Dave is father to a child with coeliac diease. He shares how his family adjusted to keeping their home gluten free and how they keep a positive mindset.
When did you suspect that your child had coeliac disease?
Our daughter started having problems from 11 months old and we visited the doctor so many times being told she'll grow out of it. She was diagnosed 3 months before her 3rd birthday. We didn't know what was wrong, we just knew that she wasn't right.
How did your family adjust to keeping your home gluten free/coeliac friendly?
At first it was a shock, having to see a dietician and looking into everything she used to eat to see if she was still able to have it. After a while it was second nature. We all try and eat the same foods or if not prepare hers first before ours e.g roll/sandwich.
What challenges are there for your child? I.e. in school, with friends, parties etc.
At school she takes a packed lunch. She did have school dinners for a short while, but she was telling the kitchen staff that she couldn't have food that was served on her plate. So, we stopped that. All my family are great and try and have a few things in that she can have and as for parties we take her own packed lunch and normally make fairy cakes that she has instead of birthday cake. She never misses out.
How do you try to give your children a positive relationship with food?
If there is something that she likes the look of, then we try and make it for her. She loves lemon meringue pie, so I cook one from scratch. Just so she knows we won't limit her to what we can buy.
How does your child’s gluten free prescription help them manage their gluten free diet?
Having her prescription means we always have bread, rolls and white mix to be able to make sure she get what she needs in her diet.
What’s their favourite Juvela product and what do you make with it?
The Juvela White Mix is our favourite as we make everything with it. Soda bread, cakes, pastry, white sauce - you name it, we'll give it a go.
And finally, what’s your top tip for staying positive as a family?
Never think that you can't make anything or do something . It’s always possible and if you go anywhere just take your own packed lunch and snacks. Things have become so much easier over the last 5 years with restaurants now supplying gluten free food.