Claire Dunn, of local company no faff, tells us how discovering that her young son had a wheat allergy led to her starting her own food business.
My youngest was not quite 2 when through a process of trial and elimination, I discovered that he was intolerant to wheat. After nearly 2 years of putting lose bowels, red dry itchy skin and a bloated tummy down to the usual teething, bugs from nursery, eczema in the family and toddler chub I decided it wasn't right. He wasn't right.
At first we eliminated dairy but 5 days later, no change. Next we tried wheat and after 3 days, the red dry skin was gone, bowel movements had improved no end and the bloated tummy was less bloated. Another couple of weeks later and he was a different boy.
And so with the relief of finally understanding what was going on, came a bucket load of confusion. What should he eat? What alternatives are available in the supermarkets? As I trawled through the aisles reading all the labels, the confusion turned to frustration.
I’m a strong believer that breakfast is key for children. It sets the tone for the day and getting it right means giving my children the ability to concentrate, to focus on playing and learning, allowing them to listen carefully and make new friends. So when I wandered the breakfast aisle and found the 'free from' cereals, all I saw was sugar and I knew that that wouldn't do the job.
I started researching, I read a ton of recipes, I talked to those who had been through this before and apart from the universal agreement that free from cereals were all a bit well, crap, there didn't seem to be loads of other options. The next step seemed quite obvious, so I stuck my apron on and I started baking.
I spent a fortune on buying ingredients and testing out recipes I’d come across and then tried them again modified to suit my family and then just started making up my own recipes. Luckily my youngest was happy to be the guinea pig and before long I had found a couple of cereals and homemade snacks that he loved but that also my whole family enjoyed. It was fantastic for us all to eat the same thing, my youngest was getting used to eating differently to others but finding something that was inclusive to him and made no odds to anyone else, it made my heart glow.
Before long, I was making breakfasts and snacks for friends and family too. Everything I make is wheat, dairy and egg free and so it works for so many people with intolerances but even better, I was making something that tastes good. When a change of circumstances at home meant a step back from the corporate world for me, it was a natural step to turn to no faff, to put my apron back on, design some new recipes.
I hope that the journey my youngest has been on, the things we have discovered together along the way, the improvements he’s benefitted from, just being included rather than excluded, can help other people, other families.
Being in the kitchen, with the music on loud, baking everything from scratch, to order, with care and love, well, that’s a pretty good way to spend a day.
To order from no faff go to Claire's website here.
Claire will also be hosting a no faff pop-up shop here at the Wellbeing Clinic on Friday 4th May 2018, feel free to drop in and try some samples and buy some healthy snacks or granola!