Friday, July 8, 2011

The Sleepover Dilemna.

My daughter loves a good sleepover.

Indeed, sleepovers are a part of our life.

I had sleepovers as a child, my older sons grew up with sleepovers, and now my daughter regularly enjoys having friends stay overnight with us, or spending a night at a friends house. It's a real rite of passage and one I've always encouraged, knowing full well that it's one of the best ways to get to know her friends.

The Gluten Sensitive issue is a difficult one for sleepovers though. If the sleepover is at our house, how do I ensure that we have enough 'goodies' to make the occasion fun? If it's at the other persons' house, how do I impress upon them that Darling Daughter must avoid Gluten products. Insisting seems bossy, sending her own food seems snooty, and having her starve is just not an option. I find too, that whilst many of the families she stays with do all they can to accomodate her sensitivity, there are some who either don't understand or don't believe there's an issue.

She doesn't react severely, so where's the problem?

A recent sleepover meant that upon her return home, she was sluggish, irritable and out of sorts. She confirmed that she'd had a 'normal' wrap and a choc chip muffin, which in the scheme of things, shouldn't matter too much. But where she noticed the difference was at a theatre rehearsal where she found she simply could not concentrate and yawned constantly, feeling overwhelmed and fatigued.

Now you could argue that that's a typical by-product of a good sleepover, but it's more than that. All of those symptoms are typical of gluten intake in someone who has sensitivity to the product, and she is such a creature of habit that no matter where she is, she's asleep by nine and awake at seven.

I've yet to find the ideal, diplomatic solution to this problem and would welcome any advice or comments.


  1. Hi Mimi what is wrong with taking her own food to the sleep over, I would,perhaps you could make a batch of gluten free muffins,cakes cookies so she can share on the sleep over, as well as taking her own gluten free food. thats way better then getting that terrible feeling the next few days.
    Sherrie from Simpleliving :)

  2. don't worry about being perceived as snooty or bossy, that isn't your problem - it is the ones who do the thinking ;)
    Perhaps you could make up a fun chart which depicts food your daughter can eat and which ones are off the menu, hand it to the parents with some gf snacks to share. If they are getting take away pizza take a frozen one for your daughter and ask them to heat it up.
    Same with pies etc.
    Love your blog, having been GF for 8yrs now myself I am always on the lookout for new meal ideas :)

  3. Brenton's 1st gf Emily (now ex) suffered from celiac disease and was HIGHLY sensitive so had a very strict diet. She was at our home more often than not for a couple of years so I made sure that I read the fine print on everything and asked if in doubt. We all ate her way when she was here, didn't mind one bit. I stocked the pantry and fridge with GF foods and as I ran out of say a bottle of sweet chili sauce I made sure the next one was GF, just made sense to do it thay way. If I baked I baked GF (check out my jam drop recipe on my blog Mim's). Have you tried our GF range of gourmet pasta Mim's from our business? Delish! Drop me a line via email if interested.

  4. We have two GF girls in our office and we all try really hard to make GF choices (not always easy as we also have a nut and a fish allergy!)

    But my point is, firstly, its just rude to try and make someone eat something they shouldnt / cant / wont. What is she was Jewish or Muslim - would people expect her to eat pork or otherwise?

    Secondly, it's not that hard - the muffin and the cookie could have been avoided really.

    I say you should arm DD with some polite but firm ways to say no thank you. My bosses favourite is "I'd really love to but I know I'll pay for it" or "We'll I'll try it ... if there's gluten in there I'll know about it soon enough". Maybe if DD herself actually says "it gives me bad tummy aches" people will be less willing to give it to her.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx