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Should peanut butter be banned in schools? - Page 4

post #61 of 87
I bet many of you would be saying something different if it was your child with a deadly allergy! Peanut butter is not even good for you! It contains mold and that is why so many allergies are arising from it. My children do not have a peanut allergy but there is a child in their class that does. It never even upset me for one second that we could not bring in peanut butter. I would hate to be in that parents situation fearing for my child. Yes it makes options difficult at times but your picky eater kid is not more important than someone's child who could die!
post #62 of 87

My kids are not picky eaters, that's the irony.  As I said we are vegetarians, which is our choice and I do not expect anyone else to cater to that at any time.  I was game, for three years, to avoid tree nuts.  It has only been this past year, when I was presented with a long list of foods that I had to avoid - mango?  my kids LOVE it - that this scenario began to seem unreasonable.  We have four kids with different allergies, all of which every child must avoid.  I am asking, in all seriousness, what do you consider reasonable? 

post #63 of 87
My comment was not directed at you In particular. I was saying it to everyone who was complaining about no peanuts in school. To me reasonable is avoiding the foods that kids can die from! Mangoes? I'm not sure you can go into shock from an allergy to them but if that child's allergy is that serious then yes it should be avoided in the class IMO. I also want to add that my son has a dairy allergy, it is not a life threatening allergy so In this case I would not expect dairy to be avoided by all kids in class, only in life threatening situations.
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadydid View Post
 

My kids are not picky eaters, that's the irony.  As I said we are vegetarians, which is our choice and I do not expect anyone else to cater to that at any time.  I was game, for three years, to avoid tree nuts.  It has only been this past year, when I was presented with a long list of foods that I had to avoid - mango?  my kids LOVE it - that this scenario began to seem unreasonable.  We have four kids with different allergies, all of which every child must avoid.  I am asking, in all seriousness, what do you consider reasonable? 


This was my point EVERY parent feels their child is the center of the universe. I would do anything to protect mine for sure. HOWEVER... When every child these days seems to have a LIFE THREATENING allergy and you are given a laundry list of items your child must abstain from because jonny is alergic to x and suzzy is allergic is z it just catapults out of the realm of reasonable! As I have stated in this thread I have a LIFE THREATENING allergy to latex do you know how many people let their children run around wildly with balloons in public or how many pencil erasers are in a classroom? There is no reasonable way to censor the world in which I live in so I love around it most days just not caring because I am so used to seeing the threats. As for children not being able to be their own best advocates you sell your kids short. My 5 year old on her own examines toys and places where we are before I can even look at it she knows if its latex or not. Its not her allergy and I didnt train her to do that. Personal advocacy will always win over trying to MAKE people care about your child.

post #65 of 87

I think its a tricky and complex one. If there was a kid who was that seriously allergic in the vicinity of mine I would have no problems not giving them nut related items, I'd hate to be the cause of a serious health issue in another kids.

 

Can I make a point though, if we are talking, say, preemptively avoiding nuts? My eight year old daughter goes through phases of quite serious lactose intolerance. Its absolutely not life threatening but very unpleasant for her.  Its not a small inconvenience, she really does need to avoid dairy. She always has it to some degree but it waxes and wanes. Now the point for me is that there are limits to the food she can easily carry about with her. Cheese is out and bought sandwiches are often out, Its hard to pack her a lunch. Peanut and other nut butters are great, calorie and protein dense (she's very active) and we use them in cooking as a butter substitute. I can't rely on grabbing her her a snack when we are out, and often our only remotely healthy choices are nut based.  I don't really want to use margarine and coconut butter is stupidly expensive. And its never going to be produced locally to me, unlike certain nut butters. So while I'd absolutely be happy to find a substitute in a situation where there was child at serious risk of anaphalactic shock, I would be less happy with it as a preemptive measure, because it has health implications for my own child. For kids who can't eat dairy, nuts are an important protein source and that has to be considered, I think.

