Our Adventures

  • 30 Mar 2016

    Here's what happened at The Allergy and Free From Show, Scotland

    Posted: 30 Mar 2016

    If you thought the London or Liverpool Allergy shows were busy, Scotland took it to the next level at the SECC in Glasgow. And not only was it busy, there were bagpipes. Which has to be one of the coolest ways to open an allergy show, right?  

    Lunch? Who needs lunch?
    When I say the show was busy, I mean insanely busy. The Allergy Adventures' fun kicked off at 10am staffed by yours truly, Julia, Laurna and my lovely mum. Our stand was immediately rammed with parents and kids.

    Children got straight into making Paper Plate Mates and hands that became feathers for our huge Easter chick (watch the video above to see if you can spot your little one's creation). Each hand represented a child with food allergies. And both children and parents found it comforting to see that they aren't alone when it comes to dealing with allergies.

    With the plates and hands made, visitors to our stand headed off on the Allergy Adventures' Fact Find Hunt sponsored by Tesco, Feel Free and granoVita. Each entry was placed into a box to be entered into a prize draw to win a box of allergy friendly crafts. And this week I announced the winner...LIVE! See who won.

    Although I was glued to our stand, I still got to hear all the goss from the lovely parents who came to visit. They told me about the supercool products they'd tried and how useful they'd found the talks about allergy, eczema and nutrition.

    Heart-warming stories (and a few horrors)
    It was also great to hear so many stories of schools making an effort to include children with food allergies. One example being the school that changed just one ingredient in a cooking class, which meant a child with allergies could join in like everyone else.

    But, as usual, I heard some examples of outdated 'allergy policies'. Like the child who wasn't allowed to have their teeth polished at school because they were allergic to three or more allergens. It didn't matter which allergens, or even whether they were used in the tooth-polishing process, there was just a random rule about three allergens. Incredible.

    The stand out foodie stars of the show
    The Allergy and Free From Show is all about the allergen free food. And here are the products that people were loving at the show:

    Koko yogurts got a huge thumbs up from mums and kids. Although a few children didn't love the chunks of fruit, so maybe a 'smooth' version would be good too? More good news: @myallergyboy reports that the yogurts freeze well too.

    Isabel's GF Yorkshire puddings got rave reviews, Sunday roast anyone?

    The chocolate star prize has to go to Cocoa Libre's penguins and chicks. One of the kids arrived at our stand and bit into one of their chocolate penguins. His face was priceless when he realised the head was solid, "It's SOLID chocolate!" 

    And Tesco stepped up and flooded the market with a heap of new products:

    Summer is sorted with these three:
    •  Fruit Splits
    •  Choc Sticks
    •  Toffee and Vanilla Cones

    And there's also Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pizza dough mix, garlic bread  and breaded scampi.

    A rise in children with food allergies?
    Since launching at the allergy show in London back in 2013, the majority of visitors to our stand had coeliac disease. But in Scotland, the majority of the children at our stand seemed to have multiple allergies.

    That's obviously not scientific analysis, but it was interesting to note. And it's another sign that there's still a pressing need to extend the range of affordable, allergen-free foods.

    Finally, thanks to all of YOU
    Thank you to everyone who came to say hi to us at the show. It was brilliant to finally meet people that I've been chatting with on Facebook and Twitter. Your kind comments and support definitely keep me going.

    The interest in the Allergy and Free From Show Scotland was amazing. The aisles were packed with people, to the point that some of my Fact Find Hunt clues were impossible to get to! So with that level of support, here's hoping that the Scottish show will become a regular feature.

    Can I get an amen?!

    Next stop: The Allergy and Free From Show London, 8-10th July, 2016. Will you be there?

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