Younger children with Down’s syndrome experience difficulty in chewing, this is due to low muscle tone and can be exacerbated by the later arrival of teeth. However, they should be weaned in the same way and at the same time as other children and encouraged to try a variety of foods, although meat and other more fibrous foods are often rejected until the child gets older.
Your child may prefer softer foods as these are easier to chew, swallow and digest. As long as your child is getting a variety of food, this is not something to worry about. All children have likes and dislikes and as long as your child is willing to try new tastes and textures, a preference for similar types of food in early childhood is nothing to worry about.
Encouraging your child to try new food can be incorporated into family mealtimes. Mealtimes are an important learning environment for children, sitting around a table encourages them to interact with the family and watch and learn about the social aspect of eating together. Learning table skills will ensure that they are included at nursery and school.
If your child is very reluctant to try new foods, try not to get too anxious about it. They will pick up on your anxiety and this can reinforce any negative feelings they have about the new food in front of them. Likewise, presenting your child with a plate full of new smells, textures and tastes will create stress for you both.
Try introducing new foods by using serving dishes on the table which you can all help yourself to, this may encourage your child to pick up and try something new.