Pankaj Sharma | Gluten Free Jio

Pankaj Sharma

My daughter’s name is Lavya and she is currently 7 yrs old. She was first diagnosed with Celiac when she was 3.5 yrs old. Before that, she used to have frequent stomach aches and vomiting and when we consulted doctors they suspected some stomach infection or treated her for deworming as a usual treatment process. Also, we stay in Bangalore and this place does not have many such cases so even doctors did not suspect it. 

However when she went to Jaipur to meet her maternal grandparents, there we just wanted to consult doctors for a second opinion and the doctors had suspicion looking at her height and weight. Also, Jaipur has many such cases so doctors are very much hands-on in this situation and their suspicion was right. She was tested and confirmed as Celiac!

Initially, it was a nightmare for us to manage because we were not knowing about what to do and what not to do. Later we consulted a nutritionist in Bangalore and she helped us identify things that should not be given to her and what can be given to her. We had to change all the cooking utensils at home and remove the wheat flour completely from home. We now grind our own flour from Jowar, bajra, rice, and other things. 

We as a whole family follow a gluten-free diet and eat wheat only when we go out. But now given it’s almost 3.5yrs we are now comfortable with the diet and even she is ok now to follow this. We read the ingredients when we buy anything and try to see the label as Gluten-free.

In my opinion, you can take the positive side as well where you forcefully move towards healthier eating when you are Celiac but this is hard for a kid to understand. She is of the view that someday she will be cured and can eat anything she wants. She is just 7 so I don’t want her to break her viewpoint but I am sure she will understand when she grows up.

Moving to a few important things about this in our world:

Easy availability of gluten-free products at a reasonable price.

Increasing of detecting this problem. I feel similar to the vaccination this should be made a compulsory check for kids at the age of 2-3 or at the age of 5. I understand this could be problematic from birth but can be detected only after a few years.

Restaurants should start offering dishes on their menu card and make this mainstream this would help in the below points:

  1. They would offer options to Celiac people or people with gluten intolerance.
  2. They could also offer these as healthier options given people are getting more conscious about their eating habits these days.
  3. Options for online ordering across various food apps
  4. Reasonable pricing of items that we get. Currently, gluten-free products are sold at a premium and labeled as Gourmet food.