- Mildly retarded- IQ score between 50-75
- Moderately retarded – IQ Score between 35-50
- Profoundly retarded – IQ Score below 35
The relationship of nutrition and mental disorders has always been a matter of debate and therefore a therapeutic role for specific dietary factors have not been clearly established. But diet plays an important part of the total rehabilitation program. Aside from its nutritional necessity, food provides basic security and satisfaction. The patient needs to feel that someone is genuinely concerned about his or her welfare.
The diet besides being nutritionally adequate also has to look appealing to the eye, tempting in aroma and satisfying to the palate. Mentally challenged persons react favourably when an attractive dining environment with suitable background music is provided. Nurse should help the family members to understand the problems of feeding and educate them accordingly.
A mentally retarded child may eat very slowly and feeding may be messy. To obtain adequate food intake for growth thus requires frequent small feeding and abundance of patience and ingenuity.
Retarded individuals may resist new foods, have definite likes and dislikes and may find it difficult to manage eating. They respond to the colour of foods and are fond of sweets. A regular schedule of weighing of patients once a month will detect if patient is eating inadequately or excessively and corrections can be started before problem becomes serious.
When individuals are able to feed themselves they should be encouraged to do so. Food must be presented in a form that can be managed easily.
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