 

ETA just to be totally clear, I am happy to exclude peanut butter in a specific situation, where an allergy is that severe. My difficulty would be with a blanket, classroom ban, where that might be out of all proportion to the needs of the child involved-or even where there was no actual child with a nut allergy present. All I am saying is that given that you will also have other children are already limited in the other protein sources open to them, a ban does need to be well considered, rather than being automatically implemented. Nuts and nut butters do tend to be important sources of protein for kids who can't have dairy, as they are widely available and work in sweet and savory dishes. While eating dairy won't kill a lactose intolerant child, it does have actual health implications. My daughter would certainly be missing school and unwell if she had dairy.


Edited by Fillyjonk - 12/16/13 at 8:55am
post #66 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by apeydef View Post

My comment was not directed at you In particular. I was saying it to everyone who was complaining about no peanuts in school. To me reasonable is avoiding the foods that kids can die from! Mangoes? I'm not sure you can go into shock from an allergy to them but if that child's allergy is that serious then yes it should be avoided in the class IMO. I also want to add that my son has a dairy allergy, it is not a life threatening allergy so In this case I would not expect dairy to be avoided by all kids in class, only in life threatening situations.


but what if between all the kids there's nothing left to eat?  I think it should be limited to foods that are deadly if eaten only.

post #67 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post


but what if between all the kids there's nothing left to eat?  I think it should be limited to foods that are deadly if eaten only.
Yes that is what I said!
post #68 of 87

Those of you in schools that ban multiple foods - are these schools with the school lunch program? How does that work? During a recent vacation I spent time with a young child who has anaphylactic reactions to all nuts, dairy and egg with lesser reactions to soy and wheat (and even that shows up as severe excema). I am not sure how it would be possible to ban all nuts, all dairy and eggs from a school (and possibly soy and wheat). That would clearly eliminate a lot of the school lunch program foods. In his particular case, he sits at an allergy table at lunch and there is an epi-pen in the classroom.

post #69 of 87

That's a good question.  The bans are all in my daughter's year; I have no clue how they handle the school lunch issue.  My son's grade level has no issue outside of tree nuts, as there is an allergic child in their level.  As I said, I've never had a problem with the food bans prior to this year. 

post #70 of 87

We have had kids with allergies (or other food-related issues, like severe celiac) in our kids' classrooms, but it was handled on a case-by-case basis. Over 60% of the kids in our school qualify for free or reduced lunch - probably that is why we have no outright bans.

post #71 of 87
The cost is a big issue here. Peanut butter is a cheap source of shelf stable protein. If a child who would otherwise have brought a peanut butter sandwich each day is required to switch to sunflower seed butter or another substitute the cost would have to be shouldered by their parents. I don't think it's right to require parents to spend more money to feed their child because another child has an allergy.

My two older kids have peanut butter sandwiches just about every day. We use a jar and a half of peanut butter a week just for them. I get jars of natural peanut butter for $1-1.50 by stocking up during sales and when I have coupons. At 1.5 jars per week, a 40 week school year, and an average cost of $1.25 I spend approximately $75 per year for their weekday lunch protein. If we were to switch to sunbutter at the $5.99/jar they charge at our grocery store that cost would go up to $359. That's a difference of $142 per child per year. If we did that for each of our six kids for the elementary years of preschool to fifth grade the cost to our family alone would be $5,964 at current prices.

I want other kids to be safe just as much as everyone else but that is an expensive precaution, the numbers could easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars per year spread out across a large elementary school. The point is that although it would be expensive for a parent and a school district to homeschool that might be what should be done to avoid passing the costs on to the other families in the school.

Schools do not have any obligation to educate every child in a school. The obligation is to educate every child in the least restrictive environment available. For a child who might not live past an encounter with invisible peanut butter residue or airborne peanut dust that least restrictive environment, in my opinion and for their safety, is their private home with a visiting tutor provided by the district. I do think homeschooling must be considered by parents with severely allergic children. I get the argument that it would be too much of a burden for them but why is it thought of as ok to simply spread the burden around by forcing families to change their eating habits?

