Signs that a child is malnourished

When a child is malnourished, it means that they don’t have sufficient nutrients in the body. The child’s diet does not contain enough nutrients that are needed for the optimal functioning of their body. Malnutrition could also mean an excess intake of nutrients, or when there’s an imbalance of the essential nutrients taken into the body.

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Here are some of the signs that a child is suffering from malnutrition

Excessive weight gain or weight loss

One of the ways to know that a child is malnourished is when there is excessive weight gain or loss. The child might gain several pounds within a short time, and they may keep getting bigger because of what they are eating.

On the other hand, the child might keep losing some kilos because their nutrient intake is depleted.

Whether it is weight gain or weight loss, parents and caregivers need to pay more attention to their child’s diet especially when they notice a drastic increase or decrease in weight.

Inability to grow taller

In most cases, you can know that a child is having a nutritious diet when they increase in height. However, when you see that their growth is stunted, then it might mean they are suffering from malnutrition.

Their diet might not contain the right quantity or combination of nutrients that are needed for their growth. Hence, their age mates might look bigger and taller than them.

High risk of contracting illnesses

When a child is malnourished, there is a higher tendency that they will get sick more often because their body is not well fortified to fight off diseases. Therefore, they might frequently visit the hospital to get treatment for different types of sicknesses.


Other signs of malnourishment in children are depression, anxiety, irritability, a longer time for wounds to heal, lack of appetite, etc. When you notice that your child is malnourished, the best line of action is to take them to a dietician or your healthcare provider for treatment.

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