This edition of the Coeliac Spotlight is going to be a very special one indeed, for we have our youngest ever spotlight star at just nine-years-old. Everyone say a big hello to Jonah Kent! After his mum dropped us a tweet a few months ago to tell us how well he was doing, we were interested to find out a little more about his journey so far. Here’s what happened…
So, we’ve heard you were diagnosed with Coeliac Disease quite recently?
I was diagnosed last year, when I was 8.
That’s very young! How have you adjusted to your new diet over the past year?
Even in that short space of time, it’s getting easier to find nice GF food. Lots of supermarkets are increasing their range and Mum is always finding new things for me to try. It can be difficult to find things in smaller shops though.
It’s great that mum is out there hunting down the best gluten free goodies! Is there anything you REALLY miss eating?
I definitely miss going to McDonald’s or getting fish and chips. My favourite treat was Oreo biscuits, and we did find a GF alternative online, but we don’t get them very often because they cost a fortune. At first I missed pastry, because the GF pastry I tried was super crumbly and not very nice, but then we found TGTBGF pork pies in Sainsbury’s and that made me really happy.
You’ve got very good taste in pies then! What’s your favourite place go for a gluten free meal?
Eating out can be really tricky. I have a sister who has a serious peanut allergy, so it always takes us ages to order our food when we go somewhere new. Pizza Hut is my favourite though. I like their GF pizza; and they do special French fries for me, that are cooked in the oven (their regular ones are fried in oil that’s not GF).
Great choice…you’re making us a little peckish! Now, we think it would be interesting to hear some words of wisdom from someone experiencing the disease at such a young age. Have you got any advice for people who are new to the Coeliac community?
My advice for anyone just diagnosed, would be: firstly, don’t worry. It’s really Ok, there are lots of really good GF foods to try. Use the Internet to see what’s available. Definitely join Coeliac UK because they have lots of helpful information. Always carry a snack with you, when you go places, just in case you can’t find anything you like while you’re out (TGTBGF pork pies are great to carry with you). If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a shop or restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask. Tell people you have CD and you’ll probably be surprised how many people you know who have it too. Fellow coeliacs have been really kind and helpful. Lastly, a breakfast tip: mix your 2 favourite GF cereals together and add some mini marshmallows or chocolate chips to keep it interesting.
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