Is Your Toddler Underweight?

Has your toddler been looking underweight lately?It can be extremely worrying if your child is not gaining as much weight as is  necessary at his age.  Poor growth in your child should be reason to sit up and take notice as it can also hamper your child’s brain development.

Why is my Toddler Underweight?

There are several factors – medical, social, nutritional and psychological, that could lead to poor physical growth. Detecting and treating these conditions is of utmost importance in order to control or prevent any further affliction on your child.

• Your child’s metabolism could be faster than his/her calorie intake leading to weight loss. So your child may be simply not getting enough calories in his/her diet.

• Is your child a fussy eater? Selective eating can also cause your toddler to lose weight.

• A stomach worm could be the cause. Bugs in the body will absorb all the food in your child’s system. Diarrhoea can also lead to mal-absorption of foods in the blood stream resulting in weight loss.

• If your toddler has been unwell or suffers from a chronic infection, then he/she would definitely need high calorie food that will make up for his/her undernourishment.

• Sometimes, being underweight can be a sign of some underlying medical condition.So it is always better to get checked up from a paediatrician first.  A pediatrician will ask you to perform a complete health check up to determine any health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, heart disease or chronic lung problem.

• The most common cause for under development is poor nourishment. Your child’s body may not be absorbing the essential nutrients, resulting in loss of weight.

Before you rush to conclusions, try to establish the reason behind your toddler’s underweight. Consult your doctor – he/she will weigh and measure your child, comparing your child’s current and previous measurements to the standard growth chart. If your doctor diagnoses a growth problem, then he/she will prescribe a solution that may include the opinions and suggestions of other professionals like a child development specialist, nutritionist, etc.

Whatever maybe the cause of your child’s weight loss, it always helps if you increase your toddler’s calorie intake. They have small tummies, so it pays to increase the calorie content in their diet without increasing the quantity.

Most often the solution to keeping your child healthy lies in developing a well-balanced diet that contains the right amount of essential nutrients.



Anupama