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advice about school projects involving food

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by kittycatgirl, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. kittycatgirl

    kittycatgirl Approved members

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    My daughter was diagnosed in Jan. and seems to be adjusting well. I have close contact with the school as well as the nurse. I have asked for the school to start the process of a 504 plan. She is in 6th grade and seems to have a great teaching team. Although I hold the staff in high regards and have nothing but compliments to say about them I have come up with a problem. One of her team teachers planned a classroom project involving graham crackers, frosting and candy. The children are to create a building (like a ginger bread house) then eat it. (Yes, it sounds like fun but if your child has type 1 it isn't!) I was not contacted by the teacher and no information was given to me other than a post on a web. site that isn't used that often. I am not sure if I am over reacting or if I have a right to be as upset as I am. This is not only dangerous but makes her feel like she is very different from the others. This puts her in a place to have limitations on what she can eat and the others have full access to the food and candy. I know that this is the start of a long life filled with this, but the teacher had a choice to do the project or not. I just wanted to know if I had a right to be upset?
     
  2. coco

    coco Approved members

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    You absolutly have the right to be upset! I have been through this situation many times with my daughter and her school and it so completly frusterating. They have been great for the most part but when it comes to parties, treats or food projects it has taken many many discussions. When she was in first grade and was on shots I sent in special treats that she would have whenever there was unplaned food at school. But that got old very fast and she did not want to be different anymore. Then she went on the pump and it should have been easier but her teacher would not get past the shot routine and refused to let me know about outside treats so that we could just count the carbs and she could have what the class was having.(a great benefit of the pump) It was a frusterating year for my daughter and us. Now this is one of the first issues that we address at the beginning of the year and things have been better since. Hang in there and just keep trying to educate her teachers. Most people are clueless when it comes to diabetes. Good Luck.
     
  3. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

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    I have a different perspective. My son is now 12 and has had diabetes for 8 1/2 years. From the beginning, I always wanted him to participate in the activities the rest of the class does -- and this included class parties and other eating events. This was hard at the beginning when he was on NPH and Regular, but we have since moved to Lantus and Humalog. Usually I know the day he will have extra food in the class and I show up there before school and take a look at the food. Together, my son and I decide what he will eat and how many carbs it will be. I tell him (or write it down) how much insulin he will need and he injects after the food is eaten.

    In many of my son's parties, some kids would eat until they were literally sick. This is not good for anyone. My son was actually glad to have some restrictions on the food he was to eat. He could eat a fair amount of food, but nothing ridiculous.

    If your daughter is taking Humalog, she can enjoy the same food as everyone else. She just can't go crazy and eat more than is planned.

    I do get annoyed with the teacher and my son when I am not warned about extra food so I can plan ahead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2006
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Why has there been a delay implementing the 504? Is the school stalling?

    I too think whenever possible our children should be empowered to fully participate in activities. A 6th grader is wise enough to understand she can build a candy/cookie house and just eat a little of it until she gets home or have permission to get insulin to indulge in more of it. It sounds like a fun activity for the whole class.

    Is your daughter on a flexible insulin plan?

    It seems reasonable to sit with the teacher privately and ask the teacher/team to keep you abreast of food activities ahead of time so you can plan the insulin accordingly.

    Your daughter may need some language to say to friends when she chooses not to eat it because she knows she'll feel crummy afterwards without insulin. She probably does NOT want to say "I can't have that."
     
  5. Mom2rh

    Mom2rh Approved members

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    Since we were just dx'd in January, too, I know that following a rigid schedule is comforting. Ask your health care team how to calculate units of insulin per carbs so that you can adjust as some of the other parents have suggested. It may mean an extra shot...so your daughter has to decide if it's worth it. Or just suggest she bring it home so she can have it as part of a meal.

    More than likely, the teacher has been giving this particular assignment for years. In our son's school, a couple of years ago, they made a state map out of candy. A former teacher also used to have them use sugar cubes to make California missions.
     
  6. kittycatgirl

    kittycatgirl Approved members

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    Update

    I just wanted to let everyone know how the project went. To start she is on NPH and Humalog. At this time she only has insulin at home. In June she is going to switch to Lantus so she will have a little more freedom. For the project she decided to create it just like everyone in the class. I talked to her about a plan and we came up with idea of sending her in with extra supplies so she could eat a cracker and a thin layer of frosting in exchange for some of her lunch. (The teacher was to watch over her a little) She went to the nurse to test 2 hours after the project (before her afternoon snack). She was at 396. She told the nurse I guess I put on to much frosting. (She just wanted to be like everyone else!) Well the teacher didn't keep an eye on her. She then planned another party the next week. I guess this is just part of the down side to diabetes. She handled the second party better. She made the decision not to eat the cake, ice cream, chips, ect.... She felt much better that day when she followed her plan. Note... we still haven't heard from the school regarding a 504 plan. I have given them a long time so I am going to call when vacation is over. I now have my own plan with all her teachers and the school nurse is advocating for my daughter. My daughter strugles with feeling different but I realized it isn't just at school. Easter was tough when cake and ice cream were served right after dinner. I think this is just our new reality and I look forward to a different insulin plan so she has more flexibility.
     

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