Tuesday, 21 December 2010

New Year New Gluten Free Child Blog

Hi everyone,

Well, I've been meaning to start this blog since 2009 - and here I am nearly 2011 and finally starting!

The inspiration behind this blog is my 8yr old son Sebastian. Seb was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in the Autumn of 2009, though with retrospect it was obvious he was a Coeliac since he was 4mths old. Seb was born weighin 10lbs and very long on the 98th growth centile. By 4mths (when he was weaned onto gluten containing solids - pre this he was solely breastfed) he was on the 25th centile for height and weight and seemed to hate most food I gave him. Health visitors and GPs told me not to worry, he obviously just wasn't meant to stay big, but I always had niggling doubts.

Seb quickly became the smallest child in his year at school. At age 7 when he was diagnosed he was wearing age 5 clothes. He frequently complained of leg pains, lethargy and tummy ache. He suffered from severe constipation 2 or 3 times per year and he had awful smelly breath. Things came to a head in August 2009. We had been on a family holiday to Disneyland and he cried so much (from tiredness and leg pain) that my 2yr old daughter was taken out of her buggy so he could sit in it. Off to the GPs we went and despite my late father being a Coeliac she (the GP) seemed reluctant to test Seb and said it was all normal "growing pain" and perhaps normal throat bacteria. I persisted. 2wks later his test results came back "very positive" and we were referred to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge for an endoscopy, which also proved "very positive" and so Seb was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. We decided to turn into a gluten free house, it felt safer that way. I am convinced my 3yr old daughter, Violet, is also a Coeliac although the bloods say she isn't. I'm certain I am too, since going gluten free I have felt so much healthier and if I do accidentaly eat it I have violent tummy pains and diarrhoea - but I don't want to eat gluten again in order to be tested!

So, here we are....a year in after diagnosis, gluten free living has become a way of life for us now, not all positive, we have our ups and our downs. I have rediscovered a love of cooking, after a few months buying ready made gluten free products and mixes I pretty much everything from scratch now. It tastes so much better and is so much cheaper! So this blog will mostly be looking at our gluten free, coeliac friendly, food - with a specific angle of child friendly gluten free food (not easy!). I hope to post details of party food we make, family mealtimes and gluten/child friendly restaurants. I know when we were first diagnosed there was lots of support for older Coeliacs, but as a mother of a young boy (who doesn't like "healthy food" - why does gluten free always = healthy? as if it's a lifestyle choice?!) I felt unsupported, I would have loved to have been in contact with gluten free young families. We are a member of Coeliac UK and go along to regular meets, however we have only ever met one other Coeliac child.

Please bookmark me - I shall try to update as often as possible, well as often as possible when you have 4 children under 9, a puppy, 3 cats, 5 chickens and a part time (self employed) job!

Sarah (& Sebastian!).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I'm living gluten, dairy, egg and soy free and have also been on the hunt for a good pastry recipe. The best I've found so far is from "The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-free & dairy -free Recipes" by Grace Cheetham. (Re: Lays Stax wondering if you could get them cheaper and closer to home? they're a popular brand in France)

    Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry

    Sift 75g rice flour, 75g gram flour into a bowl. Stir in 50g ground almonds, 1 tsp xanthan gum and 35g fruit sugar (Fructose). Cut 80g chilled dairy free marg into small cubes (I haven't sourced any hard marg yet, so cubed some soft and froze it). Rub marg into dry ingredients until...breadcrumbs.
    Make a well and add 1 beaten egg (or Orgran No Egg). Mix. Add a little water if needed (I needed to add quite a bit). Shape into a round, wrap in cling and put in fridge.
    Would be interested to know what you think of it.