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Jason's Mommy

Celiac Entering Kindergarten

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My 5 year old celiac child is entering Kinder and the school is refusing to refrigerate or heat up any meals that I want to provide- (he can't eat anything on the menu except fruit). I am just wanting him to be able to have the gluten free version of what his friends are eating. Has anyone else come across this situation? Any suggestions?

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I am so sorry to here that they won't coroperate with you. I was in education and now stay at home with my kids. But I have a good friend who is still a K teacher and she has a few kids on special diets in her class. A helpful tip that she gave me was to pack a special snacks in a lunch box that can be kept in the classroom. Also a lot of schools have rules (that I think are unfair) they are not allowed to heat up or keep cool kids food. So the other tip i got was to use a thermos. I am new at all this gluten-free stuff and have a soon to be 3 and starting pre-school this year who may have celiacs too. So those where the things she told me. I hope this helps... good luck!

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I am sorry to hear the school is not working with you. I second the idea on keeping snacks in the classroom, maybe a box of Kinninick K-toos (just like oreos), animal crackers, the Arrowroot bad is pretty decent, and some Glutino Pretzels which taste and look like the real thing.

For his lunch you can pack sandwiches just like the rest of the kids have and use an insulated bag.

See if you can maybe get a doctors note/medical excuse for your child since he is on a restricted diet. That may or may not help you, I am not sure since I have never been in this type of situation yet.

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We started kindergarted last year. I made an appt right away with her teacher, gave her a biner of information, tried to put the fear of God into her and gave her and the school office a letter from the doctor stating her needs. I basically didn't give them a chance to give me any problems. I told them-this is what you will do, she WILL NOT get sick here. They are responsible for your child!!

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Personally, I would look into a 504 plan. decide if and how you want to implement the 504 plan. Is your child medically diagnosed Celiac? Can letter from Dr help?

Talk to the district head of nursing. She will be your best source for making sure the school is meeting your childs needs. Talk to the Principal too. Your childs "allergy" falls under the nurses job in our school district. Try to be flexible and talk to the head of nursing and Principal about what your child has, symptoms and problems that your child will run into (bathroom, food crafts, lunch room, contamination, etc.) Then ask what is the best way that the nurse can recommend that your child be accomodated without being singled out. Explain about the foods not tasting good unless warmed or if you have a picky eater. I don't bother trying to match what the other kids are eating that day at school lunch. Pack foods that your child loves - even if it is a CherryBrooke Kitchen cupcake everyday!

Here is what I have found to work best:

Notify the Princiapl whenever you are having issues. (They do not like being blindsided from above.) Be flexible and ask for help ensuring that your childs needs are met without the child being singled out. Do not be argumentative at all. Your child will be at this school for years!

Most importantly, get the teacher on your side, or get your child assigned to another teacher who will be more accomodating. Find other parents of kids with food allergies to get the name of a good teacher. Work with the teachers schedule to educate the teacher about the other issues that people don't understand when it comes to Celiacs.

Provide a box of safe snacks in the classroom.

Provide a box of safe craft supplies. (Finger foods to count with, pasta for crafts, etc)

Ask the teacher for ideas about when foods or questionable items are used in the classroom so you can provide supplements.

Provide the awsome kid friendly gluten-free baked goods for the parties. Show how great gluten-free can be!

Talk to the teacher about a month before the holiday parties to help plan a naturally gluten-free party environment. It wont be 100% gluten-free, but it can be mostly gluten-free. Try very hard to be present for the first class party. Be there to help see what the issues will be and to answer questions for the teacher.

BTW, I have had to threaten to implement a 504 plan, and so far this year is off to a great start.

Hope some of this helps, feel free to PM me if you need more specific info.

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I am going threw this with the high school now. Yesterday i told my son to see what was safe to eat at hot lunch, and told him if all else fails eat an salad. Well he went to look and all they had was hamburgers, corn dogs and pizza, so what does my son do. He goes to burger King and has an chicken salad (or so he says) lol.

