[itself as] fatigue, lack of motivation, apathy or even depression,” says Dr. Greenblatt, “though all of these symptoms could also be indicative of different diagnoses, so it’s important to be continually monitored by your pediatrician.”
Trouble Paying Attention
If getting your kid to focus seems like mission: impossible, a lack of foods containing zinc could be partly to blame. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that low levels of zinc in kids may be linked to deficits in attention (as well as activity and motor development). Zinc-rich foods include meat, certain vegetables, beans, and whole grains…all of which might be things your kid refuses to eat. Thankfully, zinc is present in lots of fortified cereals, too, and chances are, that’s something they’ll gladly eat seconds of.
If no amount of lotion seems to soothe your child’s dry skin, don’t assume that the winter weather is necessarily the cause — a vitamin deficiency could also be the problem. As Susan Evans, M.D., wrote for DoctorOz, “Dry skin can either mean you’re chronically dehydrated, or it means that you need to increase your essential fatty acid intake, vitamin A, and vitamin E intake. Potassium and vitamin D need to be added too.” Of course you should always check with your child’s pediatrician before starting him on any supplements, but it’s definitely something to consider.
“Dramatic poor weight gain, or weight loss, is a worrisome symptom in a child of any age,” Katherine Noble, M.D., of the CT-based practice Sound Beach Pediatrics tells Romper, and the causes can be simply because your child is picky, or can suggest something more serious.
“This can result from poor nutritional intake, malabsorption of nutrients, or less commonly a health condition which increases metabolic rate (a ‘hyper metabolic state’),” she says. “Poor caloric intake is most common and we discuss strategies: nutrient dense power-packed foods (proteins and healthy fats), nutritional supplements (Pediasure), and others.”
If this is something you’re observing in your child, make sure to bring it up to your doctor earlier than later.
As you may be all too aware, picky kids tend to focus on just a few different foods… and they’re not usually of the high fiber variety.
“Often, picky eaters are getting too much of a good thing, like whole milk,” says Potock.
“It’s filling and parents are comforted by thinking ‘At least he drank his milk.’ But kids who drink too much milk are often constipated, causing a drop in appetite for other foods, and making them irritable.”
Your pediatrician might recommend a fiber supplement, or tricks like adding fresh fruit and veggies to smoothies (or milkshakes, or whatever you need to call them so your kid will drink them!). But, once again, how you treat this particular symptom depends on your child’s health and age, and the severity of her pickiness.
“The best way to obtain nutrients is through our food, not through vitamin supplements because most vitamins are excreted,” says Dr. Katy. “But, for super picky eaters, I will suggest a multivitamin daily (with or without iron depending on intake of iron rich foods).”
So, as ever: When in doubt, ask your doc!
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