Nicola, who runs the Feeding My Intolerant Child blog was due to join our judging panel for Category 7 of the Freefrom Eating Out Awards last week but, at the last moment she had to pull out because her allergic little boy, Zac, was ill. I quote:
It seems my Mum accidentally gave him his sister’s bread and butter while I was out! She was babysitting. He stopped eating it half way through but it was too late by then! Thankfully he is not ‘ana’ (anaphylactic) – just super sensitive with a slightly delayed reaction so it wasn’t until several hours later that the reaction really started. Funny thing is that is the first ‘accident’ we have had in years. The problem only arose because the gluten free ciabatta rolls you can get now look so ‘close’ to the real thing. My Mother saw one wrapped in foil and assumed it was his left over from earlier in the day.
I replied to the effect that we had been very sorry not to see her and were glad that her son was OK – and asking if I could quote her email as I thought that it was an interesting comment on where ‘freefrom’ was going theses days – and the extra hazards that progress was throwing up for food allergics. That law of untended consequences again… Bless her, she has just replied as follows:
Thanks for the reply. You are right, my Mum did feel terrible (I had said that I am sure that her mum had been devastated!) and it just reminds you of the dangers of what happens once stuff is no longer in the original packaging. No way of checking!
Just to give you more detail. We were at my parents’ house. The day before my Mum had bought my daughter a fresh ciabatta roll from the Sainsbury’s bakery. I had taken some of Zac’s DS brand ciabatta rolls along too. Sophia, had only eaten half of her roll – with just a scrape of butter. So I wrapped it in foil and popped it in the fridge. The next day my Mum was making lunch for Zac while I was out. She went to grab his roll from the cupboard but then spotted the foil wrapped one in the fridge. She opened it and thought they looked the same and assumed it was his. So well done DS, for the fact that their bread now looks just like a fresh baked ‘normal’ ciabatta. The improvements in GF bread are by accident bringing more hazards, as they look and taste more and more like the ‘real thing!’ So lesson of the day, still find a way to label and keep your food separate – because once the packaging is off it can be very hard to tell the difference.
One other interesting thing. Zac had only had about half of it when he stopped eating. I got home to see half on his plate. He usually devours his lunch. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn’t like it. The ‘stripes’ tasted funny. I thought that was odd. That was when I turned it over and realised he had Sophia’s. So his ‘self-preservation’ instincts are still quite strong. He is very good normally and would never touch anything that wasn’t ‘Zac food’, but because he trusts my Mum he got off to a good start, but something stopped him quite quickly.
So another lesson, when your little one is appearing to be fussy – listen to them. They know if something isn’t right. I am glad I did listen and check, as I am sure that he would have been much more poorly had I put pressure on him to eat the whole thing.