So I have an call in with the school now to see what we can do. I cant pack him a lunch cause he says he is too cool to eat cold lunch without bread, cause i still havent figured out to make good bread yet lol. And they wont let you warm up anything either.

Im glad this topic is came up it will give me ideas on what to tell the school when and if they call.

What is sad is if the other kids did have celiac, they would make excpetions for them at their school, but it is a private school and my sons K teacher has celiac. (well i still dont know if the other kids have celiac or not), so im happy if they ever come back positive i know they will be safe.

paula

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Personally, I would look into a 504 plan. decide if and how you want to implement the 504 plan. Is your child medically diagnosed Celiac? Can letter from Dr help?

Talk to the district head of nursing. She will be your best source for making sure the school is meeting your childs needs. Talk to the Principal too. Your childs "allergy" falls under the nurses job in our school district. Try to be flexible and talk to the head of nursing and Principal about what your child has, symptoms and problems that your child will run into (bathroom, food crafts, lunch room, contamination, etc.) Then ask what is the best way that the nurse can recommend that your child be accomodated without being singled out. Explain about the foods not tasting good unless warmed or if you have a picky eater. I don't bother trying to match what the other kids are eating that day at school lunch. Pack foods that your child loves - even if it is a CherryBrooke Kitchen cupcake everyday!

Here is what I have found to work best:

Notify the Princiapl whenever you are having issues. (They do not like being blindsided from above.) Be flexible and ask for help ensuring that your childs needs are met without the child being singled out. Do not be argumentative at all. Your child will be at this school for years!

Most importantly, get the teacher on your side, or get your child assigned to another teacher who will be more accomodating. Find other parents of kids with food allergies to get the name of a good teacher. Work with the teachers schedule to educate the teacher about the other issues that people don't understand when it comes to Celiacs.

Provide a box of safe snacks in the classroom.

Provide a box of safe craft supplies. (Finger foods to count with, pasta for crafts, etc)

Ask the teacher for ideas about when foods or questionable items are used in the classroom so you can provide supplements.

Provide the awsome kid friendly gluten-free baked goods for the parties. Show how great gluten-free can be!

Talk to the teacher about a month before the holiday parties to help plan a naturally gluten-free party environment. It wont be 100% gluten-free, but it can be mostly gluten-free. Try very hard to be present for the first class party. Be there to help see what the issues will be and to answer questions for the teacher.

BTW, I have had to threaten to implement a 504 plan, and so far this year is off to a great start.

Hope some of this helps, feel free to PM me if you need more specific info.

This is great advice, I never even thought about finger foods for counting and pasta for crafts. Thanks!!

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I just had to go the the dreaded lunch room myself this morning about this very thing!

My 4.5 year old daughter is in preschool and they would not let her teacher heat her food yesterday. I was upset and MAD! She was in a summer preschool program - different campus though- and we had NO problems. This is the same school district so I thought it would carry over but I was wrong. All summer they had kept her lunch in the teacher's lounge fridge and then heated it up for her every day. Well at the new school yesterday they would NOT let her teacher heat up her lunch. She could keep it in the fridge but not heat it up...???

Crazzzy!

So this morning I had to go down there and explain to them nicely what the situation was and that she had to have her food refridgerated and heated JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER CHILDEREN ARE ENTILETED TO.

When I put it like that the lunch ladies all had a turn around (-;

I would go the principal in your case and hope that will be as far as you have to go. But if you dont get what you need out of him/her- go to the superintendent. Good luck and I feel for you!

Kim

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Gosh, this is no good at all. I wonder if they are worried you'll send something like uncooked meat and it won't get fully cooked? There are plenty of things you can send that don't need to be heated, though, and the blue ice stuff should work well. My mum also used to send hot dogs in a thermos of boiling water and they'd still be warm at lunch. If you have a good thermos, this would probably work with chili and soup, too.

