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Required cooking class next year...am I worrying too much?

Discussion in 'Celiac' started by KylesMom, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. KylesMom

    KylesMom Approved members

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    My son has both celiac and food allergies, including peanuts. He will start middle school next year and we just got a letter notifying us that the students are now required to take a rotation of elective classes during the year, one of these classes is consumer science where they learn to cook. This used to be an optional elective, but next year it will be a required course for one quarter. The website for the class lists the foods they make, and of corse they are full of flour, pasta, oatmeal and peanut butter. Have any of your children taken a class like this, either by choice or requirement? Obviously he wont be able to eat any of the creations, but could he even participate safely? Maybe I am worrying too much...what do you think?
     
  2. TheLegoRef

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    My non-D son has a peanut and tree nut allergy. If the school ever told him he had to take a required cooking class with peanut butter in it, I'd go ballistic on them, and get him out of it. If they refused, I'd contact some group to back me up on it. There's no way I'd let my son be in the same room as a jar of peanut butter or anything he's allergic to. If any of the kids didn't wash something properly, then touched him, or if he touched a utensil, or if he got distracted and licked his finger, etc, etc, he'd get sick.

    I'd go to the school and take the class for him before I'd let him do it. And that's just one simple nut allergy. Celiac, and D, on top of that? I don't think you're worrying to much. Get him opted out some how. Maybe you can do some cooking at home and record it and have him submit the videos to show he did cooking. But no, I don't think you're worrying too much. I wouldn't even let my son in the room.
     
  3. acoppus

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    Same here. My son is only 3 (with D and peanut allergy) and I'm already worried about school.
     
  4. KylesMom

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    Those were all my inital feelings too. Luckily Kyle doesn't have the airborne sensitivity to peanuts--he just can't eat it, but we are talking about 6th graders here so cross-contamination is not going to be controlled easily. And the gluten exposure would be very hard to control I would think. I am surprised in a way that a class like this is being brought back as a required course with all the food related issues many kids have. I will talk to someone at the school about what can be done. As always I don't like Kyle having to do things different from the other kids, I try to fit his medical issues around his life, not the other way around. But I just don't see any safe way around this one. Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  5. Nancy in VA

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    I think the celiac and the nut allergy need to be treated differently. He should be able to handle food with gluten and just wash his hands after, and maybe wear gloves during preparation. I would just not have him eat anything, just in case.

    re: the nut allergy - I am surprised the class makes anything that includes something that people have an airborne anaphalysis reaction to. I would ask about replacement recipes for those that contain peanuts
     
  6. aklap

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  7. TheLegoRef

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    My little one isn't airborne either. But I still don't take any chances. He touched a punching bag a few weeks ago and his hand started getting hives. Someone must have had a food and not washed their hands properly. Happens to him at preschool sometimes, too. Go with your gut feeling. If it doesn't seem safe, fight it. Good luck. :) If you remember, maybe you could keep us posted?
     
  8. kim5798

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    I think that the kids need to learn how to deal with the diabetes, celiac and food allergies out in the real world. Obviously...he cannot do anything with peanut butter or peanuts....so maybe his group could do an alternate recipe on that day, or sub almond butter for the peanuts. For the gluten, I agree with previous poster who said gloves & hand washing & don't eat the food. Or perhaps discuss with the teacher of the class....maybe part of the course could include a lesson on food allergies/cross contamination. There may be alternative recipes that his group could follow to make the recipes gluten free.

    He cannot be the first allergic child that has ever taken the class. What did they do?
     
  9. KylesMom

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    I talked to someone at the school today. Of course there are limited staff members there in the summer, so I won't find much more out until closer to school starting. But she understood my concern and said I need to write a letter stating Kyle's medical issues and what my concerns are about his participation in the class. Once his records are transferred over fromt he elementary school and they start putting schedules together, they will look at everything a come up with a solution. It sounded pretty routine from the way she talked so I am hoping it is no big deal. Will will see in a few weeks I guess!

    As far as wearing gloves, I had thought of that. And I definitely do think Kyle needs to learn to live around these allergies whenever possible. If the whole class wears gloves then I can see this as a possible answer (though I am still concerned about him inhailing the flour). But we are talking about middle school where the worst thing can be being different from everyone else. If he is the only one that has to wear gloves he will stand out and he will hate that!

    We do have a 504, but it was put in place before the celiac dx, and I never thought about including anything regarding the celiac. That is something I will look into though.

    At this point I will write the letter, and it sounds like the school will work with us, so I will hope for the best and follow up. And I will stick with it until Kyle and I are comfortable with the solution. Thanks again for your responses!!
     

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