Underweight in children can have a negative impact on health. However, increasing weight also can not be done haphazardly. Children need healthy food and balanced nutrition so that their weight and health are maintained properly. To achieve this, parents can consult a doctor.
To find out if the child's weight is ideal or not, parents can monitor the child's weight according to the child's height and age.
Checking for Signs of Underweight
Knowing whether a child is underweight or not, can actually be seen from the child's physical condition. For example, visible ribs when bathing or clothing sizes that do not increase. In addition, children who are underweight tend to get sick often and get tired easily when carrying out daily activities.
If these signs are experienced by a child, it is important to take the child to a doctor or health service to deal with them. Both in hospitals, health centers and posyandu. Doctors will usually evaluate the child's eating habits, activities and physical health of the child and the environment thoroughly before determining the appropriate treatment.
- Child Growth DataThe doctor will check your weight, height, age, and gender. This was done to find out the ideal weight in children by entering data in the growth table (growth chart) or body mass index (body mass index). In addition, doctors can also assess the child's growth and development data that is recorded every month on the Card Towards Health (KMS).
- Child Nutrition IntakeAfter collecting growth data, the doctor will also collect information about the food intake consumed by the child so far. This can be done with a food pyramid guide, to make it easier to explain and classify foods that children like and don't like. The doctor can then give advice on what foods to eat for underweight children so that they can gain weight and reach their ideal weight.
- Additional ChecksThere is also a possibility that the doctor will need to perform a physical examination and more specific laboratory tests, to determine the cause of underweight in children. This is done especially if the doctor suspects that the child is underweight due to certain medical conditions. For example, the child suffers from anemia or there is an infection so that the child has chronic diarrhea or vomiting which causes weight loss.
How to Overcome Underweight
If underweight in children occurs not due to other underlying medical conditions, you are advised to provide adequate calorie intake to children. However, avoid giving calorie intake through junk food or fast food even though it can increase the child's weight, because of the habit of consuming junk food from childhood can be carried over to adulthood. Of course this is not good for the health of children in the future. Apart from having an unbalanced nutritional value, it can also increase the risk of obesity.
Raising a child's weight in a healthy way can be done by getting children to eat healthy foods in a balanced way. For example, by providing daily nutritional intake through a variety of types of food such as bread, cereals, eggs, nuts, fish, cheese, meat, various types of vegetables and fruit.
In addition to eating a variety of foods, also provide milk to children to support their growth and development. Therefore, milk is an important intake for children in their growth period. Important nutrients that are not obtained from food, can be supplemented from milk.
For those of you who have picky eaters or picky eater, work around it by inviting children to choose the food they like when shopping together. To introduce new foods that are healthier, get around it by serving these foods along with their favorite foods.
Another way that can make children more interested in eating is by making food in an attractive form. No less important is to get used to eating with children at the dinner table, so that parents can set an example for their children by eating various types of healthy food together.
Be wary of underweight in children, because it can cause serious health problems. Starting from malnutrition or malnutrition, decreased immunity, and also slow growth. Consult a doctor if your child is underweight so that it can be handled properly.