Last week was Coeliac Awareness week (13th -19th May) and Gardenrose Primary School celebrated their success in supporting pupils Keir, 11, and Rory McKnight, 9, and Zoe Lamont,10, who have all been diagnosed with the condition.
School Chef Margaret Murdoch, who has personal knowledge of the disease through a member of her family, has done a wonderful job of adapting the menu to ensure the children enjoy as much variety and as many tasty treats as everyone else.
Margaret’s homemade chicken curry is a favourite, as are her gluten free macaroni cheese and pizza.
She bakes gluten free fairy cakes and shortbread for the children to enjoy. She has also been nominated for Scotland’s School Chef of the Year.
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune condition caused by an intolerance to gluten. Symptoms vary but can include diarrhoea, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, tummy pain, and recurrent miscarriage, other symptoms are nose bleeds, mouth ulcers, headaches and joint pains.
Children with the condition can be irritable, have learning problems and their growth can be restricted.
One in every 100 people have the condition, but only 10-15% are being diagnosed, and national charity Coeliac UK is urging people who have symptoms to ask to be tested.
Coeliac disease should be tested for before a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is given.
Anyone considering a test should continue to eat gluten.
Coeliac disease is treated through a strict gluten free diet and staple foods such as bread and pasta are available on prescription.
Keir and Rory’s mum Carrie said: “Keir also attends South Craig school in Ayr and the staff there have also done a tremendous job in ensuring that he gets to eat the same as everyone else. While the diet brings challenges at first, especially in terms of eating out, since they have been diagnosed and gone gluten free I have two much happier boys who are fit and well, with loads more energy for all the good things in life.”
Zoe’s mum Sharon said, “Margaret happily goes above and beyond her duties as cook at Gardenrose. I know she has researched and planned meals in her own time at home and is always on the lookout for new things when she does her own food shopping. I have every confidence in Margaret and her staff and know that Zoe gets a healthy, nutritious, gluten free meal at school helping her to recover and stay well.”
For further information contact: www.coeliac.org.uk or phone 0845 305 2060.