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Sarah8793

Third Grade Snack Time Is A Problem, What To Do?

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My son is in third grade. This is his second year being gluten/casein free. He hasn't had any problems feeling like he doesn't fit in until now. His class eats a late lunch, so the teacher has decided to give them a snack mid morning each day. At the beginning of the year he requested parents send in a box or two of crackers etc. to give out as snacks. I told him that I would send in a supply for my son to get his snack from. He was fine with this and my son seemed to be at first also. Well, over time he became self-consious about the fact that he was the "only" one who was eating something different. After complaining to me about it for a while, I decided to conference with his teacher. I asked his teacher if there would come a point in the year when kids would all bring their own snack from home and that way kids would "all" be eating different snacks. He said that they are allowed to do that right now (only a few are) but that the reason he didn't suggest that was because he didn't want kids bringing in unhealthy snacks like cookies etc. Instead he would rather they eat goldfish crackers and cheezits. I added (but probably didn't need to) that there wasn't a big difference nutritionally between goldfish crackers and cookies. I also, told his teacher that he was welcome to have one of my son's snacks if he liked them (and they are commonly liked snacks) on some days and that would make my son feel less alone. His teacher (first year) acted genuinely concerned that my son was so uncomfortable and like he felt bad that this was going on. He thanked us for letting him know. Well, nothing has changed AND my son has started to refuse his snack now. <_< This really bothers me. When the teacher asks him if he wants his snack, he says no thank you, I'm not really hungry. Then his teacher says "Are you sure?" And again my son says yes, no thank you. Well, it seems to me that his teacher who we have already conferenced with and knows how my son feels, should at the very least have contacted me to let me know this is happening. I'm angry because I know the teacher knows why he is refusing his snack but doesn't make an attempt to help. Now on the other hand, I know that this kind of thing is going to happen and I likewise need to work with my son on dealing with problems like this. I don't want him to think that avoiding a problem is the answer. I want him to learn that it is okay to be different and how to deal with it. I have thought of encouraging him to eat his snack anyway and reward him in some way for x many days having his snack. I'm sure that after eating his snack regulary, he will see that it is no big deal. Any thoughts? Thanks and sorry so long!


Don't be afraid to reach for the moon. The worst that can happen is you'll miss and land among the stars.

Positive blood work

2 negative biopsies over 4 year period

Postive EnteroLab results

Lactose/Casein Intolerant

Gluten free since May 2006

Soy free since May 2007

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It sounds like you have tried your best to approach the teacher......my next route would be the school nurse. Perhaps she could discuss it with the teacher, too.

School nurses are wonderful advocates for their students.

Good luck.


Amy

Gluten Free since 4/05 - adult onset

Symptoms for 4+ years prior

Immediate family tests negative

No Known family members w/ celiac disease

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The nurse is a good idea..... but since I am not one to keep my fingers quiet...

Heres a really off the wall thought, yeah yeah I know am good for those, lol

Suggestion #1... Knowing this is not going to be the easiest thing in the world.... but if you and your son could go out to a large restraunt and after ordering "bring up" the conversation about the people next to you are eating something different, hey so are those ones over there.... and by golly those ones over there also!

Suggestion #2 would be something I did for my 2 foster kids for their birthdays, but it might work for your family..... slightly altered of course

each night a different member of the family gets to "pick" what everyone eats for supper, now its bound to happen... someone will pick something your son HATES to eat, that would show him how different people like to eat different things. Or do different cuisines (sp) each night, chinese one night, mexican, tex-mex, new englander.... this would also show him other cultures eat different things.

I got the worst grief over no cake on my birthday, but I had lots of ice cream and all of it coffee flavor which no-one else liked, darnit! All the more for me! :lol:


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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It sounds like you have tried your best to approach the teacher......my next route would be the school nurse. Perhaps she could discuss it with the teacher, too.

School nurses are wonderful advocates for their students.

Good luck.

Hmmm, I never thought of talking to the school nurse. I'm wondering how supportive she would be since I don't have official paperwork from his doctor stating he needs to be on this diet?? Thank you for the suggestion! :)


Don't be afraid to reach for the moon. The worst that can happen is you'll miss and land among the stars.

Positive blood work

2 negative biopsies over 4 year period

Postive EnteroLab results

Lactose/Casein Intolerant

Gluten free since May 2006

Soy free since May 2007

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The nurse is a good idea..... but since I am not one to keep my fingers quiet...

