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Special diets & medical conditions

Food-related behaviours, preferences and sensitivities

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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

Useful resources with more details can be accessed through British Dietetic Association (BDA) and British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) websites.

Food Allergies & Intolerances

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Allergy.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/CopingFoodAllergies.pdf

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/allergy/what-is-food-allergy-and-intolerance.html

Milk allergy

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/milkallergy.pdf

Lactose intolerance

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/allergy/lactose-intolerance.html


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.


USEFUL RESOURCES

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/IBSfoodfacts.pdf

Iron deficiency – anaemia

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/514_3.2_Nutrition,%20health%20and%20schoolchildren_Iron%20deficiency%20anaemia%20factsheet.pdf

Autism

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Autism.pdf

Diabetes

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/diabetes.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/diabetestype2.pdf

Coeliac disease

www.coeliac.org.uk

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Coeliac-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx


Other diets


USEFUL RESOURCES

Vegetarian diet

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegetarianmealguide.aspx

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/vegetarianfoodfacts.pdf

https://www.vegsoc.org/document.doc?id=38

Vegan diet

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegandiets.aspx


More information from the 'Special diet' category

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The ‘Care for Something to Eat’ PDF provides a detailed insight into the needs of CiC, and a comprehensive understanding of practical tools and ideas that carers and other professionals can use in everyday situations when providing child care.

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