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Pizza Parties At School

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Hi there,

My son's school is really big on pizza parties. The principal is retiring and plans on having a pizza party for each classroom.

They have evening events that center around pizza parties which I am dreading. My son is in kindergarten and has loose teeth that he loves to wiggle. 'Nuff said?

I don't want to leave him out of things, but he may as well be going to a strychnine party.

I'm thinking about keeping him home for the classroom one. I'll be there for the evening ones to keep an eye on him for possible CC issues. The school would probably do whatever I asked them to, rather than have him miss it. Other than making the pizza myself which is a big, expensive hassle that would require me to take the day off anyway, I'm not sure what to do. There's a couple local pizza places (in Cambridge, MA) that make gluten-free pizza, but it's expensive and not very good.

If I asked them to cancel it or do something else, like fruit salad and brownies (provided by me), he's having a hard enough time socially that I don't want him to be the reason their class couldn't have a pizza party...

Just ARGH. Argh. Argh. Any ideas?

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I make individual homemade ones for him and send in. Ds has had many awards ceremonies and field trips to the local pizza place in the past few years. I posted a recipe for crust quite a while back. I'll see if I can find it! :unsure: I use a recipe that makes a small pizza and divide it in three and bake in some old pans that might have originally been camping plates. I make and freeze them ahead of time and warm up and pop one into a container that day. They fit just right in one of those disposable containers. I found some similar ones on that well known shopping website starting with an A. http://www.(Company Name Removed - They Spammed This Forum and are Banned)/gp/product/B001BLVEDO

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I make pizza at home about once a week (use Bette Hagman's recipe). Every time I make pizza crust, I make extra individual size crusts, go through the first cook cycle, then freeze these crusts. I bought some of the small (6 inch, I think) pizza tins, but now that my son is 15 they are too small, so I use layer cake rounds.

Whenever there is a pizza party, I do one of the following, depending on the venue:

1) Make the pizza but don't bake - find out if they have an oven or microwave, and wrap in a paper plate or pizza tin accordingly with heating instructions. I usually send a cheap plastic pizza cutter along.

2) Cook the pizza and let it cool, cut, wrap and refrigerate. When I do this, my son prefers to eat it cold rather than reheated. Every Wednesday at his school is pizza day, and he just brings his own cold pizza in a lunch box with a cold pack and drink.

3) Deliver hot pizza myself, in an insulated bag of some sort. If the party is at a restaurant, I call ahead and explain what I am doing, and I have NEVER been turned down or have any negative issues with doing this. Any good business person can figure out that if they can sell pizza to everyone else so that your kid can participate, it is a win-win. If it's a place where they are selling drinks, I just buy him a drink and then serve him his pizza when everyone else is getting theirs.

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gluten-free Pizza Mix

Combine in a large container:

2 2/3 c. brown or white rice flour

2 c. tapioca flour

1/2 c. dry milk powder or Dari-free

4 tsp. xanthan gum

2 tsp. salt

4 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder

3 tsp. Italian seasoning

That is your base mix.

For 1 large pizza combine:

2 2/3 c. of the above pizza mix

2 Tb. dry yeast

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. vinegar(I use apple cider vinegar)

1 tsp. sugar

1 1/3 c. warm water(I proof the yeast in the water with the sugar for 5 min.)

For 1 small pizza combine: You could do this in individual baggies and write the rest of the following ingredients on the bag, giving yourself a set of mixes.

1 1/3 c. pizza mix

1 Tb. yeast

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. vinegar

1/2 tsp. sugar

2/3 c. water

Preheat oven to 425. Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. The dough will be soft. Add a small amount of water if necessary if it is dry or a small amount of rice flour if it is sticky.

Pat the dough onto or into a greased pizza pan. Use oiled hands to avoid adding too much flour, making it tough. Make adges thicker.

Bake crust about 10 min. Remove from oven. Top with sauce, cheese and fillings. Bake another 15 min. until done.

There are photos of the ones I make for Ds on the link on my profile. I made one in an old Easy Bake Oven pan once.

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Amy's brand makes many gluten free pizzas. Some are even dairy free. They make small ones that cost $4.99 at our stores here. Could you buy one of those and make it? I have made in in the morning, cut up and wrapped in tin foil and put in a thermos. It may not look pretty but they are good and certainly better than getting sick.

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Store bought gluten free pizza or store bought gluten free pizza crust and make you're own. They take about 10 minutes to prepare, and another 15-20 to cook.

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I can make him a pizza, that's not the problem. I make great pizza that he likes.

It's the fact that the classroom will be slimey with gluten and crumbs for the duration with the day. He's always wiggling his loose teeth and I just don't see how he won't get sick.

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Ah, I was confused by "Other than making the pizza myself which is a big, expensive hassle that would require me to take the day off anyway".

