By Tikia Joella
In one of her analogies Lutgard Musiime brings back the childhood game I want think most of us played growing up that mirrored the family dynamics “mama ne taata” (mum and dad) we emulated all roles in the home from cooking to doing laundry to having kids, but I don’t think we ever imagined playing roles of mother and father to differently abled children.
The traditional African family setting is built to only handle healthy children without disability anything outside that is considered a curse.
She touches on the array of emotions one experiences when faced with having and raising a child with disability and how their coping ability directly affects the welfare of the child and topping all that with societal stereotypes and myths around disability is just too much weight for any human to carry.
I applaud every parent/gaurdian doing there best to make your child comfortable. Your doing good.
This book comes to make your lives a little more manageable.
Lutgard Musiime is a qualified nutritionist and dietician, she writes an essential guide to transform the relationship between differently abled children and food.
“Poor Nutrition in the first 1000 days can cause irreversible damage to a child’s growing brain, affect their ability to do well in school……
It can also set the stage for later obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases that may lead to a life time of health problems. With children who are differently abled, it worsens…”
Any parent knows how it is a struggle to get a child to eat food, I am a parent myself and I can testify. I can only imagine and sympathise on the struggle parents with differently abled children go through,from food sensitivities to picky eaters and topping it up with the financial constraints that come with the challenge.
It’s a fact that special needs children especially those with cognitive and adaptive disabilities are at an increased risk of developing feeding difficulties and secondary nutritional deficiencies.
A very thin line exists between malnutrition and differently abled children because of the many factors that can constrain development stages in infant and toddler feeding from medical factors to syndromes and disorders, responsibility strain and muscle tone and more that are outlined and explained in this book.
I believe it’s very important to know where you are in order to know where you need to be in this case understanding development stages in toddler feeding will give you the knowledge of what to feed a child.
The author in the better part of the book explains some of the common disability conditions to help us appreciate why it is important to understand disability if we are going to make feeding easier since some bad or misinformed decisions made in a child’s feeding can have life long effects.
After explaining the importance for the differently-abled child to feed properly she goes ahead to guide us on how to practise safety and efficiency while feeding these children to avoid complications that occur in the process.
The book also comes with a food guide that cuts across for both healthy and differently abled children it includes the importance of a balanced diets, food textures, how to create a food diary et al.
I saved the best for last.
After the food guide is the Lutgard 20 day feeding challenge to help create a bond with your child as you learn to communicate with them during meal time.
“Unknown to many, mealtimes are an important learning environment where socialisation and language development takes place the most.”
While the book targets parents and guardians of differently abled children I feel everyone should read this book to have a glimpse of this reality so we can all join the move to create awareness on the facts behind the causes of disabilty and the importance of a healthful balanced diet in the early stages of an all-round child’s development.
Lutgard Musiime grew up in Uganda.
She is a nutritionist, writer and author with a passion for changing and impacting lives through improved nutrition practices. Her passion has seen her working in the rural areas of Uganda from North East in Karamoja all the way to the far South West in Mbarara.
A seasoned content creator, she has collaborated with different writing communities in the region; Afrobloggers, Zeitgeist et al.
you can find more of her work on her website: www.lutgardmusiime.com
Her first maiden book ‘Differently Abled Nutrition’ will be on the market in September 2021 However the book is available for pre-order at a giveaway price of Ugx35,000 in Uganda.
You can reach her via
Be kind, Be humble, spread love.