Helping Kids Gain Back their Appetite after Illness - Feeding Littles

Helping Kids Gain Back their Appetite after Illness

Ever notice that it takes a while for your kiddo’s appetite to return after they have been sick? Adding highly flavorful food to their regular meals can help “wake up” their tastebuds and get them back to eating like normal again!

After your child has been sick, their taste buds may be dampened. Viruses can inhibit taste and smell function, and sometimes congestion prevents kids from smelling {thus tasting} appropriately. You may experience this as an adult, too.

You can let this ride out, but one strategy I love to use with my clients is offering a highly flavorful, crunchy, sour or salty food once or twice a day to help “wake up” their taste buds again. I’m always surprised by how kids who have been sick seek sometimes seek out these flavors so they can taste again. You can also try lemon, lime or spicy food (if enjoyed by your child).

A little sodium is OK for babies under 12 months, especially if you don’t serve high sodium foods like pickles or quartered olives regularly. We just don’t recommend lots of salt every day. The recommended max is approximately 400 mg of sodium.

Don’t be surprised if your child’s appetite takes a while to return to normal when they have been sick. Make sure they’re getting plenty of fluids, keep offering regular meals and snacks eaten together, and stay consistent – hopefully they’ll pick back up soon!

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