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Celiac at preschool?

Discussion in 'Celiac' started by Snowflake, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

    Dec 1, 2013
    I am new to this forum. My 3 year old was diagnosed T1 in April 2012, and then we received a biopsy-confirmed celiac diagnosis in late December. I feel like we are fighting fires on multiple fronts right now, as we are still dealing with these crazy persistent hypos as we eliminate gluten from her diet, we are trying to decontaminate our kitchen, and we are wondering how to manage both conditions at her preschool. Can anyone share their experiences with the GF diet in a preschool setting?

    Some background: We LOVE this preschool. The teachers have been absolutely fabulous partners in caring for our daughter's Type 1. They trained the entire staff on how to do pokes and boluses, they text us frequently during the day, and they can count carbs about as well as we can. They are super-conscientious about her care in every way.

    One of the reasons we chose this preschool is that it has a great food program. The teachers cook from scratch every day using healthy ingredients, and we figured that fresh, healthy food is that much more important for a CWD.

    After getting the celiac diagnosis, we had expected to be packing our daughter's lunches in perpetuity. However, when we broached the subject at dropoff this morning, we learned that the school had a celiac child a few years back, and that they were able to feed him GF out of the school kitchen. They suggested that we pack her lunches until we can have a sit-down meeting to discuss whether they can prepare at least some food for her. Has anyone had experience with preschools feeding their kid a GF diet? What should we be thinking about before we have this conversation? And are there any good resources that we can share with the staff?
  2. SarahKelly

    SarahKelly Approved members

    Nov 14, 2009
    I do not have any experience with my son in preschool with celiac disease (although he had it at that time and was undiagnosed, urgh!) Anyhow, we found out before school started that he has it and when we brought it up with his kinder teacher she felt it important that the whole class (in the class not cafeteria) was gluten free so that he wouldn't have to worry about being contaminated in there. His class has two snacks throughout the day, we came up with a list of appropriate foods that could be easily obtained from multiple close stores. I also discussed with her and all of the ancillary staff the other places gluten can be found - craft items mostly. They have all been very positive and made sure he doesn't feel left out ever. The only incident we have had with him feeling left out was actually surprisingly at the end of the day before the holidays where the teacher didn't give him a chocolate because she forgot to ask me if it was "safe", it was however waiting in his cubby after break with a note saying she had found out it was GF. I thought it odd she wouldn't check before as she has been so thorough up to that point. We do take the whole "processed in facilities that process wheat" very serious too which has been confusing to some, but once I explained that Isaac does react that sensitively they were all responsive.
    It sounds like you have a group that is very willing to figure out how to make it work for your child at their facility, I'd just clarify with them their knowledge about how sensitive a person with celiac is to gluten. How it isn't an allergy or sensitivity and that even traces left on a cutting board can cause an autoimmune reaction. Keep it positive and ask how they handled it in the past. I hope it all works well for you guys. You are very lucky to have such a willing school :)
  3. aklap

    aklap Approved members

    Aug 18, 2006

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