We conduct ongoing beta testing to help us continually improve Nima. While product feedback is instrumental to the development of Nima, it’s the personal stories that motivate our team. We feel like we’re metaphorically breaking bread with each and every meal tested. Here’s one we’d like to share from one of our beta testers:
Jenny and Claire are from Brookville, Pa., a small town located 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Jenny pre-ordered Nima early on and was one of our early beta testers. Jenny’s daughter Claire, who has celiac disease, recently traveled with her grandparents to Greece and took along Nima. We asked Jenny and Claire to tell us about their Nima experience.
As a mother, what have been some of the risks and challenges associated with supporting a gluten-free diet for Claire?
Risks: Anytime she receives food from someone other than me there is a risk. Restaurants, friends, family. Fortunately and unfortunately, celiac disease runs in our family. We are fortunate that our family has a profound understanding of the dos and don’ts. Holidays and get-togethers are virtually stress free. Her friends and their families are also extremely supportive. We are very fortunate. Nima will also remove some of the risk associated with eating out.
Challenges: The main challenge is keeping Claire safe and healthy while allowing her to have a normal life. Giving her the tools she needs to go out and be with friends and to travel and to go out to eat (without Mom hovering) is tough. Nima will help with this. Educating and involving your child with their diet is key. Nima is her back-up. Part of that challenge is having Nima come back positive for gluten. Claire knows and accepts that this can happen. It isn’t easy for sure but she knows it is for the best. One way we have handled this challenge is that we all order gluten-free at restaurants so that my and my husband’s meals serve as back-ups.
How has Nima helped you gain more freedom in eating out in your town? How about when dining out when you travel?
Unfortunately, there is nowhere for us to eat safely in our small town of 4,000 people. The understanding of the gluten-free diet doesn’t exist since Claire is one of only a handful of people locally that have celiac disease. We are fortunate to be near Pittsburgh and travel there frequently. There are a lot of options for gluten-free diets in Pittsburgh. Nima, however, has saved us a few times at restaurants that we thought were safe. Despite those findings, we feel more confident eating out than we did before because of Nima. It has and it will help us to find those places that we can trust and that will be our go-to restaurants. It takes out the guesswork especially since Claire is a silent celiac. Without Nima we wouldn’t necessarily know if she was glutened or not.
Between cooking at home, dining out, and social gatherings (potlucks, BBQs, school events, etc) where has Nima helped out most?
Dining out for sure. Our home is 99% gluten-free. We are extremely careful. If we have a social gathering other than family, we always bring our own food. I actually prefer that people that are not familiar with how to handle her food do not try to accommodate Claire. Dining out leaves everything in the hands of a stranger. Despite their best intentions, mistakes are made and that is where Nima comes in to play.
Were there any surprises in your Nima test results?
Absolutely. The Cheesecake Factory was a surprise. We had eaten there several times before we actually tested the food. Claire ordered what she normally does and both items tested positive for gluten. This was very disappointing and hard for Claire especially when there was a giant piece of “gluten-free” cheesecake sitting in front of her. I brought it to the attention of the management and made some suggestions such as separating their gluten-free cheesecake from all the other cheesecakes. They were extremely apologetic and also very intrigued by Nima.
How hard or easy has it been for Claire to learn and use Nima?
Extremely user friendly. The instructions are very straightforward. She has actually corrected me a few times because I have a tendency to put too much food in the device.
Claire recently traveled without you – and had Nima in her hands. What were you hoping she would experience?
Claire traveled to Greece with her grandparents in August. This was an amazing opportunity for her to experience another culture. That of course includes different foods. We prepared Claire with a Greek translation of her needs and sent her Nima along (thanks again!). My hope for her was to have a stress-free, normal experience like anyone else would. All the preparation, restaurant research and the Nima allowed her to have the trip of a lifetime.
Hi Claire, What are your top three favorite foods?
Pasta, doughnuts, and blueberries.
Did you get to test any of your favorite foods using Nima?
I got to test some pasta at restaurants.
What do you like the best about using Nima?
I like that I can know for sure if what I’m eating is safe for me or not.
Our food scientists at Nima headquarters are always looking for ways to make Nima better. What future updates will you like to see in Nima?
The Nima is great, but I would like it if it didn’t take as long to process the food.
Any words of advice for other kids on why they should get a Nima?
A Nima is great because you never know what’s safe and what’s not until you have actual proof. Nima has done a great job at making celiac disease less stressful!
Thank you Jenny and Claire! If you have Nima stories you’d like to share, remember to tag #nimatested on social media, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.