Down's Syndrome: Whats worked for my son
I am now going to fast forward in time from my last blog….. 7 years forward; the birth of my son who has Down’s Syndrome or Trisomy 21 as I prefer to call it. There is so much to share and so I will break it down to a few key areas during my next few blog posts:
Diet and Nutrition
Epigenetics and Attitude – The Power
Cognition including Attention
Waking up His Brain
Books, Publications and Blogs
Diet and Nutrition
I have decided to start with diet and nutrition because this is what I focused on primarily before he was born.
My own diet was clean. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables many of which were organic balanced with proteins, carbs and plenty of water. This was my fourth and very different pregnancy. We didn’t actually know he would have special needs, I just wanted the best for my baby based on what I had learned during my 14 years since my last child was born.
I included smoothies daily containing brewers yeast, wheatgrass and sunflower seeds. I also had the DHA plus pregnancy supplements.
When J.B was born, 5 weeks early at 5lb 11 oz all seemed well. A pediatrician commented on how well he looked and asked if I took vitamin supplements during pregnancy! I continued my nutrient packed diet to keep my milk as nourishing as possible. Then at 3 months it was clear that all was not so well. J.B suffered heart failure and was losing weight drastically. He needed immediate surgery and so I flew from the Caribbean where there were no paediatric heart surgeons to the UK. A week later he was on the operating table and by then also being fed formula milk. We continued with the formula post surgery in addition to my breast milk, weight gain was serious business at this stage.
Before we knew it, he was six months old and happily chubby. JB started his own food. In addition to his first foods which included paw paw, sweet potato, pumpkin and yam, he started to drink green smoothies which he loved! However, at 11 months, it was apparent that JB became congested every time he drank formula milk, he also became overactive. After reviewing the milk benefits and realising that there was sugar added as well as other questionable ingredients, I stopped the formula and continued to breast feed which then increased my supply and I continued to breast feed until he was 26 months old. I wished I had done this earlier:(
Eventually I discovered that JB’s digestion was not working well enough to digest chicken or fish and he also had a bad reaction to eggs. So JB became a vegan!
Since then I have introduced him to Nutrivene D supplements, zinc, magnesium, calcium, omega 3 and high protein foods including beans and brown rice, quinoa and raw organic vegetables, especially broccoli which he loved from the start.
Of late, (he is now 4 years), to further increase his protein intake (on the advice of Robin Pauc), I have reintroduced fish and chicken, he now can digest both easily and he is also eating eggs successfully.
So this is what JB eats. I want to let you know what he doesn’t eat. JB does not eat anything containing wheat, refined sugar, preservatives, artificial colour, heated oils other than coconut oil, or dairy products. His diet is clean and all meals are cooked from scratch. The majority of his foods are organic.
JB is physically active, alert, fast, responsive, well built, strong and lean. He is also mentally alert, fast, responsive, observant, keen to learn and has a great sense of humour!
Ensuring this super balanced diet is achieved daily takes planning and practice and it has taken me a while to get it right. I am still learning and still tweaking. I prepare meals in advance when possible to allow more time with JB, and plan weekly menus to avoid the ‘what shall I cook tonight?’ syndrome. I keep it simple and manageable and it works.
In a nutshell, this is JB’s diet…and mine. I practice what I preach and I have been able to keep up with this ever energetic and growing boy by keeping my own health a priority.
If you would like to know more about our food and meal-planning, let me know. I will get some simple recipes to you…. meanwhile watch this space for my next blog on epigenetics and attitude… our state of mind and the power behind them!
Thanks for reading,