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Food bills for families with allergy issues

(17 Posts)
Waltonswatcher1 Sat 01-Mar-14 20:56:25

I just posted about the size of our food bill on AIBU; about the price we pay for food .
Having a child with allergies sends your food bill rocketing- or is this just me ?
I am feeding a family if five -two of us have no :-
There are few free from foods that we can eat -orgran and amsco are my saviours . These aren't stocked by the cheap shops .
Is anyone else finding this a financial strain too ?

ilovepowerhoop Sat 01-Mar-14 20:58:14

do you not get some of the foods on prescription? I know a family in our street gets gluten free stuff prescribed

splasheeny Sat 01-Mar-14 21:10:41

I second the prescription food. My brother did as a child.

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:20:07

No. It's a disgrace . Dd was diagnosed with suspected cmpa and soya at 9wks after life threatening tummy swelling . She was ebf . I was put on allergy free diet . Then when solids were introduced it was totally allergen free to avoid any further allergies and also as the gut suffered such damage . Gluten was a big no no for these reasons but , as she has never had gluten and was therefore not a coeliac no prescription .
Its unfair and I tried to fight it . The diet is for current allergies and to hopefully avoid coeliacs and other allergies .
I am bf her still- she's 2 . I am therefore on the same diet .
It saved the NHS a fortune in formula . Can't remember the name of it now, she has to have a little bit each day when little in case my milk dried up .

ilovepowerhoop Sat 01-Mar-14 22:24:55

have they not suggested a food challenge? you may be avoiding foods unnecessarily

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:25:29

When we introduced gluten last summer she tolerated it well until Sept and then 8 weeks of awful poo etc followed with rapid weight loss . We then had to remove gluten and also oats . After 2 weeks the poo started normalising and her weight crept back in .
Boring boring I know . Sorry !
I just got a bit frustrated when someone said Aldi for allergy free - if you have no allergy experience its easy to mistakenly think its that easy.

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:27:26

When I say 'we' I mean the hospital ! I am not a nutter enforcing a strict diet !!

ilovepowerhoop Sat 01-Mar-14 22:31:10

They maybe should have done the coeliac testing at that stage then as there needs to be gluten in the diet to test for it.

Waltonswatcher1 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:54:41

Sadly my brilliant consultant went on maternity leave !
This month dd has has internal bleeding from the ibruprofen and so once again her gut is in recovery . ( another long story and another bad hospital decision )
In a month we are going to slowly start with baked egg again , we saw the beloved dietitian last week and this is the plan . Egg would help hugely as its such a good food .

Teapig Mon 03-Mar-14 18:35:14

walton, I really think you should get foods on prescription, can you push for that?

DD has allergies to dairy, egg and nut plus tomato is an irritant. We have just been given the go-ahead to introduce wheat and soy and I feel your pain on the cost.

It's cheaper now she can have wheat and soy but still our food spending is really high. It drives me crazy that some things cost 10 times as much. I can't say anything productive but I am ready to rant with you.

Waltonswatcher1 Mon 03-Mar-14 23:46:47

That's it Teapig , ranting helps if there's someone who understands !
I sat down this weekend and reviewed our spending again , I think I can save money by bulking the meals out with even more veg ; the shepherds pie tonight should really have been named Allotment Pie !
Before this started we were pretty much a meat free zone , not strict veges , just had very little meat . Because the diet is restricted I was told to eat more fish and meat . That pushes the bills up- soya used to be a staple.
The problem is not only the cost . It's the time spent cooking . Most people have the option to eat out / takeaway/ready made . I am lucky that I don't work , I have no idea how I would find the time to cook everything from scratch .
I hope the wheat and soya introduction goes well - I'd love a good stir fry slathered in soya sauce !

drivenfromdistraction Tue 04-Mar-14 08:52:34

Our food bills tripled when we went gluten-free as a family of five (after two DC diagnosed coeliac). We get prescription food for one of the DC, but that goes a very small way.

I make a lot of stuff from scratch.

Tamari 'soy' sauce is gf and tastes good, by the way.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 04-Mar-14 08:59:51

I am GF now recommended for newlyish diagnosed RA.
I don't buy any substitutes I just do without.

No idea how you guys are coping with children. Cannot imagine. You poor really should write to MP explaining the situation to get foods on script...they have an amazing amount of pull bizarrely
Or head of the Trust in complaint.

Meglet Tue 04-Mar-14 09:11:11

I've had to go wheat, and virtually gluten free and it's costing a fortune. My bread is £3, gluten free pizza and bics are silly money.

I can't get a presciption because I don't have coeliac disease (although I have many symptoms and the hospital tested me twice) but after 3yrs of visits my NHS dietician said that wheat + gluten are almost certainly causing my IBS. And I feel much better without it, just very broke.

Teapig Tue 04-Mar-14 11:21:39

Oh it makes me mad. I really think some of these food companies just charge whatever they like becauase they people have no choice and competition is so limited.

I've just gone back to work and it is a challenge cooking almost everything from scratch, batch cooking has seriously helped.

walton there are a few things I buy ready made which does save on time. Sainsburys do really yummy butternut squash and sweetcorn pies, yummy hot or cold and allergen free for DD. I found them in the kosher section. Waitrose beetroot falafel is good too, it's handy to have a couple of things in as snacks.

We used to eat very little meat too but now DD has to eat red meat once a day and chicken or fish once a day to get sufficient calories and protein. The washing up is endless!

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 04-Mar-14 21:31:42

Don't mention the dishes Teapig !
At one point we had to use separate dishes in case of cross contamination . It was like a kosher kitchen , the wooden spoons were red handled for milky and plain for safe ... My husband makes porridge every day but still managed to get it wrong ...
I did bring up prescriptions with the trust , had a very rude response . In the end I gave up as most of the items ok for prescription I don't use .
Today we gave our dd almonds . I had to leave the room . They were baked in a biscuit . She was fine , as we knew she would be from the patch test - it was still a huge leap forward though . There's a whole nutty world out there for us to now try !

AllergyMums Mon 10-Mar-14 19:38:04

I hear your pain! All this stuff costs a fortune. We're egg, milk, tomato and gluten free (different people have different allergies). I bake from scratch because the baked goods are so so expensive. Fine for me - I like baking.

And the cost of gluten free pasta???


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