There are about 1 million children in NZ aged 14 or younger, and there’s a hidden epidemic that means around 10,000 of them will never enjoy eating birthday cake with all the other kids.
This hidden epidemic is called Coeliac disease and it often goes undetected. And that leaves many parents wondering why their child is often irritable, under weight, anaemic or is having difficulty concentrating at school.
Coeliac disease is a medical condition, a permanent intestinal intolerance to gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, and for some Coeliacs, oats. Reactions can include upset stomach, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, allergic reactions, mouth ulcers, and chronic diarrhoea.
Around four out of five children with Coeliac disease are not diagnosed. Most sufferers are identified only when they become adults, if in fact they are diagnosed at all.
On top of that, it’s estimated 1 in 100 New Zealanders suffer from some form of gluten disorder.
Coeliac Awareness is designed to alert parents to the possible presence of the disease in their children. It’s also an opportunity to communicate some of the simple solutions to ensuring kids and adults don’t suffer the discomforts the disease can bring on.
“It’s important for parents to understand the symptoms but not to self-diagnose – do not put your child on a gluten-free diet before asking your doctor for a blood test to screen for the condition as it will affect the test results” says Nicky Clark, Coeliac New Zealand Marketing Manager.
“If your child is diagnosed with coeliac disease, adherence to a strict gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment available – however it is very successful.
“With increasing awareness of coeliac disease, there is a growing range of tasty gluten-free food products available in stores, and we are very fortunate to have the support of Healtheries New Zealand.”
Healtheries has a great range of products suitable for Coeliacs and those with gluten intolerances, and they all bear the Coeliac Cross Grain symbol that means they are true gluten-free products.
And it’s not just Coeliacs who are shopping for the wheat and gluten-free products – a growing number of people are making a lifestyle choice to exclude wheat and gluten from their diets. The market in New Zealand for gluten-free products has grown around 20 percent in the past 12 months alone.
Want Gluten Freedom?
Healtheries produces an entire range of coeliac-friendly products that is available in supermarkets nationwide.
Healtheries ‘Simple’ range covers wheat- and gluten-free breakfast cereals, bread and baking mixes, biscuits, pastas and snack bars, along with a new Honey Flakes cereal added this year.
The new Simple Honey Flakes from Healtheries is a great-tasting wheat- and gluten-free family breakfast cereal. The unique blend of subtly-sweet, malt-free, crunchy, honey-coated cornflakes is combined with the natural goodness of lightly toasted rice pops and loops. Simple® Honey Flakes is 99% fat free and a source of fibre, with no artificial flavours or colours. Like all Simple products, Honey Flakes carries the Cross Grain symbol, making it easy for you to recognise it as a true wheat- and gluten-free product. Available at all good supermarkets nationwide.