What is nutrient density?

Nutrient dense foods are good “bang for your buck.” They have a lot of:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fiber

Why is nutrient density important for people with Down syndrome?

Studies show that people with Down syndrome use 10 to 15 % less energy when at rest than peers of the same size, age and gender.

People with Down syndrome need the same nutrients, but they have fewer calories to spend if they want to keep the same weight.

Nutrient density is especially important for those trying to lose weight or people with hypothyroidism.

How do I choose nutrient dense foods?

  • Emphasize quality – Choose more nutrient dense varieties of products when available.
  • Encourage diversity – Eat foods from at least 3 food groups at meals, and 2 at snacks.
  • Implement gradually – Ease the household into healthier options, one or two at a time.
  • Be strategic – Separate the changes someone will and will not make.
  • Foster creativity – Make healthy options fun and exciting.

What are nutrient dense foods?

  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables
  • Whole-grain, fortified and fiber-rich grains
  • Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Nuts

How can I make nutrient dense foods fun?

  • Rockstar Foods – Give pictures of Rockstar Foods (nutrient dense foods) and create a chart showing which ones members of the family like best.
  • Meal Makeover – Challenge people to add more nutrient-dense foods to a meal.
  • Mapping Out MyPlate – Determine how well-balanced your diet is by checking off the number of servings you had from each food group during the day.
Rev: 8/2013. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.