If there is something that all mothers have in common, it is their concern about the baby’s weight. For this reason, in our section of Child Guide responds we wanted to invite a nutritionist to explain to us the reasons for baby not gaining weight, when to worry and what parents can do to change this trend. We start!
4 reasons why a child does not gain weight
Obesity is, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), one of the great problems of the 21st century. And it is estimated that 43 million children under the age of five are obese or overweight. This would be a partial photograph of how they are a part of our little ones.
The other snapshot would correspond to children who do not gain weight and to desperate parents who are looking for an answer to this lack of appetite and, above all, a reason that leads them to understand why their child is not gaining weight. Among the main causes are:
1. Intolerance, for example, to the gluten that generates that the child cannot absorb all the nutrients he needs for his development.
2. Food allergy that is, that the child’s body is sensitive to certain foods such as some fruits (peach) or eggs.
3. Any chronic illness. In the case of some premature children, there may be some problems with eating, although pathologies of the lungs, heart, digestive system or endocrine system should also be highlighted.
4. Existence of a virus, which usually occurs in children and babies who go to daycare. By producing so much snot, the child swallows them and, consequently, his stomach fills up and that feeling of hunger or appetite is removed.
Once the objective cause of the child not taking weight is defined, the paediatrician will determine the treatment to be followed to solve the problem and that the child returns to his normal rhythm.
What happens when the child does not gain weight because he does not eat?
Also, of course, it may be the case that the child does not gain weight because he does not eat . Is this case normal for fathers and mothers? Here we would have to discuss with your paediatrician what the child’s evolution is like to see if there can be a root cause.
If the child’s growth percentile and evolution are adequate and the child is healthy ( avoid all kinds of ultra-processed and sugary foods ), there is no need to worry about what he eats. Let’s take an example if the child is in the 50th percentile. It means that he has average-normal growth. In case you have a 10th percentile, but the child is healthy and develops normally, there would be no reason to worry.
Meals that will make the child gain weight
If there is no apparent cause, in addition to worrying, the mother may try to incorporate changes in the preparation of the food to give the child a greater caloric intake.
– You can add a little more quality oil (extra virgin olive oil) in the main dishes that we offer the child, such as legumes ( lentils are very good), brown rice or pasta.
– Another measure that children will like is to sprinkle some cheese on some meals.
– In these cases where we want the child to gain weight, nuts play an important role. Depending on the age of the child, we can offer it crushed or sprinkled inside a natural yoghurt. Or, also, incorporate striped coconut, which will give it more flavour and fulfil the desired function.
Finally, another possibility is to offer small pieces of food more often.