Gluten Free Challenge Wrap-up

We have just closed our most recent competition and were thrilled with the number of entries and information sharing between our Facebook page members. A full account of the conversations can be found at:

Below are the details of the competition

Facebook-Timeline_GF3_F copy

Gluten Free Challenge – Can you do it?

The Melinda’s team want your family, friends and colleagues to experience what it’s like to shop, eat out, cook and eat completely gluten free for one day or one week and they want to hear about it! We want people to find out for a short time what it’s like to avoid gluten in their diet. We’re also keen to hear about new recipes and great places to eat out gluten free.

The gluten free challenge is open from 5 March to 5 April 2013 and the best four entries will win:

A $50 grocery voucher for, a $50 restaurant voucher for and a $100 Melinda’s hamper delivered to your door.

Simply post your challenge experiences and tell us;

1. What recipes did you need to adapt to avoid gluten?
2. What food product were you surprised contained gluten?
3. What main challenge did you experience eating gluten free?
4. Did you find any restaurants who catered happily for your gluten free requests?

You can also email us at

Remember if you have any concerns about changing your diet talk to your healthcare professional.

For more information on coeliac disease and gluten free foods go to

If you’re stuck for ideas, more than 120 gluten free recipes can be found on our Allergy Free Entertaining app. You can download the app from the iTunes app store. It is also available in an Android version. For more information go to

Below are the winning entries which created some great conversation on Facebook between members and assisted many people just starting out on a gluten free life:

Submission from Tara about her 2-yr old Poppy!

So this challenge came at the totally right time for me!, my little 2 yr old has been asked to go on GF diet to see if it calms her down as they think she has ADHD.

OMG! i was so worried. not only because of finding all the gluten free stuff but would she eat it???

First up was bread and bikkies!!!! Poppy LOVES bread and bikkies. and at the cost for bread that is GF i did not want to waste it! well all poppy did was pull off the ham and cheese and eat that! oh and the ham!!! I had to find a gluten free ham which apparently they are not all gluten free! that totally shocked me!

Pasta was fine but then i had to make cheese sauce from scratch as pops loves mac and cheese and the mixes had anti caking agent.

The little bikkies: Pops only likes tiny teddies so we had to find something similar. it was hard. the whole thing was really hard

I did notice a huge gap in the market for children friendly gluten free products. there was very little to give a child that was fun and like “normal food” and at 2 years old poppy just wanted nuggets chips and other what i would call crap food!

What surprised me the most though was McDonald’s. We went there and i had food in a bag for pops. i figured i could pop it in a happy meal box and she would never know the difference. McDonald’s were great they told me their fries were fine and made a new batch for her with no salt and even cleaned all the surfaces etc. they also said the meat in the burger was ok so she had that too and then gave her the apples in her happy meal as well as she was not having the bun.! how awesome was that!

The other place which was good was our local cafe in Winmalee. they have a gluten free range and menu and can offer a few kiddie style meals . Though most of them are tomato based which my pops is allergic too but apart from that great range of GF options!

I have to say i found your range of products great though i had to improvise on some of them to make them more child appealing.

The brownies i made really thin and cut out shapes using cookie cutters and then decorated them with faces!!

Thanks for the opportunity to share with you our experiences. pops had been on the gluten free diet for to weeks now…as we all have it is getting a little easier and pops is learning to eat what we give her without so much of a fight as before. but time will tell.

Another winning entry:

Hi there,

Thanks for this great challenge and giveaway to help promote coeliac disease awareness and of course your wonderful Melinda’s gluten free brand.

I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and for that reason have decided to avoid gluten in my diet to help reduce some of those symptoms.

I have also encouraged my family to participate along with me, and for Easter i hosted a family BBQ which was completely gluten free, and everyone really enjoyed all the food.

1. What recipes did you need to adapt to avoid gluten?
Baking required me to change to gluten free flour.
Crumbing schnitzels i changed to gluten free breadcrumbs.
I make my own tomato sauce to avoid gluten and preservatives, i’ve switched to gluten free gravy and use tamari instead of normal soy sauce now.

2. What food product were you surprised contained gluten?
Couscous – I always thought it was gluten free. I use organic Quinoa instead now.
Also, the myriad of gravies and bottled sauces at the supermarket.

3. What main challenge did you experience eating gluten free?
More time researching where to eat out. Having to make sure all ingredients in take away meals are gluten free, including the sauces. Sometimes having to go without sauces because there may not be any gluten free options.

4. Did you find any restaurants who catered happily for your gluten free requests?
Yes, after researching i found many cafe’s and restaurants in my area of North-West Melbourne offer gluten free options on their menu’s.
My favourites are: Urban Burger in Niddrie, Mister Nice Guy’s Vegan Bakeshop in Ascot Vale & Little Byrd cafe in Ascot Vale.

Thank you!

Louise Stewart

Another winning entry:

1. What recipes did you need to adapt to avoid gluten?
We had friends over for a ‘schnitzel night’. Everyone knows myself and two daughters are coeliac so they expected to eat gluten free, when i told them they just had gluten free home made chicken schnitzels they were surprised but more amazed at how yummy they were. My husband and oldest daughter prefer the gluten free crumbs, they crisp up nicer!

2. What food product were you surprised contained gluten?
Hollonsaide sauce! I have previously worked in a restaurant and had the head chefs always confirm with me my meal was gluten free before eating, always being told hollondaise sauce was gluten free. When preparing our gluten free schnitzel night and wanting hollondaise as a topping to choose from, i couldn’t find a gluten free sauce!

3. What main challenge did you experience eating gluten free? My two year old is constantly invited to birthday parties for her little friends and it was a challenge at first to teach her that there are some foods that will make her tummy sore. It was a constant fight to make sure she didn’t sneak a chip or two (or a cupcake) while we were at a party that contained gluten. Now however she is really good, and will say “Gluten free Mummy?” But as a mum im also more prepared and always take a dozen gluten free cupcakes along with us.

4. Did you find any restaurants who catered happily for your gluten free requests?
Being from a small country town (Whyalla, SA) it once was difficult to eat out, but now gluten free eating is more talked about, we enjoy a meal out with no hassel. The Westland Hotel Motel, especially make our experience easy when it comes to the children’s meals (a lot of places on their kids menu only offer standard crumbed meals or pastas, non gluten free), so its always nice to have the choice for your children aswell.

Love this challenge and the awareness it is giving to people who dont need to constantly be aware of their eating habits.

Thankyou 😀

Entry from Cassandra Mills


I hope some of the above has sparked some questions and answers for you. Many other friends provided feedback and answers for the above entries.

Until next month,

Happy cooking



Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.