I’m Fay, one half of Filou Toys.
Many of you might wonder why we've made our playdough 'gluten-free'...why does it matter and what's the difference between normal playdough and a gluten- free one. We think it's about time we made ourselves clear!
Basically, I grew up with gluten allergy! and totally missed out on the whole playdough experience as a child. At first my parents didn't realised it was an actual allergy. Back in the days, especially in Asian countries (I grew up in Thailand) food allergy and dietary requirement wasn't recognised nor identified. At one point I thought I was allergic to my own sweat, as every time I run or play in the sun for too long, I'd have rashes all over me and start feeling out of breath. So in the end, I totally missed out on PE class any type of exercise and sports as well. I was a sad Fay back then.
Gluten is a group of proteins that help food remain its shape and structure it - think of it as glue that holds food together. It can be found in wheat, rye and barley and many other grains. Gluten is everywhere. So there were sooo many food I missed out on growing up... such as pizza, pasta, hamburgers, pies, cookies and cakes. Believe it or not I’ve never enjoyed birthday cake - ice cream cake isn’t the worst substitute though!
As an adult, people think I am trying to be extra healthy, when I'm a little bit picky on my food but I'm actually not. This allergy is real and serious, as anyone with Celiac disease will testify. When I moved to the UK, I found that people here are more aware of allergies and dietary requirement. More and more, people are aware of it. I truly appreciate the food option in restaurants, food stalls here, as now I'm able to eat all sorts of food I can’t have growing up.
Why gluten-free playdough
When I was younger I never had the chance to play with playdough as well and I've always envied the other kids who got to play with it. The main ingredient in playdough is wheat and most playdough in the market is made of wheat flour, even the natural ones. So as a product developer who's interested in toys, I thought why not give it a go as I'm sure there're other kids out there who's wants badly to touch a playdough and there are parents out there who's aware of these allergy.
During the coronavirus lockdown, me and Kris (the other half of Filou) wanted to create something. We wanted to develop a quality activity which brings kids and parents together and connects them with nature even if they are stuck inside. One of the first ideas we had was playdough. We love it because it’s so diverse and you can play with it in any way you want. Finally, here was my chance to play with playdough and share it with other Celiacs like me. We’ve paired playdough with natural loose parts play, to give kids different ways to play with their playdough.
Gluten-free playdough is a bit more tricky to make. Especially if we're developing a kit and not a pre-made playdough. Without gluten which binds everything together and makes the playdough sticky. It'd be quite hard to make. After many failed trials during the first month of lockdown. We've finally came up with he perfect recipe!
Learn more about Gluten-free Playdough Kit and Loose Parts Play here.
I hope this blog highlights how we made our product different and our approach to make play more inclusive to everyone. If you want to experience what gluten-free playdough is like. Grab yours on our website now :) Thank you for taking your time to read our blog ! If you have tips or our like to share your gluten experience. We're all ears- drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org