Free-from advice: Ask the experts

Do you need help with your free-from cooking, or do you have a nutritional query? Email your question to to ask the experts for advice.

Woman+Child©iStockQ: How would I know if my child has coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that can develop in anyone, at any age, and can be easily diagnosed by a simple blood test. When my child was diagnosed with coeliac disease it followed a year of her being unwell. She was nearly three, and unlike her friends she had no energy for playing, running or climbing stairs. She had a huge swollen, painful tummy and had frequent trips to the toilet with diarrhoea. Although she was growing and gaining weight as expected, she clearly had something wrong. After being told on several occasions that she had toddler diarrhoea I pushed to get a referral to the hospital to get a blood test carried out. Although coeliac disease is hereditary, there are no other known cases in the family, but I suffer from IBS and had been tested for coeliac disease years before. Once a diagnosis has been made, no gluten can be consumed in the diet again as this will damage the body. Often people find that they are also temporarily intolerant to lactose too. To find out more about the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease visit


new free-from fiary imageVICKI MONTAGUE

Vicki is an acclaimed and well-followed blogger, recipe writer and teacher who found her calling after she was diagnosed with IBS. She was later to discover her daughter had coeliac disease. As well as creating recipes, Vicki offers unique cookery lessons too – from the comfort of your own home – via video linkup. She also has a number of videos on her YouTube channel, showing people how to make her simple and tasty dishes.