Natural Remedies for Children with Poor Appetite

First, it's important to make sure that your child's lack of appetite isn't due to a medical issue. Consult a physician to clear any doubts.
Natural Remedies for Children with Poor Appetite

Last update: 16 November, 2020

A child with a small appetite can be source of constant worry for parents who often don’t know how to solve this issue. It can also cause a child to feel stressed, forcing them to eat more than they wanted to. The key is to address their poor appetite naturally.

In this article, we’ll explore remedies that stimulate children’s appetite so that they’ll eat everything their body needs without having to force them.

Reasons children won’t eat

Many children go through stages during childhood where they’re not very hungry. In some cases, the child is going through a phase and it doesn’t last long. However, sometimes it can last longer and lead to weight loss, which worries parents greatly.

Some reasons a child may not have much of an appetite include:

  • Food intolerances: In some cases, when a child’s poor appetite only involves certain foods, it could mean they’re intolerant to them.

This can happen with milk, flour, and dried fruit for example. You’ll have to consider whether your child could have a digestive problem.

  • Anemia: Iron deficiency could be why your child has a small appetite. In this case, you’ll have to ensure that their diet is balanced and adequate.

You can also add iron-rich foods to their diet.

  • Intestinal parasites: Parasites are very common in children, as they often put their hands in their mouth. However, their symptoms can go unnoticed or be mistaken for other issues.

Other symptoms include nervousness, dilated pupils, or an itchy nose/anus.

  • Emotional issues: Don’t rule out emotional problems as the cause. For example, a complicated family life or any problem in a child’s environment can affect their appetite.
  • Other illnesses: If their appetite doesn’t quickly return or is excessive, consult your physician so that they can perform any necessary tests. This way, you can rule out illness as the cause.

Before giving your child any medication, keep in mind that some cause harmful side effects. For this reason, it’s recommended that you first try natural remedies, accompanied with a balanced diet and lifestyle.

Tips for children with a poor appetite

1. Pollen

Pollen is a superfood that can solve a child’s nutritional deficiencies, like anemia.

To reap its benefits, it should be taken ground and before eating, using a dose that’s age appropriate.

2. Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and is excellent at increasing appetite. What’s more, it’s an ideal supplement that fosters healthy physical and mental development.

3. Yarrow

Yarrow is a medicinal plant that increases appetite and aids digestion.

It’s also used to prevent and eliminate intestinal parasites, which could be responsible for the loss of appetite.

4. Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a highly alkalizing and healthy food that is ideal for preventing various health issues.

  • On top of stimulating appetite, it fights heartburn and prevents stomach ulcers.

5. Original recipes

Try making food that looks visually appealing so that your child will try new things. You can make shapes or unique food art out of food.

If they don’t want to eat legumes, fish, or vegetables, you can try to make fillings or dough using those ingredients.

A good way to get them to eat legumes is by using chickpea flour.

6. Helping in the kitchen

Children should help out in the kitchen according to their age.

This will help increase their appetite and they’ll want to eat what they made.

7. Sports

A major problem facing children today is that their lifestyles are much more sedentary than before.

This is the result of new technology, city life, or overworked parents. It’s critical that they play and take part in dynamic activities every day.

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  • Carnell, Susan et al. “Parent feeding behavior and child appetite: associations depend on feeding style” International journal of eating disorders vol. 47,7 (2014): 705-9.
  • Galle, J. What to do when a child won’t eat: feeding disorders and developmental disabilities. Center for Autism & Related Disorders. [Online] Avaiable at:
  • Citation: POWELL, F. … et al., 2011. Appetite regulation in early childhood: the impact of parenting behaviours and child temperament. IN: Mitchell, S.R. (ed.) Appetite: Regulation, Role in Disease and Control. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 1 – 28.