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I am a k teacher myself. In canada we don't provide hot lunches, all kids bring their own lunch in their lunch boxes. So i have not encountered this request. We don't have a refrigerator or microwave in the classroom so we don't provide this as an option to our students. It would be very time consuming for 1 teacher to do this for all 25 students even if we did have a microwave in the room. In other words, it would take at least a half hour to heat up each student's lunch for 1 minute each. I also believe it goes against safety standards. What i have done for students on restricted diets is keep a bunch of snacks provided by the parents in my closet so when we have birthday parties or special events, the child does not feel left out. And when possible let parents know in advance that we are celebrating a child's birthday on a given day in case the parents want to send in a gluten free treat for their child. Parents are also welcome to drop off their kids lunch (warm lunch) at any time during the day. I also write a newsletter to all the parents about the various allergies etc... in the classroom so other parents are aware and that we have no sharing policy. Sometimes kids like to share their snacks with their friends. Having to bring lunch to work myself I found gluten free deli meats/hot dogs very useful. Thermos often keep foods luke warm ( chicken legs) etc... Is this preschool or kindergarten. In preschool there is usually more than one adult in the room. In k there's only one person. ???

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I send my preschooler off with a thermos of hot rice pasta in the morning and it's ALWAYS still hot once he opens it. I don't think there is always a need to re-heat gluten free food if you use a thermos, any more than there is a need to heat up 'regular' food. :unsure:

You can send sandwiches on gluten-free bread, or make your own 'lunchables' with gluten-free crackers and lunch meats cut up in fun shapes. You can send chicken and rice (hot) or tuna or chicken salad (cold) in a thermos.

I think you could have a lot of options without much intervention from the school if you're going to be sending food with him anyhow.

However, the school should be more accommodating. I think you should threaten with a 504, just to make sure they are taking it seriously.

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I think you should threaten with a 504, just to make sure they are taking it seriously.

Comming from a teacher's perspective, this statement could really move you in a direction you don't want to head in with your school. "Threatening" a teacher or principal or school isn't going to create a positive environment for anyone. I believe that you need to form a partnership with the school, not scare the bejezus out of them!!

Educate them, inform them, but please please do not "threaten" them. It will get you nowhere in a hurry!!

Your child has every right to have accomodations made for them. Talk with the school about your child's needs. It is very possible that a 504 will need to be put into place to ensure that your kiddoes needs are being met, however don't use it as a "threat". Keep the positive lines of communication open and you will come out ahead!

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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I am a k teacher myself. In canada we don't provide hot lunches, all kids bring their own lunch in their lunch boxes.

In Virginia in the U.S. ALL schools I've encountered have hot lunches. They also have refrigerators and microwaves (in the cafeteria, not the classrooms).

richard

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In Virginia in the U.S. ALL schools I've encountered have hot lunches. They also have refrigerators and microwaves (in the cafeteria, not the classrooms).

richard

Oh I see. Hmm... Imagining myself in the teacher's position, how would i get to the cafeteria to heat up this child's food, since there is noone else to supervise the children while i am doing this. My kids eat lunch in the classroom with a lunch supervisor. I go for lunch during the same period. I guess you could ask the lunch supervisor to come a few minutes early to get the lunch, microwave it and come back? Then you'd also have to consider is there a line up for this microwave, do other kids have access to it. Will the food be contaminated by the use of this common microwave? Obviously an adult would have to do the microwaving, who would this person be? I think the best thing is to find out why is the school not accomodating this request? What is making this difficult for them? Perhaps then you could come up with a solution. And i agree with the other teacher, making enemies with the school is not the way to go. I would find out what the challenges are to accomodating this request. Time, getting to the microwave, supervision, adult assistance, contamination, all these may be factors in their response.

My kids have snack at 10:30 (in the classroom). Perhaps he should have his lunch first when it is still warm and have their snack during lunch. These are all suggestions, our system is very different so i don't know how it works. Im just thinking out the logistics.

Good luck.

