Whether you’re an adult with special needs or you’re the parent of a special needs child, it’s important to learn how prepare healthy, nutritious meals which are designed to meet the needs of individuals with special needs.
Ep nutrition: Nutrition tips for individuals with special needs
Incorporate protein into meals:
Some examples of lean healthy proteins which should be added to your shopping cart include turkey breast, salmon and tofu. For example, turkey breast burger patties which are chopped up into small bite sized pieces, are great for individuals with special needs.
Serve fish on a regular basis:
One key reason to serve fish on a regular basis is that fish is packed full of omega 3 which is a fatty, healthy oil which helps the human brain work efficiently. Canned tuna or salmon is a great idea as it’s easy for individuals with special needs to eat.
Make sure that each main meal boasts plenty of colorful vegetables:
It’s incredibly important for individuals with special needs to consume a wide variety of nutritionally dense vegetables. Some examples of vegetables which should be incorporated into healthy, nutritious meals include sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes and spinach.
Consider taking supplements:
While a healthy balanced diet can provide those with special needs with a lot of their essential nutrients and vitamins, some individuals may benefit from doctor approved supplements. So it’s well worth talking to your doctor or your child’s doctor about whether dietary supplements are recommended or not.
Mealtime tips for parents of special needs children:
Praise your special needs child at meal times:
Meal times with your special needs child will go much smoother if you make a habit out of praising positive behavior at meal times. As an example, if your child makes an effort to eat their dinner, sitting at the dining table, make sure to let them know how well they’re doing. As if they associate meal time with positive emotions, dinner time will go far smoother than if you were to critique your child during meal times.
Purchase coated spoons:
If your child has a habit of biting down hard on their spoons, it’s a wise idea to purchase coated spoons which won’t damage their teeth or mouth.
Consider mashing vegetables to make them easier to eat:
Your child will find it far easier to consume vegetables if you mash them in a food processor, before you serve them. While you may have mashed potatoes before you may have not tried mashing vegetables such as pumpkin, turnips and carrots.
Encourage your child not to slouch when they’re eating:
As special needs children are at risk of choking if they don’t sit up properly to eat, it’s important to teach your special needs child to sit up properly at the dining table. For their own safety. You may even want to go a step further and to use pillows or folded towels to help prop young children up who tend to slouch at the dining table.
So whether you have special needs or you’re the proud parent of a child with special needs, it’s a great idea to follow some of the special needs dietary tips which have been outlined above.