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Juliebove

Home Ec/cooking In School

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My daughter is not quite 9 so I don't have to worry about this for a while, but a movie she was watching last night got me to thinking about this. I know one of the upcoming grades at her school bakes bread towards the end of the year. I heard the teacher taking about it and comparing this year's loaves to prior years.

My daughter is not celiac but has an allergy to wheat, gluten and several other things like eggs and dairy. So touching a batch of regular bread dough would cause her to get a bad rash. And she really shouldn't be around some things when they are cooking. Like eggs, because egg particles float through the air when they are cooking.

What do you do when a kid has to take a cooking class? So far whenever she has had food related projects, I have volunteered to work with the kids with allergies, bringing in whatever suitable substitutes I can find, given their particular allergies. I don't know of any celiacs at her school but there are a ton of kids with food allergies.

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That is a good question. When I was in high school, we had to decide on a dish to make and make up a grocery list for the teacher to shop for. I think that she and her team could choose a dish that would work with her intollerances/allergies and cook that. It wouldn't much help with her being in the room with other people cooking with things she was allergic to, though. Perhaps on cooking days she could get out of class and cook something at home with your supervision. the teacher could tell you the criteria and you could do the grading. Seems like the only safe way to handle it.

I was a cancer patient in high school. I was having heavy duty chemo and could not keep anything down. One of the grading criteria for the home ec class was that we had to make exactly the right amount of food for our team and not have any leftovers. I would do the best I could to choke down my share and immediately run and puke it all up. The instructor was not sympathetic. :wacko: Seems crazy now. Guess I felt like I had to "take one for the team".

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It seems like she should be able to get out of that class all together. Or at least all days that involve food. It's a medical condition, well documented and all. So it seems sort of rediculous that'd she'd have to learn how to cook with food she will never touch or eat.

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If the cooking class is optional I would suggest skipping it altogther. If the baking project is required you might suggest she be allowed to bake gluten free bread at home.

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Thanks! I don't know if such a class is required these days or not. When I was in school, we had to take either Home Ec or shop. We didn't get the choice of what we took. I really wanted to take shop since I already knew how to cook and sew, but alas, I had to take Home Ec. I remember the worst part of it for me was being forced to eat stuff I didn't like at all. Like baked Alaska. But we didn't know of my food allergies back then.

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Don't skip out on a class like that just because you're afraid the teacher won't work around you! My mom is a home ec teacher and she's always worked with children with allergies and things like that even before I was diagnosed...Many more people have celiac than we all realize, so the teacher might even know someone that does!! Learning how to cook gluten-free can only help people in the class too...This means that everyone in that class would become knowledgable on our issues, think about how positive that could be!! They can't force you to eat anything anymore and I promise if you do the research and talk to the teacher before hand it would be beneficial. Now, if the teacher says she can't help you *which is a crock* then by all means, opt out of the class...but I'd be suprised if this happens!

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My Home Ec classes from junior high and high school have been of great help since my Celiac diagnosis, even though they were over 30 years ago. I had gotten away from preparing a lot of my own food and if not for those eary Home Ec classes, I would have had a bigger learning curve on gluten-free cooking.

If the teacher works with you, think of how valuable the experience for the other kids will be to help pick a dish they all can eat. I'd be surprised if you can assemble a class of kids nowadays that only has one kid with food issues. Probably, there'll be at least 2 or 3 others.

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Don't skip out on a class like that just because you're afraid the teacher won't work around you! My mom is a home ec teacher and she's always worked with children with allergies and things like that even before I was diagnosed...Many more people have celiac than we all realize, so the teacher might even know someone that does!! Learning how to cook gluten-free can only help people in the class too...This means that everyone in that class would become knowledgable on our issues, think about how positive that could be!! They can't force you to eat anything anymore and I promise if you do the research and talk to the teacher before hand it would be beneficial. Now, if the teacher says she can't help you *which is a crock* then by all means, opt out of the class...but I'd be suprised if this happens!

