Surely if fresh whole fruit is allowed then so are fresh whole veggies? I mean like a whole carrot?
I don't see a problem with the list, my DD takes either an organic carrot (no need to peel) or a piece of fruit (she can peel her own oranges/satsumas/etc., she's 6 btw) every day. She eats breakfast at 7.45am at the latest and gets lunch at about 12.40 (by the time she's actually eating). She's a healthy weight, very tall for her age and walks a mile to and from school, up and down a 98foot hill, every day. I don't think it's a big deal. Our snacks also have to be peanut free as there's a kid in her class with a sensitivity.
Has your sister considered meeting with the school and saying that since they have been so kind about the peanut allergy perhaps they could revise their list to reflect her DD's dairy allergy....obviously most of their list would have to go, but then her DD would be safe....or she could just pack her own non-list but peanut and dairy free snacks at home (chopped carrot and humous?)..? I bet they go for the second option.
Maybe she can work out a situation where she brings a large unopened package of something (multiple days worth of snacks) and keeps it at school?
For oranges and grapefruits, is she able to citrus peeler? Is she allowed to bring such a thing to school, or will they consider it a "weapon"?
Bananas should work.
Yes indeed! There are some things that are okay but "softer" for a kid missing teeth. Specifically: a banana, and an applesauce pack. They do make unsweetened applesauce packages.
I would also suggest to your poor sister that the kids eat A LOT of breakfast, and that she packs a substantial lunch, and that she has a snack waiting for the kids as soon as they get home. That way, they should be okay with just a banana or some applesauce for a snack.
I do see that the list includes carrot sticks, but the OP says:
I think that is pretty unreasonable if they're going to allow peanuts in the cafeteria, but not allow a parent to send fruit or veggies they cut up and packed at home.
There are different rules for snacks to share vs. snacks a child eats without sharing. I'm 98% sure that if the parents check with the school, they will find that their child can bring whatever they want for a snack, as long as they don't share and it doesn't contain peanuts.
However, the 'snacks to share' fall under different rules. Not only are there the peanut rules (which are extremely important to abide by), there are also the district rules/regulations about food that's OK to share. Our district has a policy (maybe our state? I don't remember) that any food brought in to share must be either prepared in a commercial kitchen and packaged for bringing or it must come prepackaged. I suspect they had one too many cases of cross-contamination or food poisoning. Thus, the expensive baby carrots in individual bags may be nothing they can do anything about!
Emilysmama had some really really good advice.
Okay, folks. You are making things way more complicated and difficult than necessary.
My dd has several friends who are anaphalactic allergic to peanuts to varying degrees. Each of them has had multiple trips to the ER. We go to pot lucks with them all the time and they have learned to navigate them. Plus, my dd has been/is in a peanut-free daycare, and she has friends who are in school who are allergic to peanut. Plus, I have successfully negotiated these kind of food-related issues with principal and teacher of my dd's school because my dd is allergic to dairy. (and I negotiated with the peanut-free daycare's director, when dd was going to daycare full time) In my experience, the school will be very reasonable about providing flexibility about the peanut-free snacks.
I will tell you that peanut-allergic parents are VERY reasonable about figuring out solutions that will keep their child safe and at the same time not cause undue inconvenience to the other parents. These peanut-allergic parents know first-hand that a peanut allergy can be very isolating to their child, so they quickly figure out ways that their child can live and function as normally as possible. Every child with a peanut allergy has different limitations about what he can and cannot tolerate as far as the extent and type of peanut exposure, and the only way to find out if the pp's sister's child bringing her own unlisted snack will put the other child at risk is to talk to the other parents, or at the very least, the principal first, and then the other parents. Believe me, whenever I asked the other allergic parents for more detail in order to check to see if what I packed in my daughter's food was safe for their children, the other parents were thrilled!
For a peanut-allergic child that is fine being in the same room with peanut consumption (and there are many of those types of children), the parent of the peanut allergic child would probably think the unwrapped/prepackaged policy were overkill for his child. For a child who would die from breathing micron of peanut dust, that unwrapped/prepackaged policy is probably not enough, because you know, those labels are not 100% accurate all of the time. Sometimes the foods still end up with peanut in them in spite of the labeling, and some food manufacturers say that their food is peanut free when it really isn't always. So the unwrapped/prepackaged policy does not cover the reality of what's going on at the school. Sure, if the school does indeed have one of those micron children, and if after conversation with the micron child's mother the two of us weren't able to figure out a way to send my own snacks for my dairy-allergic child and still keep the other child safe, I too would be happy to restrict myself to the list in the policy. The unwrapped/prepackaged policy might or might not be needed by the child in your sister's dd's class. Just because it is the school's general policy, you don't really know for certain that the peanut-allergic child in your sister's dd's class needs such extreme measures. But the fact is that you have no way of knowing whether the unwrapped/prepackaged policy is actually necessary for THAT peanut-allergic child without actually asking the principal. The only way to find out what the reality is, is to talk to the school face-to-face in a reasonable brainstorming manner. If you don't ask, then you won't get.
