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Underweight child - what can I do?

When your child visits the paediatrician for a routine check up, one of the things he or she measures is your child’s growth. The paediatrician will use a height / weight chart to do this, and if your child’s growth drops suddenly within a month or two, your child will be considered underweight.

Just as being overweight can be bad for your child, so can being underweight and it’s definitely a cause for concern.

One of the most common causes of toddlers being underweight (aside from illness) is that your child is a very picky eater. If you struggle to get your child to eat a balanced diet, he is likely to become underweight.

If your child is very fussy at mealtimes, then it may be an idea to rather offer your child regular, smaller snacks, that your child can eat as and when he gets hungry. Don’t try to force your child to eat at mealtimes, and look at your child’s fluid intake. If your child is still drinking lots of milk, water or juice, that could be dampening his or her appetite.

If your child is not a fussy eater, and there’s no clear cause that he is underweight, there may be an underlying medical condition that will need to be diagnosed.

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