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Home Ec/ Cooking Class With Middle Schoolers - Any Ideas?

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My celiac son is due to take the modern equivalent of home ec next year.  Part of it involves cooking.

 

I got a note from his doctor stating that he should be excused from cooking class for medical reasons, but we are at the point now of trying to structure alternatives.  

My concerns are that being in a classroom in which a bunch of 12-yr-olds have been trying to cook with flour will give him a permanent stomach ache all semester.  I took that class when I was 12.  It was a mess. It doesn't help that he chews his fingers constantly, so if there's gluten around, he'll ingest it.  

 

I think it will be easy to get the school to excuse him from classes in which the kids are using gluten ingredients.  But what about the times in which his class is doing something else but other classes are still cooking?  One possibility that came up is to just have him take something else the whole semester (art or more music), but the principal seems to be resisting that idea.  

 

Has anyone else gone through having a celiac kid in home ec?

 

Thanks!

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i was thinking about teaching a class to young adults in our church - basic cooking!  some of them are clueless - one of them texted me and wanted my egg salad recipe.  i said:  it's so hard.  eggs, mayo, mustard, salt & pepper w/a little bit of paprika.  so, if you can boil an egg, you're all set.  she texted me back that she did NOT know how to boil an egg.  WHAT?!!  

 

can you get them to cook other things besides baking for that one semester?  maybe get them to make their own salsa, etc.  you could get your son to bring his own cooking utensils/cutting board, etc.  there are plenty of things worth learning to cook that are gluten free.  even if they made grilled cheese, there wouldn't be flour flying all over...  (he could make egg salad haha)  if they don't cook in that class every day, how many things would they really have to change in their lesson plans?  is it just one semester?

 

edited to add:  egg salad girl from above is 26 y.o. and has a MASTERS degree^  people need to learn to cook!  


arlene

misdiagnosed for 25 years!
just as i was getting my affairs in order to die of malnutrition...
gluten free 7/2010
blood test negative
celiac confirmed by endoscopy 9/2010

 

only YOU can prevent forest fires - smokey t. bear

 

have a nice day :)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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Our kids just completed their cooking semester....We had the option of skipping that class but kids Boys wanted to take the class..... So our kids had their cooking class in September , first period so the room was cleaned before school started in Sept. the cooking room is cleaned every evening just because of the mess daily. So this is when we felt the safest......

The first year the teacher over summer sent home the list of four things they would make in school... Which we could have the kid make at home & video the process & bring finished item to school or I could supply all the gluten-free flour for the semester!!!! wasn't that a great suggestion since the price of gluten-free flour is so pricey I declined...I just couldn't see wasting all that flour & money...I said I would supply for our kid the flour for a recipe or the four she said she would be making in class... I also faxed her the changes in her wheat recipe that would have to be altered to make it gluten-free...she claimed she knew all about being gluten-free & that I needn't change the recipe , she was grading her recipe not one I had altered to be gluten-free...huh???? I finally said listen you have no idea about gluten-free foods so this is the way it is or else I'll get an attorney..Our kid did his gluten-free version of what she requested... other non gluten kids loved it... only one recipe didn't work so good... It was a horrible experience that year....

The second year of cooking class a new teacher, we did again first semester am class... she seemed to understand gluten-free a tad better... she went out & purchased gluten-free flour , made a work space for 4 students in a small closet & ask the other kids who wants to work with our kid & gluten-free.. Three could do it , well ten other kids all volunteered....but she could only pick three... It was a wonderful experience for the four kids...

Later she decided to do a class on gluten-free & asked if our kid would mind.. The answer was no it was okay but she should contact me for correct info... she said she understands gluten-free so she did the class... Our kid said she was badly informed & kept correcting what she said when something wasn't correct ... she got a bit huffy so our kid thought before she gets mad & fails me for something stupid I'll shut up...A few weeks later he took in the correct info about going & being gluten-free & passed out info from the GIG & CSA to all students in the class...

The next year no cooking class but her own son was dx'd with celiac was not getting better , she called our kid in & asked if I would help ......she is no longer at our school but she does often call for info .....

I would NEVER allow our kids to cook with wheat flour & the closet idea seemed to work...

good luck

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Is this class a requirement in order to graduate? Even so, the principal should be able to override this requirement.

My kid can eat gluten and is in middle school. I did not have her take Home Ec (she wanted to) but instead She took music for the year. I talked to the Home Ec teacher at the Open House prior to our enrolling and was not impressed. Too bad as I had fond memories of Home Ec. I have taught her at home and we bake and cook gluten free. Our recipes are much better and she invites a few friends over to make it more fun.

She was required to take a computer class but that was waived. Her schedule was too full to take this class and the principal was not concerned as all the kids have school-issued ipads anyway. I guess I am saying that not all requirements are in stone!

I think you need to talk to the principal. I would not personally take that class!


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Wheat flour can stay airborne for hours and eventually settles on everything.  My son is so sensitive to cross-contamination, I don't bake with wheat flour in our home at all and we rarely eat out, even if a "gluten free" menu is available.  If there is flour in the kitchen, the risk is too high.  I would not have my child be in the classroom where cooking projects take place.  Not even when they were not cooking.  Bringing in our own equipment and providing gluten-free alternative wouldn't even be an option because the other kids would be using wheat flour . . .the room is already contaminated.  Just not worth it.  If your child doesn't have a 504 plan, get one.  In it should be that he can be exempt from this particular class. - or, the "non-cooking" portion of it could be taught in another location.  

 

Simply wiping down the counters would not be enough to ensure my son's safety and I'm sure the school wouldn't want to fully "decontaminate" the room daily . . .

However, learning to cook is an important skill, especially for someone with Celiac.  Teach him at home or try to find a safe alternative.  We have a bakery here that does classes with kids but they only do sweets . . . 

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Thanks for your comments.  We don't have a 504 plan - the school said they could take of everything without one.  He does have a health plan on file.  I like the idea of asking them to have the non-cooking part of the cass taught elsewhere.  Then we wouldn't have to worry about what the other classes are doing in there. 

 

I agree whole-heartedly that kids should learn to cook.  I think it's even more important for celiac kids to learn to cook!  We have been teaching our sons at home - I don't think he will be missing anything by skipping the school cooking section. 

 

Here is what the school has offered so far:

The guidance counselor suggested he could just take another class (which is my preferred option!).  But then the principal said she would like him to take the rest of the class and he would be excused on days in which the class is cooking. That's what is in his file right now.  I am concerned that he also needs to be excused on the days other classes are cooking, too, for the reasons many of you mentioned above - gluten in the air.  I pointed this out but have not heard any more back.  Maybe I just need to contact the teacher and see how many days kids are "cooking" and how many they aren't.  If he's going to be pulled half of the days, he might as well take art or music.  If it's just 2 weeks, then that's not so bad.

 

Honestly, I have heard this class is terrible (cooking is only one small part of it), and thus I think my desire to figure out a way to make it work is not very strong.  I don't think he would be missing much in terms of curriculum, and then we wouldn't have to worry about him getting sick all the time. 

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My celiac daughter goes to middle school next year.  She does have a 504 but I need to schedule a meeting with the school and determine how to handle as she has some kind of "life skills" class that includes cooking.  Following this topic... great ideas.

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I hope the school will adapt the class for kids with food allergies.  For instance having to budget for allergen free foods will be a lifelong necessity.  Reading food labels and the importance of having companies clearly label ingredients.

 

Kids should also be taught life skills of managing bank accounts, credit cards with a high interest rate, mortgages, how to count up for correct change, and just how to mange money and budget. 


Michigan

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