Sensory Friendly Recipes and Health Tips for Individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disorders

Why it is Important to Focus on IDD and Food

Maintaining a healthy diet is difficult to do for everyone but for people with IDD they have more setbacks than the average person does. Some of these disadvantages are things like: sensory sensitivity to textures, mobility issues, lack of muscle mass, and higher susceptibility to conditions such as diabetes. In the blog we will provide recipe ideas that someone with IDD may enjoy and find easier to eat, snack ideas, tips for trying new foods, eating aid products and more! We hope you are able to find some useful information to take away from this!

Crunchy Foods

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Kale chips
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Nuts
  • Banana Chips
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Whole Grain Crackers
  • Plain Popcorn
  • Trail Mix
  • Grapes
  • Rice cakes

Soft Foods

  • Applesauce
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Cooked veggies like carrots, squash, peppers, etc.
  • Soups
  • Nut butters
  • Boiled eggs

Sour, Salty, Spicy or Cold

  • Curries
  • Meatballs
  • Lemons/ limes
  • Tart cherries
  • Green apples
  • Pickles
  • Pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Ramen
  • Baked french fries and sea salt
  • Seasoned veggies
  • Ice chips
  • Popsicles

Tips

Down Syndrome Eating Habits and possible Risks

Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher prevalence for obesity. This can be caused due to one of their symptoms of having low muscle tone which leads to a naturally higher amount of fat in comparison. On top of this they have higher chances of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well due to hypothyroidism, lack of activity and a poor diet.

To help people with down syndrome prevent obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases there are multiple ways to help. They should be eating small, but frequent meals, varieties of fruits veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low fat dairy; Limit extra snacking or switch them out with healthy alternatives, drinking lots of water and less drinks high in sugar, strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, Help them get involved in the process like: grocery shopping, menu planning, offering suggestions on what to eat, help prepare food, set tables and wash the dishes.

More Recipes! (click to view)

Physical Difficulties to Eat and Aids

Not only can people with IDD have issues keeping a nutritional diet, but some people physically have much difficult to be able to eat their food with normal utensils. These are some ideas to help aid in these physical difficulties

Robotic Feeding arm

by clicking a button the feeder will aid by having 4 separate food sections to choose and bring food to the person without mess

Plastic Coated Spoon

These help protect the teeth and are also useful for sensory sensitivity

Weighted Utensils

These help to keep control of the utensil and stabilize movement

People Feeder

The people feeder helps to control the amount of liquid coming out to help with better swallowing and less chance of choking

Utensil Holder

This helps to keep a better grip on the utensil for eating

Non-slip Pads

These are to help keep dining items from falling off the table due to sudden movements

Stable slide self-feeding support

completely adjustable, helps guide arm to the mouth and lessen the amount of muscle strength needed for eating

Sip Tip Drinking Cup

The sip tip helps to reduce effort to drink from the straw and the amount of air being ingested.

Elispoon

This spoon stabilizes and rotates with the food and hand to stop from spilling

Round Scoop Dish

This helps with leverage to be able to scoop up the food

Author

Ashlyn Pieri

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