I'm concerned nut bans will create a false sense of security. Kids could have had peanut butter for breakfast, have peanut residue on their person or their backpack/library books/etc.. There is just no way to keep it all out of a school.

I'm also bothered by the fact that peanut bans are in place but not bans for other allergens. A close family member had a huge problem with a school not being willing to 'entertain' accommodations for a dairy protein allergy. This school had banned peanuts but didn't care less about kids with non nut allergies. If schools are willing to ban peanuts they should also ban everything any child has a severe allergy to, fair is fair.

Explaining to kids the reason behind a ban is great but, at least with my picky eaters, it won't change the foods they're willing to eat. These kids are also the same age as the allergic child. If the allergic child is not old enough to be expected to carry their own epi pen how are other kids he same age expected to have a mature sense of empathy and be able to just change their eating habits overnight?

Before everyone thinks I'm being unreasonable I want to say that I do support many of the non ban accommodations made for allergic students. A nut free table is a great idea. I'm totally ok with classrooms banning treats and snacks that contain peanuts so any nuts consumed in the school are confined to the lunchroom. Not sure how that would work if kids have to eat in the classroom but it's good for schools with cafeterias.

I think what it comes down to is that parents need to accept that every kid doesn't get to do everything they want all the time. Kids with allergies might have to eat in a separate room or miss out on going to a public school all together. It's not possible to say in one breath that a child is so allergic as to be disabled, therefore requiring hundreds of other children to change the way they eat to accommodate them, but in the next breath say they don't want their child to have to do anything different than everyone else. The reality is that when you have a disability it means you might not get to do everything you want to do. Kids in wheelchairs would like to run around during gym class but, unfortunately, they are not able to. This doesn't mean the school should require all parents to buy a wheelchair for their child so the disabled one won't feel different or left out.

There are a lot of parents who feel this way. Our kids used to attend a private school. The school put it to a vote if a child who would require a peanut ban should be admitted. The overwhelming majority voted 'no'. The child was not admitted to the school. This a hot button issue for some parents, what you feed your child is a very personal thing and parents don't like being forced to change.

An aside:
Yes, epi pens can be dangerous for some people. If a child with a known or unknown heart condition is injected with one it would have serious consequences.
post #72 of 87

@elus0814- I totally agree with you! I have a picky eater and while I agree reasonable accommodations should be made if a child is "deadly allergic" it makes more sense that their parents shoulder that responsibility not the rest of the school. I also agree that unfortunately not all kids get to do all things. Life is not equal and it isn't fair its just the way it is.

post #73 of 87

I see both sides of this. While not a nut allergy, we struggled with years with DD2 and a severely decreased immune system. Until she ended up on 4 different prescription meds that has made life better, it was a constant struggle. The child near her with a sniffle would lead DD2 in the ER two days later. I was constantly telling people to stay away from us and questioning everyone that came within a foot radius. It was exhausting. I also couldn't prevent people from sending their children out while sick, even just a minor cold in someone else could be a death sentence for her. We spent a lot of time hiding her away from public it felt. We still have to be cautious and I question some but not to the extent I used to have to do. And she is able to go to school though she is usually out a day a week because of illness. This is still a vast improvement over how our lives used to be.

 

And then I had DS1 in a classroom last year where eggs, dairy, nuts, and bananas were banned. And he has ASD with a very limited diet range due to ASD issues and another neurological disorder that affects his muscles and ability to chew. He essentially starved all last school year because of the bans because from 8-3pm, he couldn't eat his limited preferred foods. He lost massive amounts of weight and I truly chalk up this classroom experience to setting off a even more severe eating problem then we already were dealing with. 

