Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March 21, World Down Syndrome Day
Healthy Eating Habits

March 21, 2018 marks the 13th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and was officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Down Syndrome International encourages people all over the World to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.

The 2018 theme for World Down Syndrome Day is "What I bring to my community." Get the world talking about the benefits for every one of inclusive environments.

People with Down syndrome, on an equal basis with other people, must be able to enjoy full and equal rights, both as children and adults with ‘opportunities’ and ‘choices’.

People with Down syndrome face many challenges as children and adults which may prevent them enjoying their basic human rights. Many people often fail to understand that people with Down syndrome are people first, who may require additional support, but should be recognized by society on an equal basis with others, without discrimination on the basis of disability. 

Families have a deep personal interest in the well-being of their members with Down syndrome. Empowering families to promote the equal status of their members in society and development is crucial so that they can provide support, advocate for opportunities and choices and empower people with Down syndrome to express their own views and make their own decisions, as well as advocate for themselves.

Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed, RD 

Down Syndrome Nutrition: Top Tips

Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, a mother of a child with Down syndrome, a registered dietitian, and the author of “The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles,” encourages parents to start teaching healthy habits early but stresses that it's never too late to start, no matter what age.

Joan became involved in issues related to people with Down syndrome after the birth of her son. “As we all know, parents of kids with disabilities are involved in the big picture immediately – like it or not! I chose to work in the field of nutrition/health promotion for people with Down syndrome over 16 years ago. It’s a choice I've not regretted.”

Introducing Cooking By Color: Recipes for Independence by Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, RD

Down syndrome often affects the muscles in the mouth, causing the tongue to stick out. This may interfere with feeding, including breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, and eating solid food. Most children overcome these types of problems, although they will likely master eating skills at a later age than other children.

Healthy Eating Habits in Children with Down Syndrome, National Down Syndrome Society

The following are some specific strategies you might want to try:
  • Explore new foods together. Go to the store and find something totally new in the produce section, or try a new shape of pasta.
  • Once a month, choose a new recipe with your child that you prepare together. Plan for a mess, and enjoy the time you spend together learning new things and developing new skills.
  • Always build in choices. When your child is young, for example, the development of “healthy habits” centers on learning to communicate and choose. So be sure to provide visual representations of food, such as photos and wrappers, or teach sign language for various foods.
  • Involve your child in menu planning at an early age. Even if you don’t plan more than 30 minutes in advance, be sure to give your child the opportunity to choose one item on the menu or between different snack options.

HAPPY World Down Syndrome Day, Pharrell Williams

Meet a family who shares their
the amazing story of love and living.


Visit the following link to learn more about  World Down Syndrome Day.
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