1 Causes of underweight in children
1.1 Eat insufficient amounts of calories
1.2 Pathological causes
1.3 Reasons related to the child’s environment
2 Dietary habits to gain weight in children
Causes of underweight in children
Among the main reasons that can lead to a child’s weight loss, we mention the following:
First: eating insufficient amounts of calories
This reason is one of the most common causes and is responsible for more than 90% of cases of underweight.
The following is an explanation:
1- The child’s preoccupation and lack of pleasure when eating.
2- Babies are not getting the milk they need; Either because the mother’s milk is insufficient, or the child does not breastfeed in a correct manner, or because she does not know the correct quantity that the child needs when preparing formula.
Second: pathological causes The child may develop a health problem that affects his body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, and the most prominent of which are:
Some digestive disorders may prevent a child from gaining a healthy weight. Examples include: Gastroesophageal reflux.
2- Diseases that affect the ability to absorb food:
Such as anemia, biliary atresia, allergies to milk protein, or a congenital disorder in the metabolism (inborn errors of metabolism), and wheat allergy disease (Celiac disease).
3- Metabolism related diseases:
Such as hyperthyroidism, the acquired immune deficiency disease known as AIDS, tuberculosis, congenital heart defects, and kidney failure.
Third: Reasons related to the child’s environment
Environmental factors affect weight gain or loss, and the most important of these factors include:
1- The weak emotional relationship between the child and his parents.
2- Poverty and the low financial level of the child’s family.
3- Parents not knowing their children’s need for calories.
4- Exercising wrong eating habits: such as eating while watching TV, and not having a regular mealtime.
Dietary habits for weight gain in children
Here are the most important nutritional tips that help to gain healthy weight for a child:
First: Increase the number of calories consumed:
You can add more calories to the same meal, such as adding nuts, cheese, fruits, or toast made from whole wheat.
Second: Eat foods with high nutritional value:
Instead of eating fast food with low nutritional value, it is advised to eat a meal rich in protein such as meat and choose healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole-grain products, as it makes the child feel full and provides him with the nutrients he needs.
Third: snacking between meals:
While making sure that it is healthy and filling at the same time, like peanut butter, avocados, and nuts.
Fourth: Eat small meals several times a day:
The child may refuse to eat a large meal at once, so it is advisable to provide several small meals and distribute them throughout the day.
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