I wrote this post for another blog for a very good friend of mine. It details the background to who I am and why Dribble Delights has come about. I will leave my sister and her background for another post. Please bear with my story…it is rather long but should give you a really good insight into who, what and why Dribble Delights are here today.
I am a mum of three gorgeous children, a girl and two boys, ages 4, 2 and 1, so life is pretty hectic for me right now. All of my kids are Dairy Intolerant and it’s been quite a journey the past 4 years, from my children being diagnosed as being Dairy Intolerant to learning to adapt our everyday lifestyle to accommodate being Dairy free.
We learnt the hard way with Sophie. She was diagnosed as being Dairy Intolerant at 9 months after a trip to the emergency hospital after her nappies turned grey, with what we later learned were, small red strands of her stomach lining. The fright, shock and amazement at how calmly the doctor told us that day still lives with me. You see, I had had several trips to the doctors (in fact three different surgeries) each time I was given excuses when I expressed my concern over my daughters nappies. Is this normal I would ask? Should they be this runny? Now, not to gross you out but being a mum has changed my perception of talking about bodily functions as I would never in a million years have openly talked about the state of nappies before having children. However, it is such an integral thing when looking at your child development. It’s forgotten about as you start to think about weaning your baby, listening to babble noises, checking their hearing and eyesight works etc you can overlook how your babies nappies should be forming and not having had children it was so easy to miss the signs.
Excuses are given when children try new foods, or they are having an off day, or you need to try a food 12 times before you know they really don’t like it. Your head is buzzing with all the information you need to process and the lack of sleep you’re experiencing only adds to everything.
After our trip to hospital we cut out all dairy and the change was amazing. Within two weeks my daughter has started to have what I would class as ‘normal’ nappies. Her appetite returned as she had slowly went off all her favourite food and lived on yogurts for three days prior to the hospital trip. I was racked with guilt as yogurt was the worst possible thing to give her, yet it was all that she would eat. I dread to think the pain her wee tummy must have felt and how she would have been starting to associate sore tummy pain with food.
We cut out all Dairy – cheese, yogurt, baby milk (which in itself was terrifying as milk was still such a huge part of her diet at 9 months of age) I started to worry about her calcium levels too, which I still do too this day. I checked all her favourite foods as was astonished to see how many actually had some form of milk or dairy in it. It was particularly frightening and the guilt I felt was tremendous. I should have known sooner…. I should have done things differently….I should have made all my own baby food then this would never have happened…all those thoughts were constantly swimming around in my head and I was angry at myself for not doing the best that I could. I felt so much guilt.
As each child came along and each went the same way and were diagnosed as being Dairy Intolerant it was never easy for me to try and have exciting ranges of foods. Cooking was not a passion for me and I fell into the trap of only feeding my children the same types of ‘safe food’. Food that I knew wouldn’t hurt their tummies.
We had to learn to adapt all our meals, our snacks, our days out, trips to others parents houses… Birthday parties have particularly started to become difficult to handle as my daughter is now 4 and it’s so hard saying no to her as she stares at a huge table of sweets other kids are chomping away on and she can’t have anything. I try to make it easier by having a dedicated ‘princess’ lunch bag with her ‘special’ sweets.
After my third child was born and at three months his nappies changed just like my daughters I knew what was about to happen again. I felt awful as all three of my children were Dairy Intolerant and I still hadn’t found an easy way forward where food was concerned. The stress, the decisions, the planning…it’s every mealtime, every snack time….its never-ending.
I was speaking to my sister one day about my problems and that’s when she decided to step in and help. She is one of those amazing food people that can fling a whole pile of ingredients into a pan and cook the most delicious meal and she doesn’t get stressed!! She started to make cakes, cookies, muffins, main meals – all Dairy Free. I was ecstatic and my kids loved it when their auntie came to visit with yummy goodies for their delicate tummies.
The best bit was when she made a princess chocolate birthday cake for my daughter’s 4th birthday. You have no idea how happy my little girl was seeing the cake and eating it! I loved the fact that it was a ‘character’ cake just like the ones you see in the main supermarkets, yet it was completely Dairy Free…I was totally delighted and it tasted so yummy!
That was the beginning of the business idea. You know how these things can happen, something is said, an idea starts to form and then wham!! You turn round and you’re actually starting to do it…you’re doing something…..so exciting…so terrifying…have no idea where it will lead but the possibilities are endless….and you start to plan…and plan more…and the way forward becomes clearer…and then Dribble Delights was born!