Child Anorexia: Reasons and Treatment

child anorexia loss appetite

Many mothers suffer from the problem of anorexia: loss of appetite in their child.
This problem is very common in children, especially between 2 and 6 years old. 

The mother may unknowingly contribute to finding and maintaining this problem, showing her constant concern and complaint that the quantity and quality of her child’s food is not enough, and everyone in the house can become busy with the problem. the child’s food and appetite, and everyone tries to persuade him to eat more than he does, and they try to do it out of temptation once, with intensity and threat in other attempts. Sometimes give the child the different types of medicines that are supposed to increase his appetite, and in most cases this effort does not work, but perhaps does the opposite, so that the child’s appetite decreases. more. 

Some children may increase their intransigence and stubbornness by not eating, in order to preserve parental attention and care. 


Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by severe restraint in food intake and/or excess physical activity. It is often linked to negative feelings toward body image. Over time, anorexia can cause severe symptoms, such as stunted growth, bone loss, damage to major organs such as the heart, and even death.

Reference:  Anorexia in Children

Reasons for Child Anorexia: 

1️⃣ The cause of anorexia can be both natural and physiological, because the calories a child needs are between 2 and 6 years old, much less than the first year of life. One can find out whether loss of appetite in children of this age has a negative impact on their health status by monitoring the child’s growth (weight, height and mental development) and comparing it to the normal rate of the child. child according to his age and sex; 

2️⃣ The injuries of the anemic child, in particular iron deficiency anemia, reduce his appetite to eat and thus worsen the anemia; 

3️⃣ Eating away from home, such as cakes, crisps and cookies, reduces the child’s appetite for high calories with very low nutritional value; 

4️⃣ Anorexia can be acute and temporary, and most often it occurs with various viral or bacterial infections, such as a sore throat or tonsillitis, a cold or a stomach flu …, as well as infections, ulcers of mouth and tongue, and during the teething period. In this case, the child’s appetite returns to normal with the disappearance of the cause, but in the case of infections, the child’s appetite may continue to be less than normal after recovery in the recovery period after illness, and this period may be longer or shortened depending on each child; 

5️⃣ the child does not feel happy, or has linked the food to an unfortunate accident, or the way the mother treats her child and how to provide him with food; 

6️⃣ the child’s hatred for the food products supplied to him and the mother’s insistence that the child eats more than he can; 

Treatment of Loss Appetite: 

1️⃣ As a first step, the development of the child should be followed with the pediatrician, in order to determine whether or not his anorexia affects his development or not, and an appropriate intervention if necessary; 

2️⃣ In the event that the growth of the child is normal in terms of height, weight and mental development, this topic should be neglected, leave the conversation with the child and observe the child from a distance, so that the eating does not become the permanent conversation of the family; 

3️⃣      Treating anemia in children, especially iron deficiency anemia, greatly increases the child’s appetite, improves immunity and increases concentration; 

4️⃣ Pay more attention to the quality of the child’s food and completely move away from street consumption which is the biggest destroyer of your child’s appetite, as well as allow the child to choose the foods he likes among the different food groups according to the food pyramid; 

5️⃣ Do not force the child to eat foods he does not like, or force him to eat more food, and completely refrain from using distress and violence in this regard; 

6️⃣ It is preferable that the child is allowed, as much as possible, to help prepare food. This, in turn, would increase his desire to eat it, as some of this food was prepared by him. 

7️⃣ Be careful to provide different types of food to the child from an early age, because this increases his appetite as he ages, and avoids eating too much sugar or salt; 

8️⃣ Divide the child’s meals several times. Each time a small amount of food of different types; 

9️⃣ Serve food in an attractive way in terms of colors, shapes, dishes used and method of preparation, which has more positive effect on food demand; 

🔟 It is preferable that the child does not eat his food alone, but rather with others. It is also possible to encourage the child to eat food by promoting and praising his brothers or friends, for eating that food, but without criticizing and reducing it. 

Tips for Managing Your child’s Anorexia 

  It is forbidden to compare the appetite of a child with another child, even if it is his twin brother, because each body has its own needs. 

Ultimately, monitoring the development of the child is the cornerstone in identifying a natural loss of appetite that does not require medical intervention, from a pathological anorexia requiring intervention. 

  The complaint of anorexia should also not be exaggerated as long as the child grows and is healthy, according to the doctor’s examination. 

It’s advised to read about how to get your kid to eat, it’s interessant.