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Celiac and school

Discussion in 'Celiac' started by mommyx4, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. mommyx4

    mommyx4 Approved members

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    My DD has T1 and was also diagnosed w/Celiac this past January. She will be going into 2nd grade soon and I am a bit worried. When she was in Kindergarten we were ok with handling treats when kids brought them in for birthdays and such. I just told the teacher that my DD could have anything everyone else was having as long as I knew about it so she could get insulin to cover it. Last year she was homeschooled so I didn't have to worry about any of that. This year she is going back to public school so now with Celiac I have a whole new issue to worry about when it comes to snacks being brought in the classroom.

    I want to write a letter to the parents in the classroom asking them to please let the teacher know the day before if they are going to be bringing treats in. That way I can make something for my DD that's equally as yummy but gluten free. But my DH thinks that's too much (maybe he thinks it will draw too much attention to her, I don't know.) He thinks I should just have the teacher call me every time someone brings something in so I can rush something over. The problem with that is #1 Some parents don't bring treats in until the last hour of class so that wouldn't give me much time to whip something up. #2 What if I am out doing something and I can't make her something that fast? #3 Am I really expected to be THAT prepared all year long? Prepared enough to bake something on a moments notice?

    I think my idea is fine, but I was just wondering what you all do for your kids? I don't ever want her to feel left out so I want to be prepared. Ideas? Thanks!
     
  2. WestinsMom

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    We homeschool too, so I can't really offer any help there. I know how difficult it is to "whip up" gf food. I would send the letter. It won't always work out that they will actually give you notice, but at least you can say you tried. Good luck. What will you send for lunch? (Something I have always worried about.)
     
  3. 3js

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    this isn`t an issue for us, however at my son`s school there is a no peanut/nut policy across the board. but in classes where there are kids WITH the nut allergy, the teacher sends a notice home about making sure treats are nut free for lunch day to day, as well as snacks for parties.

    i don`t know how many families comply, but we always sends treats to parties that are labelled " no nuts" on the package, and i have seen others.

    i`m sure that if you were to send a letter to the parents (thru the teacher) that many would happily comply with your wish for advance notice. good luck:)
     
  4. WestinsMom

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    Yeah, but this is gluten she is talking about. Completely different animal. You can bring cupcakes, ding dongs, anything "cakey". If we are talking birthday treats, this is a big issue. Most food you can assume is not okay to eat. Basically, the rule of thumb is that it is not okay unless proven otherwise. I think she just wants notice. I would never trust a novice to make gluten free treats!
     
  5. 3js

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    i know she was speaking of gluten:) i figured that`s what parents felt about a peanut allergy too- wary of anything unpackaged that you did not make yourself. that`s why i send boxed treats.

    i was just giving that as an example. people are quite aware of these health issues and are often more than happy to accommodate the family. in our grocery there are gluten free foods.
     
  6. WestinsMom

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    I appologize, I didn't mean to sound so negative. It is just something that I find most people don't understand how broad "gluten free" really is. I don't deal with nut allergies and I am lucky as if we get "glutened" no one is in shock. At least nuts are suppose to be listed on packaging under allergies. Gluten doesn't get the respect it should. Listing wheat just doesn't cut it.

    Once again, I appologize.
     
  7. 3js

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    nonono:) i figured that. i said it`s not my issue but... thinking that prefaced things well and reading back it does not,lol.

    i don`t know about you, but we live in a large city and gluten free is everywhere. probably not so "everywhere" as you would like it to be, but ok for buying junk for a school party.

    we just had our son tested for celiac at the first a1c. the endo said 1 in 20 kids w/ d have it.:eek: keeping my fingers crossed he`s one of 19:rolleyes:
     
  8. WestinsMom

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    We are lucky and have a great health food store that has started putting little yellow stickers on everything gluten free. But really it isn't that prevalent and when I tell people, they have no idea what I am talking about. I need to move to a big city! :)
     
  9. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    My sister was diagnosed w/celiac at 18 months old, so she grew up going to school with celiac. My mom would always send boxes of her favorite candy bars the first day of school. She loved it because her snack was usually better than the one the birthday kid brought. I know you're dealing w/diabetes, too, and my sister didn't have to deal w/that. But if you can allow a fun size candy bar or something like that and bolus for it, maybe that would work, and you wouldn't have to worry about a mom bringing in something at the last minute. Last year, Carson's teacher requested all mom's let her know the day before they brought in treats and I think only about 1/2 of them gave advanced warning, most just showed up that day with treats.
     
