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 Underweight in children and ways to treat it

Underweight in children and ways to treat it



Treatment of weakness in children:




    The diet of children needs a balanced diet that provides the body with the necessary calories and nutrients, and some may think that a child who is underweight can be given high-calorie foods such as sweets, cakes, chocolate, fatty and sweet foods and drinks, but these foods are considered unhealthy and can be harmful to health  The child, so the child should gain weight in a healthy way by eating a balanced diet.





    Here are some steps to ensure a healthy diet for underweight children:





    * Ensure that most of the main meals and snacks that the child eats are rich in nutrients;  Like proteins and their sources.  eggs, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, chickpeas, whole or low-fat milk, etc., as well as carbohydrates and foods rich in them;  Sweet potatoes, corn and more.  Offer your child at least 5 servings per day of different vegetables and fruits.  offer your child dairy products or alternatives;  Such as soy drink and others, taking care to choose low-fat and sugary types.





    * Provide your child with a source of protein;  Such as legumes, meat, eggs, fish and other protein-rich foods, and be sure to provide two servings of fish per week;  One of them is fatty fish.  Such as salmon or mackerel.  Use unsaturated oils and use them in small amounts.  Give the child an adequate amount of fluids. It is worth noting that the best drinks are for children over one year of age;  full fat cow's milk water,





    On the other hand, be careful not to give your child too much fluid so that he cannot get enough food, which leads to a lack of calories and nutrients that his body needs.




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    It is recommended to give children over two years of age skim milk instead of high-fat milk;  If their height is appropriate for their age and they are following a varied diet, but if your child is weak, your doctor may advise you to continue giving him or her whole milk.  If weight gain is not achieved, it is recommended to consult a doctor;  To make sure that there are no health problems or you can contact a nutritionist;  For necessary advice and, in some cases, may recommend supplementing the child's diet after consultation and under the supervision of a dietitian,





    * With regard to selective children;  Those who do not want to try new dishes;  Your doctor may recommend giving them a high-calorie supplement in the form of a drink.





    Playing sports:




    * Physical activity helps improve the health and strength of bones and muscles in children and is also a good way to increase the sense of joy, so children need to exercise even if they are thin and it is worth noting that healthy children over the age of 5 years old need to exercise for at least 60 minutes in  Today, but it is recommended to consult a specialist to determine how much activity a weak child should do,





    On the other hand, it should be noted that there is a risk that children who have not yet reached adolescence will engage in dumbbells;  Since these sports do not help build muscle in children, they can be harmful and can cause damage to bones, joints and muscles when practiced incorrectly.





    Tips to encourage your child to eat:




    * It is possible for your child to acquire good eating habits that will accompany him throughout his life, taking care to choose foods that enhance his health.  There are many tips to encourage your child to eat, including the following: Encourage children to participate in meal planning, shopping and food preparation, which motivates them to enjoy and eat.





    * Give your child 4 to 5 small meals a day instead of three large meals;  Often, a child will not be able to eat full meals, so it is better to break them up into smaller meals and distribute them throughout the day.  Provide types of foods rich in calories and nutrients;  This means that it contains a lot of calories, even if they are small, rather than providing large amounts of hard-to-eat foods.





    * Keep in mind that energy density expresses the amount of calories contained in a gram of food, and foods with a higher energy density usually contain more fat.





    Here are some examples of energy-dense foods:




    * All milk.  Adding to a variety of foods increases their nutritional value and the amount of calories it contains.  chickpeas and other legumes used in the preparation of snacks;  Which can provide the body with protein, fat and concentrated calories.  Nuts, peanut butter, seeds and avocados.  These foods are a source of healthy fats that help your child gain weight.  cocktail drink





    * It can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack, and you can use fruit, high-fat milk and seeds to prepare it, and it is worth noting that it can provide your body with protein, fat and calories.  Offer your child fruits and vegetables as snacks. The fruits can be washed, chopped and then refrigerated.  availability of parents to eat a variety of healthy foods;  Be a role model for your children.  For example, creativity in food preparation;  Add broccoli or green peppers to a bowl of spinach, mix berries with pieces of fruit, or mix chopped zucchini and carrots with dishes and soups.





    * Reducing pleasure while eating;  such as TV and other electronic devices;  This is to help the child focus on food, for example;  Television advertisements can encourage your child to crave sweet or less nutritious food.  Looking at skinny children A child is thin when he weighs small for his age. It is interesting to note that a child's weight constantly changes during the growth stage, so when an increase in height precedes an increase in weight, he may be underweight until this happens.  not be.  gaining extra weight, but when it exceeds the weight and height, the child becomes obese,





    * Therefore, pediatricians and nutritionists rely on measuring height weight from birth to age two, while height charts from the Centers for Disease Control are used to monitor children over the age of two for weight, height, and body mass index, which expresses the relationship  Between the weight and height of the child, it should be noted that the best way to determine whether the child is underweight is to consult a doctor to assess the weight and diet.





    Signs of thinness in children:





    There are several symptoms of underweight children that parents should take care of, including: Low weight ratios in height charts during annual pediatric visits.  The size of the child's clothing does not change every season compared to the previous season.  the presence of protruding ribs in the child's body;  This may be a sign of thinness.  child retardation.






    Factors that increase the susceptibility of children to underweight;




    * Some children are naturally weak and maintain a balanced diet in addition to their physical activity, on the other hand, real weakness can be the result of nutritional, health or emotional problems.






    Some issues that can increase a child's risk of being underweight include:





    * Premature birth: Premature babies are usually thin.  This is because their development is not as perfect as their peers, and on the other hand, lack of adequate food intake is one of the most common causes of weakness in older children.  Many health problems There are many health problems that can reduce your appetite or prevent nutrients from being absorbed into your body, including:






    * Medications: Because certain types of medications can reduce a child's appetite, such as medications for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or the so-called ADHD.  Food allergy: It makes it difficult for the child to satisfy his caloric needs, and this difficulty is exacerbated by his increased sensitivity to food.  cystic fibrosis (English: cystic fibrosis);  This disease can limit or maintain weight gain.  wheat allergy, also known as celiac disease;  This disease can cause weight loss and short stature in children.  Type 1 diabetes: May cause severe weight loss if not controlled.






    * Congenital hypothyroidism (English: congenital hypothyroidism).  It causes growth inhibition.  Eating disorders: (in English: eating disorders);  Such as: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which is now common among children.  Children's intolerance to new foods: Selective consumption can sometimes, but not always, lead to weight loss in children.





    It is worth noting that a child can become selective for a number of reasons, and some children are naturally more sensitive to taste, smell, and texture.  Follow the behavior of others: Children can follow some of the habits and food choices of the people and adults around them.







    The dangers of being underweight in children






    Children and teens need energy and nutrients to grow and develop physically and mentally from food.  It should be noted that thinness in children has many risks, including the following: a weak child may become hesitant (dwarf) or lost (English: squatting), or both, dwarfism is defined as a lack of height.  with age, while dissipation is defined as a decrease in weight with age.  Slow growth: slow growth can occur in weak children, especially under the age of three;  Where brain development is rapid at this time in a child's life,







    * Weakness resulting from malnutrition and poor absorption of nutrients can lead to a lack of essential nutrients for brain development, which leads to delayed growth symptoms in the child, and it should be noted that the specialist monitors these symptoms at regular visits and checks their occurrence over a period of time.  of time.  time.  It should be noted that children differ in the rate of growth, for example: some children take their first steps before the age of one year, and others take a few months after the first year, which means a delay in walking or speaking is not an indication of a problem when the child is not accompanied by a delay in other aspects  of growth.

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