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I had a child on gluten-free diet in my class, being a celiac myself i always watched out for him. I must wash my hands a hundred times a day. I always have to open their snacks and touch things like play dough and pasta for arts and crafts. It is around us all day long. This little boy was excellent. His parents really taught him not to share food, and to always wash his hands. Sometimes he was picky about his snack so i would offer him my gluten-free snack and he'd always say no. He was so trained not eat other peoples food. I would suggest buying some wet naps/ wipes to give to the teacher. I used them alot to clean his table surface etc... Also i found sending home a letter with birthday treat suggestions very useful. I also listed the different allergies that existed in our classroom so that all parents were aware. Some parents did chose to bring in gluten-free friendly snacks. Perhaps you can work with the teacher to make such a list. During Halloween, I had the kids take home all their snacks in a bag to have their parents go through them. Everyone has an allergy these days. I thought this was easiest. We just had some lollipops that i found that were ok for everyone. You want to have a good relationship with the teacher so that you are welcome to come in on those special events. It's really tough to be gluten-free and a kid. :)

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some have already given some great suggestions. I think making the illness known & understood is a starting point... if I then got no results I would go to the school board & the superintendant of the school.

When our kids went to kindergarden we brought a similar treat for our child each day. Plus we sent a note home to all classmates parents stating if they would just let us know what they were bringing in for a treat they need'nt worry about our child but we would supply his treat to match there's. Most were very kind & did call us & let us know a week to ten days ahead.

We alway had a safe box in the closet......

mamaw

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Oh I see. Hmm... Imagining myself in the teacher's position, how would i get to the cafeteria to heat up this child's food, since there is noone else to supervise the children while i am doing this. My kids eat lunch in the classroom with a lunch supervisor. I go for lunch during the same period. I guess you could ask the lunch supervisor to come a few minutes early to get the lunch, microwave it and come back? Then you'd also have to consider is there a line up for this microwave, do other kids have access to it. Will the food be contaminated by the use of this common microwave? Obviously an adult would have to do the microwaving, who would this person be? I think the best thing is to find out why is the school not accomodating this request? What is making this difficult for them? Perhaps then you could come up with a solution. And i agree with the other teacher, making enemies with the school is not the way to go. I would find out what the challenges are to accomodating this request. Time, getting to the microwave, supervision, adult assistance, contamination, all these may be factors in their response.

My kids have snack at 10:30 (in the classroom). Perhaps he should have his lunch first when it is still warm and have their snack during lunch. These are all suggestions, our system is very different so i don't know how it works. Im just thinking out the logistics.

Good luck.

Hi, I am also a kindergarten teacher and the mother of a celiac son. I can understand both sides as my son will be eating lunch in school this year for the first time. The mom part of me wants them to make it easier for me to send in warm lunches and have them heat up his food. But the teacher side of me knows differently. My students too eat lunch in the classroom with 1 supervisor. There is no microwave in the room or fridge. To ask the lunch supervisor to come early would mean her leaving her previous post early and that wouldn't be allowed. But, in the case of keeping a frozen treat (cupcake, etc.) in the schools freezer, that should always be allowed. Between lunch time and our preps we could easily go get something out of the freezer in time for a school party. I had a boy last year who brought hotdogs in a thermos and it was warm still at lunch time. I guess we could do the same with chicken nuggets, pasta, etc.

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Hi, I am also a kindergarten teacher and the mother of a celiac son. I can understand both sides as my son will be eating lunch in school this year for the first time. The mom part of me wants them to make it easier for me to send in warm lunches and have them heat up his food. But the teacher side of me knows differently. My students too eat lunch in the classroom with 1 supervisor. There is no microwave in the room or fridge. To ask the lunch supervisor to come early would mean her leaving her previous post early and that wouldn't be allowed. But, in the case of keeping a frozen treat (cupcake, etc.) in the schools freezer, that should always be allowed. Between lunch time and our preps we could easily go get something out of the freezer in time for a school party. I had a boy last year who brought hotdogs in a thermos and it was warm still at lunch time. I guess we could do the same with chicken nuggets, pasta, etc.

This sounds reasonable.

