Children and young people with developmental issues, disabilities or communication exceptionalities like autism may exhibit varying food-related behaviours, preferences and sensitivities.
It is not realistic to list every possible condition that might have an impact on a child’s health and food intake; further information is available from specific sites or support groups, however, some of the more common challenges are mentioned here.
Food intolerance & food allergies
Food intolerance is defined as an unpleasant reaction to a specific food or ingredient; a food allergy is a form of food intolerance. Common foods which can occasionally cause severe reactions include peanuts, shellfish, eggs, wheat and other cereals. If any child or young person living in a foster placement or a residential care establishment has a medically-diagnosed food allergy, appropriate medical advice and any dietary requirements to avoid specific foods or ingredients must be closely followed. Medical advice should always be sought before specific foods are excluded from the diet.
Useful resources with more details can be accessed through British Dietetic Association (BDA) and British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) websites.
Food Allergies & Intolerances
Other medical conditions
Carers and residential staff should ensure that they are familiar with the conditions and with procedures for accessing a special diet, and ensure that these are followed. Useful resources with more details can be accessed through either the British Dietetic Association (BDA), British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) or National Health Service (NHS) websites. Medical advice should be sought if you are unsure about which foods are appropriate for a child or young person with a special diet or medical condition.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Iron deficiency – anaemia