  10. celiacmom

    celiacmom New Member

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    I recommend you meet with the principal, school nurse, and the teacher to make your wishes known. Make sure that whatever you agree is put in writing. This way the agreement can travel with your daughter each year and you won’t have to start over with each teacher. Also, if the agreement is with the principal, it carries more weight.

    Our agreement states that we will be notified 48 hours before any food is served in class, whether it is provided by the teacher, a staff member, or a parent. We will be provided a list of the foods being served and a list of their ingredients so we can provide a gluten-free alternative if necessary. One of us is allowed to attend all class parties and field trips to double-check ingredients because we don’t always get a list of all foods being served. We provide his teacher with some gluten-free snacks just in case. We also stipulated that only Crayola crayons and Elmers glue be used in the classroom. Crayola is the only crayon that uses gluten free glue to paste the wrapper on the crayon and Elmers is the only gluten free glue we’ve found. As he’s gotten older and has learned to read labels we’ve stopped attending school functions, but he still calls and reads ingredients to us if he’s unsure.

    Last year there was a boy in our other son’s class with multiple food allergies. His mother sent a letter the first day of school explaining his allergies along with a list of safe foods and manufacturers and suggestions for safe snacks. She also volunteered for most of the parties to make sure her son had safe snacks. All the other parents chipped in money to defray her cost.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    For parents of children with diabetes in public school: I just saw this in the news...It may be worthwhile tying to contact the presenter listed below in order to find out how you may do something similar in your school districts. She may be willing to share her presentation materials...

    http://www.gfutah.org/

    Gluten-Free School Lunch Presentation

    Thursday, August 2, 2007 at 7:00pm
    Cafeteria at Hillcrest Elementary
    (just South of the University Mall)
    651 E 1400 S, Orem, Utah.


    Guest speaker Ilene Carter, Director of Food Services for the Alpine School District, will discuss how to arrange for your child to receive gluten-free lunches. A parent and a cafeteria manager will also share their experiences.

    Refreshments provided by Kinnikinnick Foods.
    Meeting is free and open to the public.

    Mission Statement:


    Utah County Gluten Intolerance Group®, the Salt Lake City Gluten Intolerance Group®, and the Celiac Support Group of Northern Utah are Branches of The Gluten Intolerance Group®, also known as GIG®, and are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

    Our Mission is to increase awareness by providing accurate, up-to-date information, education and support those with gluten intolerance, celiac disease/dermatitis herpetiformis, their families, health care professionals and the general public in the Greater Utah County, Salt Lake City, and Northern Utah areas. Please read our fact sheet.
     
  12. aklap

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  13. WestinsMom

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    That is a great site! If we are ever back in school, I will have to use that as a reference.
     
  14. aklap

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    Glad you found them helpful :)
     
  15. semperwife

    semperwife Approved members

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    celiac and school:

    Our school actually provides all of Brandon’s gluten free meals. They dedicated a corner of the cafeteria for him to use, his microwave is there (they put a box over it when he is not using it). They make sure there is gorilla munch individual bag of cereal for him every morning as well as yogurt for breakfast. We get the menu for 3 months at a time; we shop at Henry’s and find suitable substitutions. Everything is done on a purchase order from the school district. This way there is no money exchanging hands. When everyone else is buying ice cream on Friday for the kids fundraisers they have snickers ice cream bars for Brandon to buy. They ordered gluten free pizzas from madwomanfoods.com for him to have everytime they have pizza.


