Guest Blog - Janelle from Nellbe Gluten Free

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Janelle. You may have already know her blog Nellbe Gluten Free where she shares her experiences, knowledge and some great gluten free recipes. Janelle has coeliac disease so lives on a strict gluten free diet. Here's what she had to share with us....
Being pregnant, especially for the first time is an exciting time as well as an anxious time. I know it was for me, lots of questions, thoughts and worries went through my head. Just like all mums but for me, I felt a worry about them and being food allergic.
You see,I have coeliac disease. Which basically means that I need to have a strict gluten free diet for the rest of my life. If not, I will be a very sick woman.
Following a gluten free diet isn't easy but it is easier than you think. Cooking for myself is super duper easy. Relying on others is hard when they prepare your food, especially when out at a cafe or restaurant. Your health and well being is totally at the mercy of someone else.

The ongoing research into coeliac disease has found there to be a genetic link. That is if you have coeliac disease then there is a high risk of your offspring being born with the gene and then maybe developing the disease.
Hence the extra worry when pregnant. I breastfed in the first 6 months I knew they were being gluten free so if they  happened to have coeliac disease when born, they should be ok.
Then came the solids. The worry heightened and I was probably more careful that most. That is, I didn't introduce wheat until they were 12 months old, no other gluten until beyond that and I still am very careful about giving them too much wheat or gluten - but that's the mama bear coming out in me, being over cautious.

I was also worried about other food allergies or intolerances, no egg or nut products until they were 12 months, not actual whole nuts until they were 3.
Some of Janelles favourite Gluten Free products
My sons are now 8 and 3 1/2 and so far, so good.  My eldest does have eczema and asthma and even though doctors tell me they are not food related conditions, I beg to differ. We do trial eliminations and the eczema disappears for a while but then it comes back. Which is frustrating.

They will be tested for coeliac disease when the time is right, they still might develop it at some stage but for now, it seems they don't  have to worry about it.
My son goes to school where there is a blanket nut free policy which is wonderful. My eldest has 2 children in his classroom that are anaphylactic to nuts. My son is more cautious than others as he knows through my experiences how food can be poison to someone else. He even told other children off for having fruit bars that may contain traces of nuts!
Banana Cake

As a coeliac I have the awareness and understanding of ensuring food allergic children I come into contact with for parties and food treats that they are still included. I understand that how they feel when everyone in the classroom gets a treat and they don't as they aren't allowed to have it.
This is why in one way I am grateful for having coeliac disease, to be able to cater for every child is something I am happy to do. I understand that if I don't, they'll feel left out. And nobody wants a child to feel like they aren't important enough to be thought of. They deserve a treat too.

If you, or someone you know needs some help with being gluten free, pop on over and check out Janelle's blog at Nellbe Gluten Free where she shares recipes and ideas about being Gluten Free. She also blogs about being a parent and all that fun that brings.
Janelle has just released an ebook called Gluten Free Kids.  A fabulous resource for parents with gluten free children.



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