One of the hardest things about having to eat ‘free from’ is the devastating impact it has on your shopping bill. Many of the foods are three times the price of ‘normal’ foods. If you are like me, and decide to try and make as much as you can from scratch, you can still feel an impact as for some reason, even store cupboard staples such as tinned foods seem to be going up in price from week to week.
Most ‘celebrations’ or ‘holidays’ or gatherings or whatever you call them are a headache for the parent of an allergic child. None more so than Easter – because everywhere you look there are more cakes and chocolates and confections than ever just screaming at you to buy them.
Zac is very used to walking past the groaning supermarket shelves and pays them very little attention. It is a testament to his character that my child is probably one of the only four year olds in the country who can walk down the ‘sweetie’ aisle and cake aisle in the supermarket and remain totally unmoved and disinterested by what he sees there. He rushes past all the ‘normal’ stuff and head for his special place – no more than a few short shelves in our local supermarkets.
I am forever reading how porridge is such a great breakfast because of the health boosting, cholesterol lowering properties of oats etc but when you are living a gluten free, dairy free lifestyle you tend to think of a bowl of milky, sticky cereal as your worst nightmare.
However since I became aware of gluten free oats, and more familiar with the various dairy free milks, I decided it was time to face my fears and see if this could be made palatable, appealing and safe for my intolerant child. Certainly porridge was a favourite when I was weaning him, but in my experience most babies love all foods at that age, it is only once they get older, discover the word ‘no’, and in our case are given the cast iron excuse ‘but it might give me a tummy ache’ that you find yourselves getting less and less adventurous with food.
So it is a while since porridge has been on the menu, but as I am on this quest to find multiple safe breakfast options, I have to explore ‘oats’. Thankfully, the porridge making method was explained on the back of the packet. I got my gluten free oats from Waitrose, but I have also bought them from Sainsbury’s in the past – always in the free from sections and clearly marked – gluten free.
Today we were running low on ‘Zac foods’. Our local Tesco, seems to be stocking less and less in it’s Free From section at the moment and our Waitrose is not much better. Sainsbury’s has by far the widest stock on shelves and some brands I have not seen anywhere else. So despite sending Tom to the supermarket yesterday for a ‘big shop’, I still had to go today.
Here is the list of items I bought and how much they cost.
Natures Path Gluten Free ‘O’s – breakfast cereal £2.75
Doves Farm Gluten Free Stars – breakfast cereal £1.94
Free From Ciabatta – 2 x small bread rolls – £1.80
Free From Digestive biscuits – £1.50
Free From Chocolate Coins (for his Christmas stocking) – £1.49
Orgran Outback Animal biscuits – £2.99
Free From Rich Tea biscuits – £1.39
Small bag of Free From Pasta – £1.50
Dietary Specials Gluten Free breadsticks – £2.49
Alpro Creamy Peach Yoghurts pack of 2 pots – £1
Alpro Creamy Cherry Yoghurts pack of 2 pots – £1
Gluten Free/Dairy Free chocolate spread – £2.29
Free From Spaghetti – £1.50
Small loaf of Genius brown bread – £2.90
Free From White bread rolls pack of 2 – £0.63
So that is almost £30 spent on special foods. I know it looks like a lot of snack foods. He won’t consume these all in a week, remember not all stores stock everything, so I tend to load up when I see a bit of variety. I do limit his snacking but when you have a child who cannot eat dairy or gluten, snacking is tricky. Active 3 year olds are hungry a lot and need extra fuel – so I do let him have the odd biscuit.
I had to run to Milton Keynes today. Needed the bank and fancied a look around the shops. On the way out I remembered there is a large Sainsbury’s very nearby and decided to pop in – on the off chance they might have some Barkat ice cream cones. Best decision I made all week! More…
If you have been following my recent blog posts, you will know that I have been searching for the Barkat gluten free, dairy free ice cream cones. I approached the Barkat stand at the Allergy Show several weeks ago and they assured me they would be back on the shelves in Sainsbury’s very soon. More…