    I just provided them with the USDA’s special dietary needs file showing the rules and regulations http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Guidance/special_dietary_needs.pdf and everything was written into his IEP. His school district in Pennsylvania gave everyone that required medicine at a daily basis at school an IEP under other health impairments but this could be put into a 504 plan as well.

    We went over everything… including playdoh in the classroom / pastas in the classroom etc. They have to provide model magic for him. They have to make sure there are gluten free crayons, markers, and/or any other craft things that I can’t think of right now. It definitely is something that needs to be watched.

    The most important thing I did was contact child nutrition services and have them present at his meeting before school. Once he looked over the rules and regulations in the pdf file on the usda's website he worked with us to implement this purchase order plan for the entire school district.

    I remember the first year that Brandon had to eat “My Own Meals”…it was the only food that the district would allow on premises…we couldn’t buy his food and send it in because he could hurt himself…they said he couldn’t heat stuff up unless they purchased it. It all tasted like baby food, and he would cry everyday to not have to eat. It was ridiculous…then I found this and it was opening a new door for him. Now all the kids want what Brandon is having. It does take away about 5-10 minutes of his class time to make his lunch after making sure his sugar is checked, and food is heated but he didn’t have any issues last year.

    We correlate the menu to what the school is having.. I do 3 months at a time and make the menu for Brandon based on what they are having. He does have a little leeway in the aspect that if I had spaghetti listed but he wanted lasagna then he could have that...as long as we had it in the freezer at school. It was just important to me to make sure that if everyone else was having Italian then he was having Italian, if everyone else was having asian food then he has asian food. It made a huge difference. And because I am buying 3 months at a time I am able to get a case discount for the school 10% off everything.



    Another thought…they make these cookie packs with 2 cookies in them for about .89cents… it helps to have those on hands for emergencies, and our nurse lets us keep cheese sticks and pepperoni slices in the small fridge, also glutano crackers with a jar of peanut butter for emergencies. We also keep 2 boxes of rice bars on hand, crystal light packs for water bottles, hunts pudding snacks, Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn Cakes, Butter Popcorn Cake (mini), Caramel Popcorn Cake (mini), Honey Nut Popcorn Cake (mini) ,Apple Cinnamon Popcorn Cake (mini), Butter Popcorn Cake (reg), Caramel Popcorn Cake (reg), for snacks, and for that off time that he really needs a snack after a low or after gym. I supply these to have on hand for last minute parties or snacks.


    As always I double check with each manufacturer before putting everything in the boxes to make sure that it is safe and I send a whole box in for just in case.
     
  16. Laura

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    Last year I sat down with my son's teacher and asked her to help me figure out how we could deal with this same situation so Jonah wouldn't feel left out. We had just moved to Utah and there were 33 kids in his class so I knew there would be a lot of bday parties. She came up with the idea (because really with that many kids it would help anyway) to have all the birthdays of each month on the first friday at 2. It was so nice because I could just pull a gf cupcake out of the freezer and it would be perfectly ready for him by 2. Maybe your school would be ok with something like that.
     
  17. Laura

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    EEK I just saw the gfutah thing and I'm glad I did. Our district (in Utah) says they won't provide gluten free lunches for us.
     
  18. semperwife

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    Laura,
    They can't deny you. It is the law, look at the usda's website.
     
  19. mom2a

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    Thank you very much for all the information. I have been worried about the upcoming school year, also. Our daughter starts first grade. Last year she was in half day kindergarten and was home for lunch. Her teacher last year was great about letting me know about treats coming in and we tried to always make sure we had something special for Alana.
     
  20. c5land

    c5land New Member

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    I have taken a half a dozen frozen gluten free cupcakes and gluten free frosting into the school for my daughter. They keep them frozen in the staff room freezer, and if someone brings in treats for birthdays ect. they defrost one for her and put the frosting on and its ready to go. This way the school does not have to contact me every time something is brought in.:)
     

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