Appetite Stimulants for Kids

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According to Natural Living, appetite stimulants for children promote a healthy appetite and increase nutrient absorption. Children may need appetite stimulants to help them gain or maintain a healthy weight if they are prone to picking at their food, feeling tired, feeling sick or fighting the side effects of certain medications, or feeling stressed.

Kindergarten children eating a healthy lunch.
Kindergarten children eating a healthy lunch.

Herbs and Seasonings

Fenugreek is a natural herb that treats an upset stomach, digestive ailments and nausea--all common problems associated with poor appetites in children. Underweight children or picky eaters can benefit from fenugreek tea, which helps to mask its strong taste. BreastFeeding.com recommends you steep the tea bag in a pot of boiling hot water for 15 minutes and serve when cooled. Invest in fenugreek capsules and tablets. If children cannot swallow the tablet or they dislike the taste, mash up the capsule and apply it to a fruit smoothie or fruit drink. Add appetite-increasing seasonings like ginger, rosemary or Indian ginseng to add a richer flavor to your child’s food.

Fresh herbs and spices in a wooden bowl, including ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, and anise.
Fresh herbs and spices in a wooden bowl, including ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, and anise.

Fruits

High-nutrient foods can stimulate appetites in children, as they are high in vitamins and minerals. According to Natural Living, fruits have a high count of vitamin A, C and fiber. Mangoes, bananas, oranges and blueberries are especially nutritious appetite stimulants. Natural Living says a good rule of thumb to get picky eaters to consume more of these foods is to cut them up in fun shapes and designs so that they will be more appealing to eat. Incorporate fresh fruits into smoothies and add yogurt (excellent source of fiber, calcium and B12). Natural Living states, "even frozen and canned fruit can be used if necessary. Children who dislike the texture of smoothies may enjoy Popsicles made from the mixture."

A close-up of a mango smoothie.
A close-up of a mango smoothie.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and kale also stimulate the appetite. WebWire Magazine encourages parents to prepare these foods in an attractive manner to encourage children to consume them. The magazine also notes that children on a high-nutrient diet should avoid foods high in sugars, saturated fats and artificial flavors, which can suppress their appetite.

A toddler eating spinach puree.
A toddler eating spinach puree.

Nutritional and Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to a loss of appetite among children. Children undergoing stress or chronic illnesses often suffer a disruption of vitamin absorption. There are special tablets and liquid vitamin formulas designed just for children to provide necessary vitamins C, D, zinc, calcium and B12--all essential to a child’s growth and development, according to Healthy Vitamin Choice. Children are also encouraged to take a vitamin supplement daily to induce their appetite.

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