If your child presenting symptoms that are indicative of a potential allergy? Is your child facing stomach discomfort due to something he/she may have eaten today? Is a specific food causing constipation in your child? These and many other questions can be analyzed by your nutritionist for problems your child maybe facing with food. In order to do so, you must start regularly maintaing a food diary for your child.
A child with special needs may have to deal with one or all of three concerns with regard to meeting their nutritional requirements -
- Their altered nutritional requirements/preferences (e.g. specific allergies, constipation, diarrhea)
- Physical deformities that hinder with eating (e.g. chewing difficulties and swallowing)
- Specific behavioral influences that may impact their eating routines (e.g. picky eating, sensory needs)
Hence, it becomes very important to understand the exact nature of the challenges your child maybe facing. To pinpoint these challenges parents must keep note of what their child is consuming and the form in which they are consuming a specific food. Keep a written record of your child's eating habits will also prove to be valuable to draw up a specific meal plan for your child.
Special thanks: We thank Ms.Shruti Kelkar, Nutritionist for advice and guidance in drafting this toolkit.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a qualified health practitioner for safe management.
You can also download this free to download booklet on nutrition featured around special needs challenges. We have a second booklet that highlights nutritional requirements and challenges of children with Down syndrome.