.
If your child is too impatient to eat three proper meals, break them down into five or six mini meals throughout the day. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to feeding your child. Each toddler has different motivations. But, as long as you observe closely, it should be easy to figure out the appropriate feeding strategy for your child.