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Preschool Classroom Help

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Hi all - this is my first post. My son was recently diagnosed and we have set up the diet at home for him - so far, so good. Luckily he's not too picky. Whole Foods is my friend.

He starts 1/2 day preschool in a few weeks, and the teachers want to be helpful, but they obviously need my guidance. I have purchased some gluten-free playdoh for the classroom, and will tell them to avoid using pasta as tactile playthings, and will check to make sure the crayons and glue are ok.

Everyone brings their own snacks. They already seem to have lots of kids with various allergies there, so the kids are not allowed share food, and they wash hands afterwards.

Any other stuff to think about? This is all so new - its hard enough to send my baby to preschool before worrying about harmful art supplies. The nutritionist told me that I don't need to worry about anything not being ingested, but I do worry since he's just 3. He's not shown any symptoms so far.

My biggest concern is parties, but I will obviously supply food for him. I think I will have them keep some popsicles on hand for emergency festivities.

Any other advice for a newbie? Thanks!

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You sound like you are in great hands. Unless your son puts everything in his mouth I wouldn't worry too much.

I arranged with school to keep a "goodie" bag of gluten-free treats in the cupboard so that if other children brought snacks to share (ie a birthday), she could have a pick out of her snack bag. We filled it with her choice of prepackaged items so that they would last. I used gluten-free granola bars, fruit snacks, Ian's cookie buttons and even some candy (although I'm usually against sugary snacks). I wanted her not to feel left out, and it worked really well. We have done it for 4 years now successfully. The key is substitution. I also keep granola bars and cookies in my car for such unexpected occasions.

I call ahead for birthday parties and ask what is being served. I then send a comparable snack/treat for my child. I usually use glutino pizza crusts to make an individual pizza for her and keep cupcakes in the freezer (only have to take one out and frost it with a blob of frosting and a few sprinkles). The only problem we have had is sometimes kids want a cupcake like hers rather than what is being served.

I keep a list of off limits ingredients attached to her lunch box and in her backpack, that way if she is at a playdate she has access to the list to share with well intended adults who want her to eat something. My note says: ____________ is gluten free. This means she cannot have wheat, oats, barley, rye, soy sauce or malt in any form. If you have any questions, please call me at ____________. I also encourage parents to offer her fruit or cheese if they feel like they need to provide something for her. It seems to work well.

Good luck. It's a great time to be gluten-free... Betty Crocker even makes Cake mix now..... it will change his life for the better. Enjoy!

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