Children’s Appetite Enhancing Vitamins: Know the Type, Content, and How to Choose It

Children’s appetite is difficult to predict. One time he could be very voracious, but the next day he changed drastically, refusing all the food offered. Although it often makes parents dizzy, this condition is normal. Giving vitamins for hard-to-eat children is an option. Can toddlers be given appetite-boosting vitamins? Here’s the full explanation.

The content of vitamins to increase the appetite of toddlers

Before choosing an appetite-boosting vitamin for toddlers, you should consult a doctor first. Ask if your child can be given vitamin supplements, especially if the child is taking certain medications.

It’s best to wait until your child is four years old when you want to give your child a vitamin supplement unless your doctor has advised otherwise.

Some things to consider when choosing a vitamin for a hard-to-eat child are:

Pay attention to the content in the supplement

In choosing vitamins for hard-to-eat children, it is important to know the content in the supplement.

There are several ingredients in vitamin supplements that act as appetite enhancers so toddlers can gain weight. Here’s the list:


The condition of children under five who lack zinc can cause a decrease in appetite. Vitamins that increase appetite in your little one usually already contain zinc which can increase appetite and zinc content in the blood.

However, the administration of vitamins must still be under the supervision of a doctor so that the dose given to the child is according to his age.


A child’s decreased appetite can make your child lack vitamin iron. Quoting from the Mayo Clinic, iron plays a role in moving oxygen from the lungs throughout the body and helps muscles store and use oxygen.

Children who are at risk of iron deficiency are:

  • Low birth weight (LBW)
  • Children who drink cow’s milk before the age of one
  • Provision of complementary foods for breast milk (MPASI) that do not contain iron
  • Children who consume less iron-rich foods

Children aged 1-5 years need about 7-10 mg of iron a day. Consult a doctor if your child has signs of iron deficiency, for example:

  • Pale face
  • Tired easily
  • Cold hands and feet
  • No appetite
  • Irregular child’s breath

Doctors will usually prescribe iron vitamins for children. Giving this vitamin can increase toddlers’ appetite, so it can help children gain weight.

Keep in mind, even though children have been given vitamin supplements, you should still encourage children to eat foods with balanced nutrition.

However, the goodness of natural vitamins and minerals found in foods such as vegetables and fruit is irreplaceable.

Fish oil

Fish oil is known as one of the ingredients that are effective in stimulating children’s appetite. In addition, fish oil can also improve the performance of the digestive system and reduce the risk of flatulence in your little one.

Fish oil is usually extracted from fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel or sardines. Appetite-enhancing vitamins for toddlers that contain fish oil are usually in the form of capsules.

Make sure to look at the serving size on the package to avoid excess fish oil conditions.

Vitamin D

This vitamin plays a role in the absorption of calcium in the body so that it keeps its levels normal. This is what makes vitamin D so important for the growth of your baby’s bones and teeth.

Appetite-boosting vitamins for your little one that contain vitamin D acts as a bone and teeth reinforcement. This supplement is usually recommended for 2-5 years at a dose of about 15 mcg per day.


Toddler weight is also related to bone density of toddlers who are still in their infancy. To increase bone density, toddlers are recommended to consume enough calcium.

Does your child have allergies to certain foods? Choosing an appetite-boosting vitamin for toddlers who have allergies cannot be arbitrary.

Children who have allergies tend to be deficient in vitamin D, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. In addition to these three vitamins, children who have allergies are also deficient in zinc and magnesium.

If his needs are not met when the child is young, it will affect him when he grows up.

Research conducted by Clinical and Translational Allergy found that 60 percent of children aged 4 weeks to 16 years and have allergies, have a vitamin D deficiency.

Children who have allergies are also deficient in zinc and iron from daily food sources. So, it is important for parents to recognize food allergies in their children so that they can provide the right vitamins for difficult-to-eat children.

Choose vitamins that don’t look like candy

How to choose an appetite-boosting vitamin supplement for toddlers? The first point is to choose a vitamin supplement that is not in a candy-like form and is not high in sugar.

