Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Nutrition for Adult Special Needs Individuals

The Benefits of Nutritional Counselling for Special Needs Adults 

I want to share something with you that really concerns me...

The nutritional needs of people with various disabilities is not a focus for most health care providers.  Because the disability is looked at as a physical or genetic problem, the connection is not made to nutrition.  In addition to this, some may think the individual is unable to comprehend health information or that it will be too difficult to apply.

However, the problem with this is it is not always the disability itself, but the comorbidities and secondary health conditions that affect quality of life and longevity!

People with disabilities suffer the very same consequences to their health as the rest of us when they eat a nutrient-poor diet.  Poor eating choices are the root cause of many secondary health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, constipation, GERD, high blood pressure, 'foggy brain', fatigue, obesity, susceptibility to infections and more. 

This is what I believe: everyone should have equal rights and equal access to health information and healthy food.  This is a foundation for living our best life.  But what I observe far too often, is we choose to eat what is easiest and most convenient.  Junk food tastes really good and without the proper support and guidance, a special needs adult is going to naturally choose poor quality food without knowing what the consequence of that choice is, leaving them over-fed and under-nourished.

Working with a qualified nutritionist can help. 

We offer simple information and motivational support to help those with special needs make better choices to improve symptoms for chronic health issues and to prevent new problems from arising.  I will personally always work with the individual to create a plan that considers their preferences to ensure better compliance.

A nutritionist will teach life skills with regards to:
- meal planning

·       - grocery shopping

·       - food preparation and cooking

·       - food storage

·       - healthy eating strategies, including proper chewing and eating slowly

·      -  portion control

·       - specific dietary recommendations for their unique needs 

As a caregiver/parent you are likely concerned about your loved one’s health, but maybe don’t know where to start or how to help.  A nutritionist will help to educate independent special needs adults and their caregivers in supporting their loved one in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming or time consuming.

 written by Kim Banting, Holistic Nutritionist - BODiWORKS Institute


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