I have children. I’ve fed them, and I’ve weaned them. I’ve dealt pretty well with the changes needed to their dietary requirements. In hindsight, I have to say, I’ve had it easy. I’ve recently been looking into several different diets that people commonly used. I had a very limited idea about how many people are affected by special dietary needs!
Coming to grips with dietary needs
First of all, there are the common food allergies. Nuts, milk and kiwi fruits are quite common problems for people. There are hundreds of others. Most people don’t know they have a food intolerance. However, if you have an allergy, it could even be fatal. I would be devastated to know I had inadvertently given someone something that would make them ill. It’s made me realize I need to ask these questions more often, especially when entertaining younger kids.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of my social interactions are online. However, I love it when we have people over, and I can cook for them, you know, if they’ll let me. We all know I’m still learning the ropes in the kitchen! I’m definitely going to make the effort to check about dietary requirements from now on though. Little Miss and The Boy are both social bugs. They have lots of friends and several close friends. I love it when they have their pals over, and I don’t mind preparing meals for everyone. I just need to be sure I’m getting it right.
It’s not just the kids I need to worry about, either. There are lots of eating disorders to worry about too. Most of us are familiar with anorexia, and bulimia. They tend to stem from anxieties, and are usually considered to be a mental health problem. However, there are other physical barriers to eating a meal. I’ve been looking at dysphagia advanced diet info that details swallowing disorders. This affects how a meal should be prepared, too.
Vegetarians come in all shapes, and sizes. Some are happy to eat fish as a source of protein, but many are strict in their dietary requirements. It’s thought that eating any meat after being a vegetarian for a long time can be a problem in the digestive system. I need to be so careful not to contaminate vegetarian meals if I’m cooking for meat eaters too. Finding protein can be tricky. It often relies on beans (which aren’t a common ingredient in my cooking,) and pulses that need to be cooked properly to avoid food poisoning.
Vegans don’t eat any animal products. This includes milk, eggs and cheese. I have to admit to struggling to find recipes, and ingredients, to make up a wholesome meal for a vegan. I can see that any vegan with a food allergy to nuts, or beans, would really struggle to find the right nutrition in their diet. Still, there are plenty of very healthy vegans out there. And there are plenty who are much fitter than me too!
Cooking for different dietary needs doesn’t need to be tricky. Although, it does require a little planning, and a good book of recipes! Preparation is often key. You need to serve up the right foods, but sometimes it’s how it’s served that makes the difference. Do you have any special dietary needs? Share in the comments below, and perhaps put a link to your favorite recipe!