Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gluten Free

We are rapidly turning into the family you really don't want to invite over for a quick meal. Not only are two members vegetarian, my son is also a coeliac, and although it has become second-nature now for me to cook the right meals, it's a nightmare to try to explain what he can and can't have. Luckily, since Hugh was diagnosed ten years ago, things have improved beyond measure in foods stocked, labelling and taste, and this week is Coeliac Awareness Week. Although it's worth putting up with people calling him a 'faddy eater' and me a 'fussy mother' just to make sure he gets the right foods, I'm amazed at how many people still think that 'just a little bit of flour' is going to be perfectly acceptable, even a treat. An extraordinary lack of knowledge when you think that they estimate that one in 100 people in the UK will suffer from it. Luckily, there are some brilliant blogs out there to help with recipes, advice and sharing stories. My favourite ones are: Gluten A go Go, Gluten Free Bay, Gluten Free Girl, and best of all, the divine Gluten Free Goddess, from whom I ordered the above t-shirt which still makes me laugh. I haven't found any British blogs as far as I know, but I'd really like to be proved wrong on that!


Kathmcg said...

I remember meeting my first coeliac disease sufferer - a little girl aged 4 who came to my son's birthday party 8 years ago. Her mum sent her with her own packed party tea, to avoid any problems. That was so thoughtful, and a real help.

But after the Pass the Parcel, I found the little girl in tears hiding in the kitchen. She'd 'won' a pack of Smarties, hidden between layers of wrapping paper, and didn't know if she could eat them or not. Neither did I, as labelling then wasn't as good as now. A quick phone call to her mum resolved the issue (Smarties were OK) and she soon cheered up.

It's only been the last couple of years that food has had to be labelled to show whether or not it contains gluten, I read yesterday. Mad isn't it, when such a high proportion of the population are coeliacs.

Capulet said...

My step-niece has coeliacs. When she was just a baby, they didn't know what was wrong with her, and her stomach swelled up horribly and she became very ill. We were all so worried about her, but now she's a beautiful, happy todd.

Sarah said...

Oh that's such a sad story, Kath, and typical of coeliacs I'm sure because they don't actually want to eat the wrong thing because it makes them feel so bad.
And hi, Capulet. We had a similar story in that it's very hard to diagnose. The amazing thing is how quickly the child changes though, once they are on the right diet. Hope things are going well for you at uni, btw.

Sheltie Girl said...

Sarah -- Thank you for the kind words about my blog.

My family is a challenge to have for dinner too. Between the four of us we cover the range gluten sensitivity, nightshade allergy, plus lactose & soy intolerance.

When my extended family gets together at my parent's beach house each summer, we tend to do a lot of grilling and eating fresh vegetables. I bring along my gluten free flours and make the desserts. Everybody love them and is thankful that they don't need to worry about someone getting sick.

Thank you for sharing part of your adventure with us.

Sheltie Girl

Sarah said...

Hi Sheltie Girl, Thanks for stopping by. I've cooked some of your pudding recipes - so can vouch for how good they are!!!

Lucy said...

Hey Sarah - I'm here, I blog gluten-free, and I'm British! My daughter was diagnosed over 10 years ago too - she's now 11. Was Hugh (like capulet's step-niece and my daughter) also diagnosed as a baby?

We too are a tricky family to feed - I don't eat meat (nor does my coeliac daughter); my other daughter loves a roast but won't touch a vitamin; and my son is permanently hungry.

Karina said...

Thanks so much for the lovely shout-out. Glad you like the t-shirt.

It is a sticky business, this whole gluten-free thing. And vegetarian, too? Makes life interesting, doesn't it? ;-)

Be well!


Sarah said...

Hi Lucy, nice to have been proved wrong! Hugh was diagnosed as a toddler after several visits to the doctor who kept insisting he was fine. Just a whiny baby. Eventually I insisted he saw a specialist because I 'knew' something was wrong. Mother's instinct, I guess.
Hi Karina, nice to have a goddess float in! Your t-shirts are just brilliant, and yes, yay to an interesting life (although not too interesting please!).

Anonymous Bosch said...

I have Coeliac disease and live in Tun wells so
its really nice to read your Blog and explore the Gluten free links =))