Nutritional values are a contributing factor to our health and fitness. The well-being of an individual is dependent on the intake of sufficient nutrients, vitamins, proteins, etc. However, children with disabilities have complex lifestyles, influenced by their special needs, physical limitations, and medications. Parents are always concerned about the diet of their children because it often varies from that of other children. This concern is understandable because intellectual and developmental disabilities can negatively impact the quality of a child’s life. Henceforth, parents and dietitians must provide extra care to their diet.
Even if you are not a parent but taking care of a child with a disability then it is preferred to follow some important guidelines or tips to avoid any sort of problems.
- Give soft processed food
Chewing and swallowing can be difficult for children with disabilities. Their molars and premolars may not be strong enough to tear food like meat. It is advised to give soft chewable food that does not require extra effort on their behalf. If you have trouble in choosing the preferable food item for your child then Life Care Solutions is a registered NDIS provider that serves the participants 24/7.
- Avoid forceful eating
Children are sensitive and stubborn and children with disabilities can have far greater mood swings. It is not their fault so by understanding their psyche, you should never force them to eat anything. Forcing them would only harm their health and increase your apprehensions.
- Reward your child with sweets
According to psychology, humans tend to act based on the concept of reward and punishment. Following that, if your child with a disability is not eating anything then you lure them by sweets or anything that they are particularly fond of. You should always be mindful of the fact that a child with disability supports cordial behaviors. You cannot raise your voice or lash out at them just because of a bad day. Their needs are different from ours and they cannot always understand that your boss was mad at you.
- Keep obesity and underweight participants in-check
Children with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability are often found to be obese or underweight. There can be several reasons for that. This factor cannot be ignored and their weight needs to be kept in check. Avoid fatty foods and make them eat healthily.
- Adapt mindful eating
Mindful eating is suggested for everyone. It is an awful habit that we feed our children by putting on TV or music. Disable children should have full concentration on their food, so the digestion process is not slowed down, and they benefit from whatever they have consumed. NDIS providers at Life Care Solutions provide special training and guidelines on how to ensure that disable child eats well.
- Maintain a balance between macronutrients and micronutrients
Children with disabilities require accurate proportions of carbs, proteins, and fats. You should not ignore vitamins, minerals, and fibers as well. A balance of these nutrients ensures the health of a child with a disability. Fruits and vegetables mixed with dairy products must be taken for health benefits. Apart from that, do not ever think that these children do not require enough water. Their water intake should never go down because they would not be asking for water by themselves, so you have to feed them well.
Why Obesity can cause problems for children with disabilities?
Children with disabilities are already stigmatized and when their diets are not kept in check and they gain extra, they become more stigmatized. People start believing that all children with disabilities are obese. Obesity also reduces their physical movements and this causes problems for their caretakers as they face difficulty in showering them, changing their clothes, and at times taking them to the toilet. The major concern regarding obesity is that of the impending health problems. If children with disabilities become overweight, there is a high chance that will get type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke, heart problems, arthritis, and other gynecological problems.
How to control obesity in children with disabilities?
It can be a challenging thing because handling a child with a disability can be difficult. Yet, you do not have to give up as their well-being matters the most. Increase their physical activity and make sure that they are eating at least 3 meals a day. If they cannot eat much, give them small proportions. These three meals need to be nutritious and avoid junk food at all costs. Exercise might not be possible for all children but you can ask them to eat slowly, and take them out for a walk if they can. If you still have concerns and qualms then feel free to contact Life Care Solutions NDIS provider. We will always help you with advice and a trustworthy child with disability support program.