Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
I keep the television tuned to the Food Network since Matthew enjoys watching several shows there and likes the sound of water in the kitchen and the sizzling sounds of cooking. I know most of the schedule of this network since we see the advertisements and at night when not online I am viewing some of the shows as well.
I noticed the station lacks shows for those who are gluten free and casein free. They showcase low carb cooking, have fun competition shows and bakeoffs, yet they are not representing a whole community that needs to avoid various ingredients like gluten, casein, egg, corn, soy and nuts.
Implementing a specific diet to adhere to allergies and disorders is a huge undertaking for any family. A person could be affected due to having celiac disease, on the Autism Spectrum or have an intolerance to an ingredient.
These families turn to the internet for their support since television has yet to catch up on catering to this market. You have to change your shopping, cooking and eating habits to remove these damaging ingredients. There are message boards and yahoo groups that list the restricted foods with suggestions on where to buy specialty items. Some support groups buy in bulk from some merchants to save on shipping costs.
A magazine worth subscribing to is Sully's Living Without. I started a subscription in December, 2005 and ordered a dining guide. I read through an issue I found at the table at the clinic while waiting to have Matthew's feeding therapy session. We have a half hour between the start of Nicholas's social skills group and Matt's appointment. I made a list of some of the websites that advertised gluten-free food and made some purchases.
The research a family needs to do to learn about the removal of ingredients and specific diets is all through other families that have made it easier with their lists and guides online.
It is quite overwhelming to delve into the unknown, but experienced families make the ride smoother. The costs associated are higher than regular food staples found at corner markets. Lots of items need to be ordered online, which means shipping charges.
This experience of changing eating and lifestyle habits would be easier if there was a visual demonstration of cooking, buying and discussing these food items. A cooking show devoted to the various dietary changes one needs to adhere to for removing ingredients due to disorders, allergic reactions,intolerances and diseases would be beneficial to a vast group of consumers.
The information available in the FAQs at Food Network state the following:
"Food Network appreciates your interest in suggesting ideas, but we accept series and specials proposals only from television production companies with national or major market production credentials.
If you are a production company, please send us your credentials and a history of your production experience only. After reviewing them, Food Network will determine whether or not to send you a release form with a request for further information. Do not send any pitch ideas or proposals at this time, as they will be returned unread.
Please send your company's credentials to:
Food Network, 75 Ninth Avenue, NY NY 10011, Att: Submissions"
I urge anyone within the Autism and Celiac communities who happens to be a television producer to give this some thought and try to submit a suggestion for a dietary show to help those living with these disorders. The viewing audience is ready made, all you need to do is win over the network.
I personally would like to have the option of watching a show that explains the ingredients needed for a recipe, where to get the ingredients and what the benefits are of removing these ingredients from a regular diet. Also the information on how these ingredients are in other products used within our daily lives that are health and beauty aids.
I already have issues with the shopping channels that sell body care products and cosmetics without even revealing on the air or online what the ingredients are. It is amazing that thousands of people order these products without knowing what they are putting on their body.
Consumers need to be aware what these chemicals can do to their bodies and what they actually are putting on their skin. Gluten is also in vitamins, aluminum is in deodorants. I buy vitamins at Trader Joe's for my kids that are free of additives, colorings and no aspartame or gluten. The deodorant is purchased at Vitamin World or GNC.
Networks need to be aware that the viewing consumer is changing and their needs have to be addressed as well. They are losing potential viewers to the internet community. I like to sit and enjoy a show where a family is cooking together and having a healthy meal. We can all learn from a show that caters to the autism and celiac communities.
An Impression of autism from a kid on the spectrum
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Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.