Children with Down syndrome like greasy, crispy meals and detest brittle or sticky foods, according to a research. These decisions might, however, lead to a less healthful diet.
The Journal of Texture Studies reported the outcome. According to Carolyn Ross, a professor at the School of Food Science at Washington State University, “Children with Down syndrome especially like delicacies like Pirate’s Booty and puffed corn.” “These foods don’t have a lot of nutrients, but they dissolve easily, which is a great benefit for the kids. Making nutrient-dense meals with those qualities is now the difficult part.”
The study investigated the preferred and disliked food textures of children with Down syndrome and compared these preferences to those of ordinarily developing kids.
Around 5,100 kids in the United States are born each year with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder brought on by a complete or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Impairments in eating and swallowing are frequent and a major indicator of higher mortality in those people.
Children with Down syndrome don’t eat as much as kids who are usually developing, but no one has looked into whether food textures play a role in this. According to Ross, this research may assist doctors, parents, and other caregivers in deciding what foods their children will consume while, ideally, encouraging food producers to design their goods to meet the particular demands of this demographic.
Ross remarked that there was a significant study gap in this area. “You can go down a rabbit hole of knowledge online and find a lot of anecdotal anecdotes. However, research like these helps lessen choking incidents by letting parents and medical professionals know what these kids are most likely to consume. If we can give those items some nutritious value, that will truly benefit a lot of people.”
Children with Down Syndrome
People with Down syndrome frequently choke because they may not chew their food well or “pack” it, overfilling their mouths and cheeks without swallowing.
More so than typically developing children, children with Down syndrome experience a number of health complications, such as difficulties eating and swallowing, as well as sensitivity to certain food textures. Ross aims to make it easier for kids with Down syndrome to consume more wholesome foods and get used to novel textures.
We want to educate people on the preferred food textures for children with Down syndrome and how to transition them from pureed foods to more nutrient-dense, texturally complex foods, according to Ross.
218 kids between the ages of 11 and 18 in 30 states received boxes containing 16 commercially available types of food thanks to Ross and her team. 111 of those boxes went to kids with Down syndrome, while the remaining ones went to a control group of kids who are usually developing.
To make sure that flavour wasn’t the basis for a texture preference, the boxes contained four items in each of four distinct texture groups. Before sending the boxes, the study team asked parents which flavours they didn’t enjoy so that such goods wouldn’t be included. To ensure that enjoyment wasn’t the result of novelty, all of the study participants consumed one of each item each day for a week.
The parents afterwards sent the recordings of their kids interacting with and consuming each food item to the research team.
The largest home-use test with children with Down syndrome that we are aware of, according to Ross, “we coded a lot of data.” Additionally, research revealed a significant distinction in texture preferences between kids with and without Down syndrome.