Heres a really off the wall thought, yeah yeah I know am good for those, lol

Suggestion #1... Knowing this is not going to be the easiest thing in the world.... but if you and your son could go out to a large restraunt and after ordering "bring up" the conversation about the people next to you are eating something different, hey so are those ones over there.... and by golly those ones over there also!

Suggestion #2 would be something I did for my 2 foster kids for their birthdays, but it might work for your family..... slightly altered of course

each night a different member of the family gets to "pick" what everyone eats for supper, now its bound to happen... someone will pick something your son HATES to eat, that would show him how different people like to eat different things. Or do different cuisines (sp) each night, chinese one night, mexican, tex-mex, new englander.... this would also show him other cultures eat different things.

I got the worst grief over no cake on my birthday, but I had lots of ice cream and all of it coffee flavor which no-one else liked, darnit! All the more for me! :lol:

I like your way of thinking. Actually, my son doesn't have a problem with everyone eating something different at the same time. If all of the kids brought in different snacks (and even if his was unique) he would be fine. The part that is difficult for him is when 25 people including the teacher are eating goldfish crackers and he is eating cracker jacks.


Don't be afraid to reach for the moon. The worst that can happen is you'll miss and land among the stars.

Positive blood work

2 negative biopsies over 4 year period

Postive EnteroLab results

Lactose/Casein Intolerant

Gluten free since May 2006

Soy free since May 2007

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this is what i do for my kids that have to have gluten-free things, is explin to them how inporten for them it is that they stick to their OWN food unless they want to pay for it later my 6 yr old has to take his own lunch to school now, and he isnt comfy with being the only kid in 1st gr eatting a lunch from home, my daughter that has celiac disease eats lunch at the same time her brother does i asked his teacher and my daughter teacher if her younger brother can sit with her when they eat lunch and they said sure, but of couse they had to ask the lunch montor if it was ok and she was nice about it, because they bring the same stuff from home, and Justin doesnt feel like he's diff from his friends because he gets to sit with his older sis while they eat lunch at school, and dont ask how i keep gluten-free food stocked for a whole week with so many of us that have to be Gluten free because i have no clue, almost half our money goes to gluten-free foods and now that i'll be baking alot because i tryed the homebake CC cookies omg they are awsome lol, maybe i'll go out this week and get some stuff for CC cookies

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So far the best thing for us has been to give our daughter a better snack than everyone else. She's 3 though so I'm not sure if that works anymore when they're in the third grade!

Yes, this is what we do with our kindergartner and it does seem to work well. Isn't working with third grade son though. :rolleyes: Thanks.


Don't be afraid to reach for the moon. The worst that can happen is you'll miss and land among the stars.

Positive blood work

2 negative biopsies over 4 year period

Postive EnteroLab results

Lactose/Casein Intolerant

Gluten free since May 2006

Soy free since May 2007

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I don't have children but I know I get self conious about eating diffrent things some times. The thing about this that caught my eye is the fact that you have no paperwork from is doctor on file. Do you not have any at all or do you just not have it on file at school. Having paperwork is important I think especially since he is so young. If something happened to him a school and he needed to be taken to the hospital paperwork could keep him from being given something that could make him sick. I'm in the process of getting paperwork from my docs for the reasons of travel and hospital stays. My greatest fear right now is having to go to the hospital and not being able to tell them of my allergies.

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Hello,

I think the school nurse may be a wonderful resource. My daughter who has Celiac Disease (no official medical paperwork on file either, other than info that I have provided on emergency cards) has difficulty regulating her blood sugar levels. Extreme highs and extreme lows. Needless to say, she can not go too long without a snack, specifically protein. Would it be possible for your son to go to the nurses office during snack time to consume his snack? Many kid's go to the nurses office for a mid day snack, specifically those who have diabetes. Eating in the nurses office may provide him the comfort area to consume his "different" snack while making sure he gets some well needed nutrition before his late lunch time.

Good luck-

Pam

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It sounds like the teacher was a very good listener. I am glad you are considering other resources. Academics and student safety are a teacher's main concern. Your child seems safe, and hopefully he's learning a lot. It seems like you realize that your child's age has a lot to do with his feelings about being perceived as different.

