Prescription food

Prescription food palaver

Tamsin and I saw the dietitian recently. The realisation of how little I really knew about preparing gluten-free food shocked me into starting this blog. It’s so easy to believe you know what’s involved, when in reality it can be very confusing. It hasn’t helped that we’ve now waited a week for our first delivery of prescription food.

The dietitian went through the prescription food options with us. There’s an extensive list of different types of bread products (white, brown, rolls, loaves, baguettes, pizza bases etc), cereals, pasta, flours and sundries such as xanthan gum. At this early stage we had to take a punt on how much of anything Tamsin is likely to eat, so we came up with a sample list.

The dietitian told us not to take any kind of guilt trip from the pharmacy. Apparently some places have been known to be rather superior about prescribing foods now that there’s such a wide range available and some health authorities won’t prescribe foods at all, and are now suffering the consequences with ill coeliacs who’ve made mistakes or been unable to afford the special diet.


The other point made was that the pharmacy might be decidedly grumpy about any changes to the prescription. It’s inevitable that we’ll want to make changes – I’ll be astounded if we’ve got Tamsin’s requirements right first time – so I dropped into the pharmacy earlier in the week. I knew Tamsin’s prescription wouldn’t have arrived by then, but I wanted to know how the system worked. I had the fierce pharmacist unfortunately but she was surprisingly nice about it and said that as long as they had any changes notified a few days before the prescription would normally go through then it was fine. We’d been told that the doctor might not prescribe oats as they’re available in the shops, so I asked if we would be notified and asked to make a substitution but it seems not – we’ll just be short. I get the impression it’s a like it or lump it situation.

I went back to the pharmacy yesterday in the expectation that Tamsin’s food would have arrived, but the pharmacy denied all knowledge of the prescription, tediously. I rang the dietitian again and they’ve faxed (!) the prescription through again and had acknowledgement of receipt from the pharmacy. It should be available tomorrow, but then as it feels none of this has gone smoothly, who knows?

prescription food
Tamsin’s gluten-free shelf

Tamsin’s shelf

In the meantime I’ve made sure Tamsin has gluten free foods available without going mad. I’ve now cleared a shelf that contains ‘her’ foods – so far rice noodles, polenta, cornmeal, gf pasta, separate butter and peanut butter, gf oats and flour, and gf cornflakes.


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