Gluten Free Child

Want a gluten free school dinner? Fill out a survey …

If you’re in America, you might be able to help. American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) is working on a collaborative project with a number of organizations to support children with celiac disease in schools, and they want to find out what the level of interest would be for gluten-free school lunches.

If you have a child with celiac disease attending school, please take a minute to answer the questions at their site. The questions aren’t difficult or intrusive, and your input will help to demonstrate that students with celiac disease want and need gluten-free meals at school.

Don’t forget to enter the competition for gluten free lipsticks

Staying gluten free at university

Sarah (from Scribbles and Scratchings) commented recently on my post about the BBC and the cost of gluten free food.

Her comments – and later emails – are so valuable that she’s agreed I can share them with you. I’m sure this will be useful to anyone out there worrying about leaving home. Over to you, Sarah …

I’m a 20 year old coeliac at Uni and never eat any of the nasty stuff you get on prescription, despite being on a really tight budget. Naturally gf stuff tastes better and is cheap as chips (fruit, rice, potatoes) and except for the occasional gf fish finger during exams, or gf crumpet when I’m stressed, it’s all good.

I’m in my second year so live in a private flat with my 5 flatmates, but last year I chose to go self catering – there was NO way I was going to live on jacket potatoes for the year and pay 40 quid* a week for the privilege!! It turned out to be a wise decision, a friend of mine is also coeliac and was put in halls, and got served the weirdest food – once just fish and broccoli, no sauce no nothing. She also got glutened once a fortnight!

I was really lucky – I was stressing getting ready to move in because I knew within hours I was going to have to sit down with a bunch of strangers and explain being coeliac and kitchen habits to them, but it turned out fine. There was 5 girls including me in my flat, we cooked chilli together on the first night (with a lot of […]

One small step for independence

My older children, particularly middle daughter, have taken to walking to the farm shop, down the road, to buy small items (milk, eggs etc). I think this is great … not only do I get emergency supplies bought in when needed, but it is also good independence training. And because we live in a small village on a main road, there isn’t anywhere else they can go. We have the school for the surrounding seven villages, a church, a pub and the farm shop. There are the fruit fields in summer, where we can go and pick-your-own soft fruit, (or fish for trout, if we felt like it), but really, that’s it. No playgrounds, no pavements (trans: sidewalk), no buses, no post office.

Today, my eldest (coeliac) daughter decided to go to the farm shop with her friend, who was visiting for the day. It’s been a very hot day, and they wanted icecream. (The farm shop sells a variety of different flavour icecreams, as they do round here). For the first time, she decided that she could take one of her own gluten free cones, and ask to have it filled.

And she did it. Apparently the girl behind the counter (from the local town) was a bit surprised, and thought my daughter had taken the cone from the pile available for sale, but she managed to get through that and order icecream.

Such a small thing, and yet usually she relies on us to explain, and to ask, since she is quite shy …

Independence training – a wonderful thing.

Gluten Free School Trips

You may remember my discussing the need to explain to school about the requirements of the gluten free diet, to make it easier for my daughter to go on school trips – or other trips without me.

I thought I’d provide the letter that I sent before her most recent school trip, in case it is useful to anyone else. I wanted to explain to school not only what she could and couldn’t eat, but also what the likely effects would be.

Do feel free to download, cut and paste and generally reuse for your own purposes, but bear in mind that this was written for the UK, so you might need to double-check some of the detail.

Letter explaining what a coeliac can eat

I’ve stripped out her name and our contact details, for obvious reasons.

Gluten Free Bullying – is it happening to you?

sad childIs your child’s packed lunch safe?

There was a rather scary story on the message board from a mother whose daughter is coeliac. One of the other children at school has taken to ‘accidentally’ dropping not-gluten-free food into her packed lunch, rendering it inedible.

I think this is classic bullying. Unfortunately, the teachers seem to be treating it as accidental, and don’t understand the serious effect this could have:

  • if the child throws her food away (which she is), then she’ll be hungry, and not able to concentrate
  • if the child gambles, and eats the food, she could suffer:
    • vomiting and/or diarrhoea (neither of which the teacher will enjoy having to deal with in class)
    • brain fog, making her unable to concentrate
    • and possibly a host of other symptoms, as well as long-term damage.

This is obviously bad for the child, but also difficult for the teachers and other staff …

Luckily we’ve never had to handle this kind of bullying. We’ve had to deal with other bullying (both physical and psychological), but never anything to do with being gluten free.

How would you handle this?