You are correct the cooking class should not be skipped if the student is interested in the class. I only took one cooking class and that was in junior high school because I had to. The boys went to shop and the girls had cooking. I would have rather been in the shop class.

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You are correct the cooking class should not be skipped if the student is interested in the class. I only took one cooking class and that was in junior high school because I had to. The boys went to shop and the girls had cooking. I would have rather been in the shop class.

They made girls take Home Ec back when I was in school too. guys took shop and they wouldn't let me in because they said my hair might get caught in the machinery. I offered to cut it -- still no. Finally, they did let me into drafting but I still had to take Home Ec. Now I'm glad they did. I've used much of the info they taught me and now think everyone should take Home Ec. Why shouldn't guys learn about nutrition, budgeting, food prep and such?

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My son's middle school has "Family and Consumer Sciences" class, which all 6th and 7th graders must take. This includes a cooking unit! We went in at the beginning of the school year, talked to the teacher, and made up some alternate choices. That year, the food unit concerned snacks and beverages, so he could have the smoothies they made, and most of the snacks were already gluten-free or easily substituted. The teacher gave him a shelf in a dedicated cupboard for all the kids with food issues. His ingredients were kept there, in airtight containers, under lock and key. Couldn't have gone better!

Last year, it was harder to substitute, but he helped (for example) make the spaghetti sauce, just didn't eat it on pasta. He brought corn tortillas when they made quesadillas. Again, he was given a dedicated work space. Since it was just going to be a problem, he did skip the two days they made bread from scratch, since he's pretty sensitive and airborne flour is hard to combat. But he was hardly the first child with a food issue these teachers had seen (and there turned out to be a celiac child in the grade behind him, too)

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I acutally went to school in the district my children attend now. Back when I was in Junior High it was mandatory that all students, both boys and girls, take home ec and wood shop during alternating marking periods. I have not thought of this yet as my celiac son is only entering first grade but it does make me worry now that it has been brought up. Unless things have changed since I went to school, the students worked in groups and created the food that the teacher told us to make. I remember making donuts. I am sure they are not going to make the whole group cook gluten free just for my son. Not only do I worry about him touching the food but also how will he feel when the whole class gets to eat what they've made and he cannot? Even if they add something in that is gluten free I am sure it won't be everyday. Great, something esle for me to dwell on, 5 years in advance <_< .

Nicole

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" Not only do I worry about him touching the food but also how will he feel when the whole class gets to eat what they've made and he cannot? Even if they add something in that is gluten free I am sure it won't be everyday. "

My son was dx only 3 years ago, in 4th grade. He also has some friends with food allergies from birth, and I want to reassure you that they really don't care about what the rest of the class is eating. By the time your son is in middle school, he'll be much more worried about his haircut, shoes, or grades to care about food IF you don't pity him between now and then :)

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Like I said in my previous post...Talk to the teacher, not the principal, not the school district, the teacher of the class. My mom (family and consumer science/home ec teacher extrodinarre) always works with children to make sure that everyone has something special to eat...if you're making pasta, she brought in rice pasta for her students, she's had 6 celiacs since I've been diagnosed. More people are willing to work with you than you think! Let's not rip the kids from the classes just yet...who knows...we could have the next Emeril gluten-free style growing up among us... :D

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I hope your childs teacher might see the fun side of food allergies (I try :rolleyes: ) I really don't remember what foods we made in Home Ec, but it could turn into a great learning experience for the class. The class could have topics or discussions around cross contamination. They can make fun foods the kids would like to eat like homemade Twinkies and Ho-Ho's. Learn how to experiment, substitute, and see how close they get to the real thing. Making a favorite meal from a restaurant healthier.

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My oldest did this this year with her class mates. The dietition class at the college did a class on healthy eating and cooking with the 3rd grade class. They sent a letter out asking if there was any child with a food alergy or other problems. I talked to them and they made a gluten free pizza crust for her and turned out being a great experience for Emily. Most of the time you just need to talk with the person that is going to do the project and they will be willing to do what needs to be done. just give them all the info and if they have any quetions give them your number and have them call you. you could join in on the fun to make sure your child is ok.

Jodele

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