I think you did the right thing by venting to this board instead of continuing to bring it up with the teacher. I don't know what else he could do. If he changes things for the rest of the class, other parents will complain, which doesn't solve it.

I hope it doesn't turn into a power struggle between you and your son.Best of luck.

By the way, sugar doesn't have reliable research on causing hyperactivity, but any teacher or daycare provider will tell you that cookies have a VERY different effect on kids than crackers do.


Gluten Free since November 2005

.

"If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.." ---Ed Polish

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My daughter is in Grade 4, diagnosed in March of Grade 3. She is very confident and deals well with any "weird looks" or comments. She feels so much better gluten-free that she wouldn't consider changing her diet because of peer pressure.

I doubt this will be the same with my son who is now also gluten-free, and in Kindergarten right now, so I'm sure I'll be dealing with some of the issues you are with friends and classmates.

So, I would personally talk to the parents. Do you see any moms at the school who could become your allies and voice their concerns as well? Can you get them on your side to suggest to the teacher that everyone brings their own food. Are there other "allergies" in the class?

Our school suggests only healthy snacks for the Kindregarten kids, and those parents who send garbage have a note sent home requesting specific kinds of foods (sometimes parents do not know any better). My daughter in Grade 2 has 2 kids in her class with severe peanut allergies. A note was sent home indicating specifically (brand names, etc) what snacks were appropriate to share with the class.

At this point in the school year, the teacher has modeled good food choices. Ask the teacher to work with the class on coming up with a list of "approved" food choices for snack, send it home, and the kids should all be interested in meeting the "approved" list with their home snack. The class can discuss the various food groups, see who has what, why that person has it, etc. The teacher can use the snack time as a teachable moment about healthy food choices AND being tolerant of others dietary restrictions.

The above is actually my Grade 4's home assignment for this evening. Healthy food choices is something that is discussed in our school beginning with Kindergarten.

And, as others have said, providing a snack that everyone would die for makes being gluten-free even better. My daughter brought in Pamela's brownies and 4 kids said that they were the best ever, and the moms all emailed for the recipe! Made my daughter feel great.

Good luck and i hope that you can turn the teacher around.

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Not to be the party-pooper here...but.....(and I have a son dx in 4th grade, so I'm sympathetic, and I work in an elementary school classroom).

Tell him to get over it. Okay, not in those words :) but I would continue to let him have a stock of his own snacks, and eventually he will decide he's more hungry than proud. Unlike many children, our celiac babies cannot 'worship at the Church O' Cool" so they need to realize that sooner, rather than later. Don't make a big deal. You've spoken to the teacher, adn I honestly think doing more will just bring MORE attention to this difference, which seems to be exactly what your son is trying to avoid. Over time, he will get over it all on his own. Make sure his snacks are wonderful (K'Toos, Hershey bars, Lays Stax, Lifesaver gummi savers, NutThins) and then just ignore it. He won't starve.

Offering the outside view :)

joanna


Mom/wife to celiacs dx 12/03 and 12/04

Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts -George Tilton

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Thank you everyone for your ideas. Some of you mentioned utilizing the school nurse. I'm not sure that my son would like to leave because then it would be one more thing to explain and, they usually eat their snack in the middle of math time. Also I can't give paperwork stating he needs to be on this diet, because as I said earlier he wasn't diagnoseed by his peidatrician or a doctor that lives here. I had him tested through enterolab. This is okay with me, as I am not worried about him needing urgent medical care and getting something with gluten in it.

Mairin,

I really like your idea about the teacher educating the children about healthy choices and then sending a letter home to parents. I might try this in the future with a different teacher. I think this teacher really doesn't care.

Dandelionmom,

I love your idea of the pretzel sticks! I talked to my son about it and he liked the idea also. So we will definately be giving this a try. Thank you!

Ryebaby0,

Ultimately, I think you are right. It is something he will have to learn to do. I have been teetering back and forth between intervening and not. My son is a sensitive kid, so I try to help him with this. I like your snack ideas also. Thank you!

Again, thank you to all of you that responded to my post. I really appreciate your support! :)


Don't be afraid to reach for the moon. The worst that can happen is you'll miss and land among the stars.

Positive blood work

2 negative biopsies over 4 year period

Postive EnteroLab results

Lactose/Casein Intolerant

Gluten free since May 2006

Soy free since May 2007

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