In working with children with special needs, there are some specific diet and supplement interventions specific to certain issues. However, there are some nutrition recommendations from which all kids would benefit despite a diagnosis or developmental delay.
The first nutrition essential for all kids is REAL FOOD. It may seem basic, but it is the foundation of health for children. Food should be prepared at home as often as possible and come from ingredients closest as possible to their original source. When the food does have a label, it should only have a few ingredients. You should be able to pronounce all the ingredients on the list.
Second in importance is PROBIOTICS. The gastrointestinal tract has both good and bad bacteria. The world we live in, full of chemicals, processed foods, stress and lots of sugar, actually feeds the bad bacteria. That means we have to work extra hard at promoting the good bacteria in our bodies. This good bacteria improves our immunity, helping to fight off sickness. The good bacteria keeps our digestions strong and can play a role in preventing or diminishing acid reflux (heartburn). The bacteria in our body affects literally every part of how our body functions so we need the good guys to be winning!
You have probably heard of fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids. If you haven’t, well… they are awesome. OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS found in fish, play a huge part in decreasing inflammation and giving the brain the fat it needs. Since the brain is mostly fat, and the brain develops most rapidly in childhood, it’s great to support the brain with essential fatty acids. Omega 3’s come from fish most of the time. It can be in the form of fish oil from anchovies, sardines, and other small fish, or cod liver oil from… you guessed it, the liver of cod.
The last essential is a QUALITY MULTIVITAMIN. There are so many different types of multivitamins available, but many are made with poor quality vitamins that aren’t easily absorbed or utilized by the body. If you’re going to spend money on vitamins, it is worth it to choose one that will actually be used in the body. Because of the decreasing quality of our food, our soil, and busy lives, everyone benefits from extra vitamin/mineral support.
For help transitioning your families diet away from processed foods, identifying and treating food sensitivities or choosing high quality vitamins, contact Blakely Page, RDN at firstname.lastname@example.org.