It is not necessary to change the policy. In fact, it's probably not a good idea to change the policy, at least not the first year. It is easy for one dairy-aware mother to learn to be vigilant about sending peanut-free snacks for her daughter, but it might be extremely difficult to train an entire school of mothers to do so. So if you want to change the policy, I would save those attempts (if in the unlikely event that such changes even proved necessary) for the following year, and use my dd's accommodations this year as a pilot or trial balloon. It's probably not even necessary to change the policy. I would bet that nearly all the parents in the school would have no problem with the list above. (In fact, I'll bet the peanut-free list of snacks was intentionally made junky so that the other parents in the class would not feel intimidated by being asked to send peanut-free snacks. I'm sure that your sister can email the parent of the peanut allergic child and ask them in advance if such-and-such snacks would be okay, and they'd be fine with telling you yay or nay.) I would just concentrate on getting my own child the accommodations she needs for her dairy allergy, and that would mean sending the child her own non-prepackaged off-list snack every day. (That's what I did for my dd.)
With peanut allergies, you cannot just make wild guesses about the severity and nature of the peanut allergies in your child's school, based on other people's peanut allergic reactions because each person is very different. Face-to-face congenial conversations with the principal, and if necessary, the peanut allergic parents, will most likely easily get you what you want with no fuss.
wow that's nuts (pun not intended lol) i dont know a single person with a peanut allergy, is it just common in your area?
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
DS1 had two classmates in elementary school (out of a class of under 25) with severe peanut allergies, and my oldest niece (six months younger than ds1) has gone into anaphylactic shock from peanuts twice that I know of. Those kids were all born the same year, and live in the same general area. My nephew, who is two years younger, has never had a classmate with a peanut allergy in 12 years of school, including high school. Sometimes, it's just the roll of the dice.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Sharlla, it's just more common in general these days. We have known multiple kids with it from preschool thru elementary school. I posted above about the child of a friend who has been "cured" of peanut allergy. It's not really a cure, but he has to ingest much more peanut these days to get a reaction which is fantastic. He knows to avoid it, but it's hard when someone tells you there's no peanuts in the cookies, but then forgets that they were made with peanut butter. Now, if he should accidentally get 1 bite of a peanut containing food he's much less likely to go into anaphylactic shock. It gives him and his parents a little bit of breathing room so to speak. Another family I know is investigating the program, too.
My two friends in the 40s who had peanut allergies growing up in the 60s and 70s were really the odd ones out. No one had heard of it then. They are both pretty sensitive and have been to the hospital numerous times.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
I have two adult sons with multiple ana allergies, though neither has issues in the same room with allergens. They eat only foods over which they, my mother, or DH and I have had control. No unsealed foods. No foods with "may contain" statements; no foods with "natural flavor" as a line item (some of their allergies are to foods not required for listing under the U.S. labeling act); no foods prepared on shared equipment; shared facility depends on the manufacturer and the info we've been able to gather.
My problem with the idea of an approved snack list is the false sense of security it can imply. If one of my children had such a severe allergy that he had to have this degree of control exercised over the food around him, then every single label would need to be read every single time. Recipes and ingredient lists can change at any time; items that are safe in August may be contaminated in October. I as a parent would have felt my allergic children were ill-served and at risk with a policy like this in place. The whole idea of a pre-approved list sits badly with me because it seems to employ both too much control and not enough, and misses targeting where the control might be needed most.
Another administrative consideration is the enormous variety of allergies and sensitivities experienced by people. What will this school do if a child coming down the pike next year has equally severe issues with an ingredient that saturates the approved list, wheat for example? A policy that is specific about food handling procedures rather than the foods themselves seems like a much more informed and enforceable approach to me.
Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
I'd be fighting this policy! My son goes to preschool & a parent provides a snack for everyone. I had the choice at the beginning of the year to allow my son to partake or not. I chose to allow it & on the rare occasion that the snack parent wasn't present the teacher would either provide a safe separate snack or call me for permission if they weren't sure if the snack was truly safe. The school has a no peanut/nut policy. Snacks were a nice balance of homemade, prepackaged & fresh fruit/veggies. Allergy info for allergic kids was also posted by the snack table with picture of the allergic child.
I'd Check to see if the nearest anaphylactic association has recommended school policies.
I think this kind of thing has gone way too far and parents need to push back. Why are the schools taking these extreme measures? This isn't preschool but elementary school where children with alergies can be taught not to eat others' food. Restricting peanuts, fine. But all the rest is ridiculous. A child with dairy alergies will not become violently ill if the child next to them is eating dairy. They are actually listing BRANDS that you should buy! All of which are absolute junk non-food that are fueling an obesity epedemic in this country. If it were me I would ask for a meeting with the principal and say that I find the list offensive and that I have every right to bring homemade and home prepared food for MY child to eat. If they feel it's necessary, they should create a special table for kids who want to stick to the approved list.
I also don't understand why kids are constantly given snacks these days, especially if they're not going to have any nutritional value. Feed your child breakfast, preferably a high protein breakfast. My Kindergartener has no interest in snack because he has a big breakfast and lunch is at 11:30. Children can go a few hours without eating! We did it when we were kids. And incidentally we weren't as fat back then..
Not sure if it's been mentioned but Costco has pre-packaged individual hummus containers by Sabra I send to school with my daughter. Also, sure if sesame is allowed since I know sometimes where there's a nut allergy, there can be a seed allergy, but I find them immensely convenient.
I am not sure how long a six year old is supposed to go without food, especially when lunch is only twenty minutes long. My daughter eats before leaving home at 7.45, has lunch at 11.30, and isn't home again until after four. OF COURSE she needs a snack in the middle of the afternoon. Your kid isn't a big eater and can concentrate and behave after three or four hours with no food? Great, don't send a snack. MANY children will become unfocused, miserable, and unmanageable without SOMETHING in their stomachs every few hours.
I am very sympathetic to children with allergies and their parents. I understand how serious they can be, but I don't think that means every other child in the school needs to be limited to processed junk. I think the best thing to do is fight the list. No peanuts, no peanut products, no snack sharing.
The only time kids are allowed to share snacks is for birthdays. The parent of the birthday kid has to notify in advance so the parents of kids with allergies have a chance to send in special snacks for their kids as well. Works well. For my daughter's birthday, I offered to find something they could all have and because there were conflicting allergies, it was impossible and one boy's mom told me she'd just feel better sending in her own, which is fine and makes sense to me. I am sure I would, too.
The point is that the list is NOT limited to only unhealthy items. Fruit and veg (whole or prepackaged) is allowed. Send a banana or an apple, discussion over.
DD (4.25.08) DD (4.23.10) DD (10.13.12)
I'm confused, are you sure these are the only snacks they can bring for themselves? Because the list doesn't read that way. It reads, these are snacks you might choose for a school event (which I take to mean share with the class). Perhaps the teacher is making up some policy of her own.
Well, my Kindergartener had no interest in breakfast ; it was a challenge to get her to eat something before she left the house. I packed her an extra snack and if she was hungry she would eat it in the cafeteria with the children who ate breakfast at school. They also had 2-3 recesses a day which caused her to expend a lot of energy and want to eat.
How long someone can go without eating and still be productive is individual. My little snackers are at a healthy weight (so was I as a child), even though I had snack time throughout elementary school. Snacking in and of itself does not cause someone to be overweight.
That said, I, too, questioned the need for a snack, but the addition of a bus ride between breakfast and lunch does make it probably a good idea.
I think the mother, and ideally father too, should talk with the principal and teacher about the snack list, her concerns and their reasons for the selections. If a second meeting is needed to answer additional concerns, request one. Keep a positive and open attitude. Remember, they have lots of children (and parents) to deal with. You should be able to have your issues addressed with as little stress to all parties as is possible.
If you do get approval for something not on the list, please be sure a note is added to the list that will be provided to substitute teachers, or the child may have a snack taken away by a well-intentioned substitute!
I am really surprised so many people would expect young children, or even older kids, to go a whole school day on one meal they can consume in twenty minutes (including hand washing time, sitting down, getting their things out, eating, cleaning up, line up, etc). School starts at 8.30 and ends at 3.50 here. If I fed her right before kicking her out of the car and again as soon as she got back in that's still seven hours. There are five grades and they don't all eat at once so someone is eating early and someone else is eating late, it's not in the dead center of the day. How could they not need snacks? And even if they wouldn't pass out from hunger, they would still be hungry and distracted.
