Thursday 19 March 2020

When you have a restricted diet and there is panic buying

Initially it seemed like I just had kids who were fussy eaters.  Anthony stuck with the same brand and flavour of baby food for way longer than most kids ate baby food. We tried plenty, I really wanted to make my own baby mush.. but Anthony would have none of it.

Finger foods seemed to be a completely crazy idea for him. He didn't seem to understand that this was something for eating at all.  Of course we later learned that Anthony was autistic and that several things about this made it difficult for him to try new foods or cope with how different textures felt in his mouth.

We have made many efforts over the years to help Anthony and then our second son, David, who is even more affected, increase the range of things they will eat.  But its not been easy and mostly unsuccessful.  Simple things like making sure there is something they can eat on holidays has meant planning and a lot of preparation.

David in fact eats only one thing for breakfast. Shreddies.  He's not completely fussy, he will eat the shops own brand, but if he's not presented with a bowl of brown checked squares in the morning, he won't eat.  People think he'll eventually get hungry and eat.  He won't.  He is so sensory and routine driven that he cannot allow himself to eat anything else.  This is just one example of us needing a specific product to feed our kids.

So imagine my horror as I go to the shops and start find empty shelves? I get to the cereal isle and... can you then imagine my joy as I see of the two types of cereal left, Shreddies is one of them!  What are the chances.  No rice crispies, no Weetabix, no Cheerios, no porridge... obviously I can go on and on. But they had Shreddies.

Thank you Lord.

But this is the result of panic buying. There is cereal out there. It's just in people's garage, stacked up in the corner of the kitchen or piled up at the bottom of the bed.

I felt lucky. I always have a backlog of some of kids foods, which means I don't always need to buy loads extra. Still I took my two food item limit of Shreddies and then waited in the long queue to pay for them (sans loo roll which is what we also needed and I originally went in for).

Usually I'd wait for my weekly click and collect shop - but when I went to do it I couldn't book a slot... ever.

Many people have restricted diets for many reasons. My mum is diabetic, my cousin is allergic to various e numbers and my brother in law is vegan.  The panic buying could be impacting on them and many others.

Both Asda and Sainsbury's have announced they are limiting the sale of all food items. But it's going to take time for the produce to get through the supply chain. Supermarkets work on a just-in-time delivery system which is not designed to cope with a huge (unnecessary) increase in supply.

Do you really need another box of a cereal you don't like, gluten free bread or soya UHT milk (there is plenty fresh milk at all the stores I've been in - cows don't have COVID-19)? Please think.

And please don't judge me for taking my two packs of Shreddies either.


  1. No judging here. Totally understand how important it is to some people to have certain foods. Three of our family could make do with pretty much anything but for the fourth it really is a choice of eating or not eating :/

  2. I can't stand the hoarders. If I catch one, I might go bananas. I've been shopping in the small shops cos I worry they'll go broke, so I've been fairly immune to it until last weekend when they were cleared out too. And for what?? For nothing. THese hoarders don't appear to be isolating so what do they need all the food for?? #KCACOLS

  3. The stockpiling has gone completely nuts hasn't it? I've never seen so many bare shelves. I am pleased that you managed to get the shreddies you needed but you are so right. People really do need to think about those who have restricted diets.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  4. You raise an excellent point! I managed to stay reasonably calm about the pandemic until I saw the supermarkets. The empty shelves are what caused panic in me for the first time and continues to worry me the most. I have panic disorder and staying calm and focused at the moment is almost impossible. If you ever find yourself short of Shreddies for your boys please drop me a message I would be more than happy to buy my two box limit and send them to you. #KCACOLS

    1. Bless you. Fingers crossed it won't come to that. The supply chain will recover and the shops have put in lots of sensible restrictions to help.


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