Anna

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If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease and you have the proof from a dr. It is a disease , then it is not in the same catagory as allergies or food intolerance . It falls Under the americans with disabilities act , every child in a public school is entitled to a hot lunch. It sounds like I am truely blessed in that my childs school is so wonderful about this. They provide my child with a gluten free hot lunch prepared by them everyday. For the same price as everybody else. Some of the lunch staff have taken courses , by their own choice about gluten free meals and how they should be prepared. I am in a small town and would have never imagined they would have offered this to me. I didnt even have to ask. My childs teachers have been wonderful also. no problems.

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THANK YOU EVERYONE! WE WON!!! I JUST RECEIVED A CALL BACK FROM THE CAFETERIA MANAGER AFTER I SPOKE WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THEY ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO ACCOMODATE ANY OF JASON'S NEEDS....THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP!!!!

WE WON!!!! :D

NOW IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ANY OF THEIR FAVORITE RECIPES, I AM ALL EARS

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If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease and you have the proof from a dr. It is a disease , then it is not in the same catagory as allergies or food intolerance . It falls Under the americans with disabilities act , every child in a public school is entitled to a hot lunch. It sounds like I am truely blessed in that my childs school is so wonderful about this. They provide my child with a gluten free hot lunch prepared by them everyday. For the same price as everybody else. Some of the lunch staff have taken courses , by their own choice about gluten free meals and how they should be prepared. I am in a small town and would have never imagined they would have offered this to me. I didnt even have to ask. My childs teachers have been wonderful also. no problems.

ummm...actually the disablity act does cover Celiacs and food allergies. We have both in our family and both are covered under the 504.

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My 5 year old celiac child is entering Kinder and the school is refusing to refrigerate or heat up any meals that I want to provide- (he can't eat anything on the menu except fruit). I am just wanting him to be able to have the gluten free version of what his friends are eating. Has anyone else come across this situation? Any suggestions?

Good and expensive: (and also similar to what other kids may bring)

- IAN's gluten-free chicken nuggets

- gluten-free macaroni and cheese

- IAN's gluten-free fish sticks.

- gluten-free pizza.

Not so expensive:

- gluten-free cooked sausages ( my son need heinz ketchup with it)

- Rice bread sandwich (with anything: ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato...I would love to put some avocado but my son hates it...really!! it taste great!)

- Soft corn tortilla with refried beans and cheese (roll it as a taco and fry it with a little olive oil, its still great after several hours!)

- Tuna salad

- Chicken or beef "corn" tacos.

- Rice bread and nutella (his favorite)

- Look for a good recipe of Spanish egg tortilla, it's good cold

I always include fruit and veggies (unfortunately most of them remain untouched!). Youtube is good as well. Some gluten-free cookies and Envirokids Organic Crispy Rice bar are basics to put in his "otherkids birthday" jar - I also put some cool tiny toys to cope and it has been great! -

Now I am looking for easy recipes that include some seaweed nori, amaranth and chia (I getting information that they are superfood!)...

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I'm celiac and a school administrator. We don't have any students with celiac disease but several with dairy allergies. We accomodate all of these students with soy alternatives. (Chicken nuggets/patties, pizza, mac/cheese, choc. milk...). One has a 504, another is on IEP for other health impaired (OHI). Contact your school first, then enlist the help of the school system's nutrition director.

Hmmm...maybe if I had a 504 plan, they'd make my lunch too. :D

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I have somewhat of a different experience. My preschool son is in a federally run preschool and they are required to provide all meals,even those with allergies. Well I let them accomidate us and I was very disapointed.....one day which made me really mad is I found out they had been serving my son baby rice cereal when everyone had oatmeal...totally not acceptable substitute IMO. So immediately I took over again. They kept wanting to provide but we couldn't afford anymore mishaps....finally we came to an agreement....I provide the main dish and they provide the fresh fruit and veggie......The rest of the other kids food comes pre-cooked from another location.

I bring his food and they refridge it and microwave it. I think when he goes to kinder I wouldn't trust another person to microwave or refrig his food I'd be worried about cross contaimination. I'll just send him with non microwaved meals and pack them with an icepack in a bag.

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