 

This year we moved to a private school where allergies are not accommodated at all. There are no nut allergy students. DD2 has 7 children (really!) in her class that are gluten free and one with a dairy allergy with a epi-pen. I know dairy allergies are different then nut allergies. I asked about bringing in gluten free/dairy free cupcakes for her birthday and was instructed that it was not my job to accommodate them, that their parents either brought in special snacks for the students or they did not partake in the eating. I was curious after that and paid attention during the various holiday parties and those students came with their lunch box that they pulled food out for themselves during the celebrations. This is a 1st grade class BTW so still young children. 

 

I'm not entirely sure what the answer is to this important problem. 

post #74 of 87
That's a great point you made about picky eaters being stuck without anything to eat. How is it fair for kids without allergies, who are not asking for anyone to do anything for them, be made to go hungry all day and miss out on educational opportunities because of it? No child can learn well while hungry.

If a nut ban went into place at their school I would likely go back to homeschooling, at least for our pickiest eater. The school has banned food on the playground because of allergies. I'm totally fine with it, kids can eat in the cafeteria then go out to play when they're done.

I want to respond to the loaded gun comment since its a common argument in favor of bans. Peanuts have the potential to harm a small minority of the population. For others they are good option since they are an inexpensive source of protein that is easy to pack in a lunchbox. Guns have the potential to hurt everyone, they are not something that any child should ever be around.
post #75 of 87
What I don't understand is peanut butter is not even healthy so you are all mad that schools are banning something unhealthy! It's not like they are banning apples and vegetables.
post #76 of 87
While peanut butter is not as healthy as vegetables it's a major protein source for picky kids. What are the other protein options? I know for my pickiest eater protein is limited to peanut butter and dairy. She's only able to eat milk, yogurt, or cheese without gagging if it's ice cold and a thermous doesn't keep it cold enough. She will not eat meat, beans, tofu, quinoa, or any other proteins. I'm not comfortable sending just plain slices of bread as a meal. Her food issues are for us to deal with, neither the school nor any other student has to do anything to accommodate her. At home she has yogurt, cheese, milk, or peanut butter as protein at every meal. If I just give her 'apples and vegetables' she will be hungry for half the day, miss out on that part of her education, and be a distraction to the other kids.

I know it's a hard road to travel but I really don't think a child who might not survive sitting next to someone who ate peanut butter at home that morning has any business being sent to a public school. If a school tried to dictate what I may or may not feed my children in our private home or say I have to shower before attending a concert I would write a letter stating that I am not comfortable with those sorts of demands and that we will not be doing those things. The school and the parents of that child have a right to know we (and many other parents, I'm guessing) are not going to be bending over backwards for that child so they can plan accordingly.
post #77 of 87
It may be a good source of protein but like I said before it contains mold and that is why so many people are allergic. It doesn't matter if it's organic or not either, just something to think about! I'm not saying you should only feed your child fruits and vegetables I'm just informing others on here that there is a reason it is a common allergen. It's not healthy whether it's a good source if protein or not, research it! I mean I'm not saying my kids don't ever have it but it's more of a treat in our house because to me something that contains mold should not be a main staple IMO, Just saying you should read about it. I'm not trying to debate I'm just trying to help inform
post #78 of 87
Merry Christmas
post #79 of 87
Every food has potential problems, even fresh produce. Food choices are the result of balancing pros and cons. I'm ok with my kids eating lots of peanut butter. It's ok of others have not made that same choice. "Peanut butter is not even healthy for you" is your opinion, nothing more. As a parent it is my right to make decisions in the best interest of my child and I'm not ok with that right being taken from me by a school.
post #80 of 87
Saying all peanut butter across the board contains mold is ridiculous. I would really encourage you to post any study saying that is the reason for the allergy or that all peanut butter is contaminated. It really sounds as if your are masquerading your opinion as fact. You can easily make your own peanut butter at home I have. However following that contamination logic spinach and lettuce have frequently been contaminated by various bacteria should we stop eating those? No of course not
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