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Coeliac disease schools resource


This year’s Coeliac Awareness Week (CAW) theme was “My Coeliac Challenge, Take Charge, Get Diagnosed, and Find Help.” As well as encouraging people at risk or with symptoms to get tested, Coeliac New Zealand raised awareness of the daily challenges people living with the condition face and developed a range of resources to support people living well with this lifelong condition.

One of the initiatives developed was a fun interactive school-based resource kit to encourage students to learn about coeliac disease and what gluten-free eating looks like.  After some key learnings, the students were asked to get creative and design a coeliac-safe and fun gluten-free meal plan for a proposed sleepover with coeliac or non-coeliac gluten-sensitive friend.

We received an overwhelming response to the school resource programme and 39 classrooms (over 1100 students) took part in the activities, including students from Mt Aspiring College, Wanaka Primary, St Kentigern College, Pukekohe Hill School, Churton Park School, Kihikihi School, Pukeoware School, Devonport Primary, Queen Elizabeth College, Maori Hill School, Logan Park High School, Mercury Bay Area School , Te Rerenga School, One Tree Point School, Long Bay College, Baradene College, Moturoa School, Stanley Bay School, and Mount Albert Grammar School.

Thank you to the following companies that supported Coeliac Awareness Week, and provided products for the school's resource competition giveaway - in addition to Countdown and The Warehouse Whitianga
Platinum supporters: Bakels, FreshLife Food, Bin Inn and Lee Kum Kee
Bronze supporters: Kea Cookies and Bennetto Natural Foods Co

1st Prize Overall Best School

Mark Hobbs a Social Studies and Geography teacher at Mount Albert Grammar School requested a copy of the ‘’My Coeliac Challenge’’ School Resource Kit.  Mark was diagnosed with coeliac disease four years ago and was keen to have access also to the e-resource school kit to use to keep raising awareness of the condition and how teachers/Kaiako can support any students they teach with coeliac disease.  Mr Hobbs raised awareness at Mt Albert Grammer during CAW, by emailing the e-resource school kit out to over 200 staff and several mentioned how informative and useful the resource is.

Individual / Class Winners

Awareness Raising by a Student to Peers:  Coeliac New Zealand member Andrea Wilson’s son Dominic aged 9 years created and presented a slideshow at his school for CAW. He presented it to his year 3&4 class, his brother's year 2 class, and the other 3&4 classes at Churton Park School. His teacher engaged the class in the school resource kit activities throughout the week in addition to Dominics’ presentation.  Dominic was selected as the winner of the individual prize pack, and his class received a class prize of some yummy GF treats all the children could try.

Hospitality Student:  A year 12 student attending Baradene College Freya Holland approached Lisa Jury the Health Promotion Manager because, in their Food Technology class, they were asked to construct a ready-made meal to assist women who struggle to find nutrients in meals because of a particular issue they struggle with. The issue the student chose was coeliac disease. She was hoping that CNZ could be one of the wider stakeholders which required the HP Manager to answer a set of questions about coeliac disease to gain further understanding of coeliac disease and assist her to design a coeliac-friendly ready-made meal targeting women.

Coeliac NZ parent: Coeliac New Zealand member Jo Cunningham baked for her son’s year 7 class. He was diagnosed with coeliac disease at aged 3 so does not remember much difference. We talked a bit about what it means to be a coeliac, the symptoms, and what happens to your body if you eat gluten. We then each made our own orange and white chocolate cookie, the kids loved it! To finish we went through a worksheet where we had pictures of 10 common grocery items (milk, porridge, etc) and got the kids to tick if they were gluten-free or not. The students were all so engaged, and it was really cool for my son to be able to share some of his daily life challenges with his class.

Other Prize Winners

Te Rerenga School

1st Prize Ariana Howarth year 4 ‘’Ariana’s Café’ - $20 Warehouse Voucher (Whitianga branch)

2nd Prize Luca Steward year 3 - $20 Warehouse Voucher (Whitianga branch)

3rd Prize Molly Devoy year 3 - $10 Warehouse Voucher (Whitianga branch)

Article provided by Coeliac New Zealand Health Promotion Manager Lisa Jury

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