Sure, people "used to" eat meals and no snacks and they were thinner overall, but they also ate bigger meals and worked physical jobs. It's no longer "a long time ago" and we don't live like that. The issue isn't how often they eat (although I do think having a snack and every stinkin activity is over board) but WHAT - and the lack of physical activity, which is a whole other issue.
If it was me, I would have a talk with the parents of the child who are the reason of the list. Explain the issue at hand:
- dairy allergy
- trying to avoid pre-packaged food because of nutrition etc.
- the cost of pre-packaged vs. home cut alternatives.
I think if I had a child with a peanut allergy (or another serious allergy or condition that can be triggered like that) I would also be cautious. But I would also not be unreasonable. After all, the world contains peanuts. Handles of trolleys that they probably use when out and shopping, bathroom doors in public places...all those things contain trace elements of peanuts. Not to scare anyone, but they do. Therefore, the best prevention method is not eliminating the risk in the classroom by having this strict list. Rather it is making sure that the child understands that other person's food is off limits and always will be because of the risk. And making sure that things that do really contain peanuts are forbidden, of course, to avoid trace elements spreading.
Now, I'm not saying to allow peanuts in school. That would be stupid. But I am sure that if approached in the right way, the parents will agree that fruits and veggies cut at home using a newly washed cutting board and a knife, put in a clean container that have never contained peanuts - and that their child are not encouraged to share - should not be a problem. Neither should dried fruit, taken from a larger container or for that matter a sandwich made with veggies and meat. No peanut butter or anything.
Also: there is shrinkwrap that makes things look prepackaged...not that I'm saying you should cheat (since it can be dangerous) just saying...
I think your sister's request is reasonable and a simple letter our conversation with the principal or teacher will most likely lead to a good solution. From the letter, I would also not be surprised if there is some misunderstanding going on. Has your sister spoken to the school yet? If not, I would suggest avoiding the health issues with the list provided (especially if she is limited as far as how much time she can spend on this issue) and just explain that with her DC's own dietary restrictions, the list is not comprehensive enough and ask for additional items to be added to the list. I'd be specific.
What I did was write a letter to the principal asking for more healthy options to be added to the list. They did add a few-- but they were things like pirate's booty and other processed foods. Sigh. So for us, it's only an issue on half days when she needs to bring a snack. I found the teachers only enforce the no nuts portion but did allow me to send in fruit and a cheese stick.
So you can't bake cookies and send them in for the class. If you want to send in cookies, you have to buy them at a bakery.
But you can bake cookies and send one in your child's lunch.
but everything has pros and cons
I am not sure in the 58 current comments if what I am about to post has been addressed, I read through the first couple of pages. But please note:
I am a dietitian and also have a child with multiple severe food allergies (eggs/dairy/blueberries/apricot/oats) so I have professional as well as personal experience and can relate. My child is in elementary school and navigating the educational environment can be a challenge but PARENTS are the best advocate a child has, sometimes the only one.
First it would be important to establish severity of the child's allergy. If the child has a documented severe/lif-threatening allergy to any particular food then they would be considered to have a hidden disability which is protected under the Civil Rights Laws/504 Plan. If you have never heard of this look it up and if your child meets this criteria then the school, by law, must accommodate the student. A 504 provides that educational accommodations be made as well as nutritional and environmental. The child may not be excluded or isolated either. The more you know the better equipped you will be to handle these situations.
Also, if the child does not have a life-threatening allergy but still experiences allergic reactions to foods then I would consider meeting with the school nurse, principal, child's teacher, etc to develop and Individual Health Care Plan. This is basically a step-by-step of how the allergy situation will be handled at school. Sometimes when people are limited in their understanding of how to handle food allergies I have found they are more resistant to accommodations.
And just in general provide your own list of what is acceptable/unacceptable for your child for snacks. I understand the goal is for the child to not feel different or isolated. You also run the risk of bullying with the allergenic foods sometimes when the child's allergy becomes widely known to students without an understanding of the consequences exposure could have.
Good luck to you! You're not alone!
RE: bringing in packaged/professionally made foods are not just for allergies but to identify food poisons sources as well should there be an out break
my area did away with homemade bake sales years ago and also companies/businesses donate for sales anyway and for "whole" class things they try and limit the number of times there are "food" type events in the class room (for obesity reasons)-you don't bring in food or candy for a birthday
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