It is feared, the child perceives the supplement as candy, so he wants to take it again and again. This will cause the child’s intake of vitamins and minerals to be excessive.

This is certainly not good. If you choose a supplement in a candy-like form, keep it out of the reach of children and explain to your child that it is not candy.

You can outsmart it by giving vitamins in the form of syrup with a taste that does not traumatize children when consuming it.

Choose a vitamin that passed BPOM

There are many vitamin supplements that claim to be a toddler’s appetite enhancer at a low price. You need to pay attention to whether the product has passed the certification from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) or not.

The reason is, vitamins that do not or have not passed BPOM certification are not tested for safety. This can threaten the health of your little one.

Adjust to the child’s age

It is important for parents to choose appetite-enhancing vitamins that are appropriate for the age of the toddler. The best time to give vitamins is when the child is 4 years old.

However, it will be different if the doctor’s examination shows that your child needs additional supplements, even though he is not yet 4 years old.

Follow the dosage instructions

When your little one has a hard time eating and you want to give more than the recommended dose, that’s not the right move. Excess doses of vitamins can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients that are lacking.

If you are unsure which vitamins are suitable for your child’s condition, you should consult a doctor.

Also, keep in mind that basically appetite-boosting vitamins are given according to your little one’s body condition. That is, it does not mean that the vitamin is really pure to stimulate appetite but only sufficient nutrients that are lacking because he does not want to eat.

Therefore, the doctor’s recommendation of what vitamins are needed is very important.

Conditions that make toddlers need appetite-boosting vitamins

Quoting from the Mayo Clinic, actually appetite-boosting vitamins are not needed for toddlers whose growth is good and healthy.

Children with a good appetite do not need these vitamin supplements. This is because he can get all of his nutritional needs from eating a variety of foods every day.

However, there are several conditions that make it recommended for toddlers to be given appetite-boosting vitamins, such as:

Not getting balanced nutrition

Toddlers who don’t eat regularly and don’t get toddler food with balanced nutrition need appetite-boosting vitamins.

If this condition has been going on for a long time, giving additional supplements is important so that the child’s nutrition remains adequate.

However, before giving supplements, consult your pediatrician first, in order to get the dose and vitamin prescription that suits your little one’s condition.

Food intolerance

What is food intolerance? This is a condition when the body cannot digest certain substances contained in food and drinks. This is different from food allergies which are related to the immune system or the immune system.

Food intolerance occurs when there is a chemical reaction between food substances that enter the body, the child’s digestive conditions.

If your child has this condition, the symptoms will appear several hours after the food is consumed. It can even be for a longer time, for example 48 hours after eating or drinking.

Food intolerances make your little one’s appetite decrease drastically.

Inadequate composition of food

From the official website of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association ( IDAI ), it is explained that this is one of the most common causes for children to have difficulty eating.

Inappropriate food composition factors, texture and method of administration also affect children’s appetite.

Often this is due to the lack of animal protein in the child’s diet. In fact, food sources from animal protein can add to the taste of food according to a toddler’s eating schedule.

Child is constipated

Pain or discomfort in the body also affects a child’s appetite. This often makes parents decide to give their toddlers appetite-boosting vitamins.

Constipation or constipation is a condition of difficult bowel movements (BAB) in adults and children. The frequency of bowel movements in children is usually once a day.

However, when children experience constipation, bowel habits change and become only once a week. This condition can make it difficult for children to eat, even not wanting to try new types of food.


In addition to constipation, diarrhea also often makes a child’s appetite decrease drastically. Diarrhea is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, this makes the child dehydrated and frequent bowel movements.

Diarrhea in children makes them weak and powerless because the fluid in the body is reduced through feces that are not solid in texture. Sometimes this condition requires vitamins for children who have difficulty eating.

picky eater

The little one who is very picky in terms of the toddler food menu really needs appetite-boosting vitamins. The reason he may not get enough nutrition from food.

In a journal entitled Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, the consequences for picky eaters are:

  • Deficiency of zinc and iron
  • Constipation
  • stunted child growth

These three things show that children need additional appetite-boosting vitamins to support the growth of toddlers to run well.

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