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School Parties with Food & Candy

Discussion in 'School and Daycare' started by Jensmom, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Jensmom

    Jensmom Approved members

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    Hi everyone,
    My 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in August, and we started the insulin in December. She is in preschool, and today was our first real experience since her diagnoses. Most of the gifts that were brought into the class from the other kids was candy and sweets, and Jennie received a bag full which obviously she can't have all of it. I have not really made a point of letting all of the parents know that Jennie is a diabetic, mainly because I don't want her to be singled out as being different, not thinking about these kinds of situations. Do you think that it is better to make all of the parents in her class aware, or do I continue to take the treats and throw most of it away? I'm not really sure what is the right thing to do.

    Thanks
    Jensmom
     
  2. AmberO

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    you could always substitute what is in the treat bag. Like tell her you will get her some special valentines toys in exchange for the goodies. I know a lot of parents do that for halloween candy.

    Maybe you could slip into a conversation about diabetes and so much treats, but I would stick with what you feel is comfortable.

    I've found though at least for my daughter (and her school is very small so it's a everyone knows everything about everyones situation) that parents are very accomodating towards her. Of course for Nikki with the pump it makes treats and snacks more flexible. However for birthday parties that she's invited too, I have parents asking me what she can or can't have or saying that they've given more toys in her goodie bag then candy, bought diet soda for her to drink ect.
     
  3. teelduo

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    Personally I would rather they all know my child is diabetic and so they will be more sensitive to it. I don't think there is anything wrong with being singled out for a special diet. There are kids allergic to peanuts, dairy and all sorts of things. I see it as nothing different. I am not saying ask them to buy special sugar free items just for your daughter but they could maybe just skip the treat in her bag.
     
  4. cydnimom

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    I don't know that I would go out of my way to tell all the parents so they can make accommodations, maybe those that you have become acquainted with. You may say to the teacher that if anyone asks if there are any children that need special accommodation due to diet, that she can mention that your child is a diabetic and some other treat other than candy may be appropriate. I don't think you can expect all the parents to go out and get something different, only those who offer. Just smile graciously and say thank you.

    My son is in kindergarten and we did a talk when he was first diagnosed, mostly because he wanted to show and tell his monitor all the time, but also because the kids were curious. So all the kids know that he is diabetic and that his food is carefully measured and timed, not that he can't have candy and treats.

    My son's school is also a big promoter of healthy eating and living. The teachers plan all the parties for the year and include a variety of foods such as juice and cups, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip and then treats. Each parent is given a "to bring" list for their specific turn. They also don't promote giving out treats as rewards. They give out stickers, pencils, erasers, etc.

    However, on most children's birthdays there are treats given out and I too will bring something for my son's birthday. I'll do the sugar free jello jigglers, plus mini muffins, mini donuts, etc.

    Whenever they have a party my son brings home the sugar treats and we dole them out as part of his meal plan. He always has a zip loc bag in his back pack for such things. He usually has one treat per day but more like every other day and its no more than 10 carbs. Quite often we use treats as his sugar boost for sports he's involved in like soccer, swimming, baseball, going to the park or bike riding, etc. More often than not the not so good candies just disappear (into the garbage). I usually keep them under wraps so he can't keep track.

    Just some thoughts to keep in mind. The trading candy works wonders as well (most times).
     
  5. Red (aus)

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    When it comes to school parties, Taylor has always joined in with the other kids and eaten whatever is available. The school sends a note home prior if they've been told in advance, or call on the day when they find out to let us know. When she was smaller, John or I would go to the school and give her some extra Humalog to cover most of what she did or would eat and worry about the high later. As she got bigger they would call and we could advise on an extra dose which Taylor would give herself.
    If a treat bag is given out full of goodies Taylor always bought them home and we worked out a deal with her so that she could have x amount per day, generally with the night meal. This way she got to eat all of it, but over a longer period of time so that we could manage things better.
    Now she's pumping it's much easier as she understands most of the carbs and can bolus herself accordingly.
     
  6. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    We, too, let Carson participate in whatever everyone else is eating at school and birthday parties. I went this morning to his Valentine's Day party at school and bolused him according to the carbs he had. We try to eat very healthy at home, so that when parties and holidays come up, he can eat whatever everyone else does and not feel left out.
     
  7. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    A Peanut allergy can have deadly consequences. It's at an entirely different level of severity. Generally if there's a student in the class with a peanut allergy, the school doesn't allow any peanuts or peanut products in the classroom.

    If the classroom parents are the type to make things less sugar oriented for everyone and rather than give junk, give pencils, erasers etc. from places like Oriental Trading Co., then everyone will benefit. It's a personal choice to let the other parents know. I like the idea of letting the parents know that while your child has diabetes, it doesn't preclude the child from anything as long as there's some notice. You don't want your child to be the one who is never invited to parties at home because everyone is freaked out about the diabetes.

    I think for a 4 year old it does hurt to be singled out.

    I remember my son being sent from the room during preschool because the teacher didn't realize how things could have been incorporated or that I would have rushed over to make sure he was able to fully participate. He was saddened by this event. He sat in the office while the other kids ate their little ice cream treat in the classroom.

    In another school a teacher once told my then 1st grade child "you'll die if you eat that cupcake". He shoved it in his mouth and probably didn't even chew before he swallowed. When he got home and we saw his blood sugar was a little low, we laughed about how ignorant she was and that he probably needed a second cupcake. It still hurt his feelings to have his teacher say such a thing.

    If your child is mature enough to negotiate, I would try to discuss with her to make the choice to have a little of the candy in school and that you'll work out how she can eat it at home with insulin dosed accordingly.

    Be careful of the choice to single out your child.
     
  8. Jensmom

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    Thanks for The Input

    I appreciate everyone for giving me all of the good tips and advice on the parties with candy at school. I went through the candy that she got at her Valentine's party and got rid of everything that didn't have a carb count printed on it. Now I have stored what what was okay to dole out to her, and I'm giving her some for snacks here and there. She seems to be perfectly happy with that, which is a relief to me.

    I know that there will be lots of things for us to figure out in the upcoming months and years. It's nice to know that there are people out there to compare notes with, although I am saddened by the fact that any of us have to deal with this crazy disease.

    Thanks,
    Jensmom
     
  9. teelduo

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    I would think that the teacher who sent your son to the office was ignorant in her knowledge of diabetes and sensitivity to children. How rediculous. I don't expect others to do things differently just for my child but they do need to be aware that they can't just hand him candy when they want. Most of these circumstances do not apply to me as I homeschool him but we do have situations when friends need to know.
     
  10. s0ccerfreak

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    When i was younger i had a "party box" that my teacher would keep in her desk. The box had special treats, not candy or that kinda stuff(fruit snacks, life saver, or something of that sort), that i could have when somebody brought a bday treat or snack to school. As I got older, prolly around 4th grade, my classmates' parents would call my mom and let her know what they were sending to school. Mom would figure out the carbs and right it down, so i could have the treat and take insulin for it with out her having to come or me not having it. I went to a small private school, so all the parents knew that i had Diabetes. I would say tell whoever you feel comfortable telling, but especially your child's friends' parents so they know what is going on if something happens.
     

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