If you think the school will watch him as you direct, I'd give it a try, but any time he eats around another kid it'll be something of a risk. Can you talk to the teachers and see what they think they are able to do and then decide after getting a little more information?

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Ah, I was confused by "Other than making the pizza myself which is a big, expensive hassle that would require me to take the day off anyway".

If you think the school will watch him as you direct, I'd give it a try, but any time he eats around another kid it'll be something of a risk. Can you talk to the teachers and see what they think they are able to do and then decide after getting a little more information?

I meant making pizza for the class... I'm just not sure what to ask them for. It would probably be OK if all the kids remain seated like they do for lunch. But I don't want them to cotton on to the fact that he's the reason that they can't have a "normal" party.

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Wow, what a predicament you're in. I'm sure you've already given his teacher the lowdown on "no gluten" and "nothing that touched gluten"; do you think she'll be vigilent enough to take care of things if you're not there? Otherwise, you could talk to the school principal and see if there's another administrator (nurse, guidance counselor, lunchroom lady...) that can be in the room to keep an eye on your son during the party. You could ask that they place a special emphasis on cleaning up after the party so that there's nothing left around that your son could get into.

As far as pizza goes, would your son be happy with something else to eat besides pizza? Or you could make his own personal pizza for him. We use Kinnickinnick frozen pizza crust...yum!

It's hard when kids are in school and they really have to be responsible for themselves around gluten, and they're around it all the time!, but it must be especially hard when your child is so young and doesn't fully understand all the consequences. Good Luck!

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We do pizza at our house quite often. I don't see it as expensive and my family loves the Chebe pizza crust. Maybe the night before the event you could make a pizza and keep a leftover piece for the next day's events. Another option may be to make him a special pizza with corn tortilla or slice of gluten-free bread. I agree that it would be very difficult for the rest of the class to not get a pizza party and isolate your son in a negative way. I don't think asking them to do an alternate food would be a good idea for your son, nor would leaving him out. During these parties there is a lot of socialization that goes on and from what you say, he shouldn't miss this opportunity. It would not be a big deal for the teacher to serve him first and everyone wash their hands afterwards. While they are doing that the teacher could be wiping down the tables or desks.

Good luck!

Hi there,

My son's school is really big on pizza parties. The principal is retiring and plans on having a pizza party for each classroom.

They have evening events that center around pizza parties which I am dreading. My son is in kindergarten and has loose teeth that he loves to wiggle. 'Nuff said?

I don't want to leave him out of things, but he may as well be going to a strychnine party.

I'm thinking about keeping him home for the classroom one. I'll be there for the evening ones to keep an eye on him for possible CC issues. The school would probably do whatever I asked them to, rather than have him miss it. Other than making the pizza myself which is a big, expensive hassle that would require me to take the day off anyway, I'm not sure what to do. There's a couple local pizza places (in Cambridge, MA) that make gluten-free pizza, but it's expensive and not very good.

If I asked them to cancel it or do something else, like fruit salad and brownies (provided by me), he's having a hard enough time socially that I don't want him to be the reason their class couldn't have a pizza party...

Just ARGH. Argh. Argh. Any ideas?

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What if....

..you buy cheap plastic tablecloths. Cover all the eating surfaces, and get the teacher to buy in to "we all eat sitting down". Once eating is over, hand out the wet wipes at one location, while the food, etc. are all wrapped up in the plastic tablecloths and discarded. (that would include where your son eats). 90% of the gluten is now gone.

..it is a wonderful teachable moment for children to learn that "our pizza might make ..... sick" so they have to wash their hands. But I wouldn't try this if you can't be there. Staying home under those circumstances makes sense, and sometimes it's the best idea. Imagine if every child with a food issue just stayed home for pizza parties -- retiring principals would start to come up with better ideas!

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Maybe his class could eat their pizza in the cafeteria or other room to keep the crumbs out of the regular classroom?

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Amy's brand makes many gluten free pizzas. Some are even dairy free. They make small ones that cost $4.99 at our stores here. Could you buy one of those and make it? I have made in in the morning, cut up and wrapped in tin foil and put in a thermos. It may not look pretty but they are good and certainly better than getting sick.

DO NOT TOUCH THE AMY'S. BACK AWAY FROM THE CROSS CONTAMINATION. :lol:

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Maybe his class could eat their pizza in the cafeteria or other room to keep the crumbs out of the regular classroom?

Don't know if you've already had the party as your original post was two weeks ago, but this was going to be my suggestion as well. I don't think the kids would care one hoot where they get to have a party. It's just plain exciting to have something different going on at school.

As far as an option for what your son can eat . . . one of the alternatives that I send with my daughter when she's invited to a birthday party that serves pizza is something we now call pizza dippers.

We use the Glutino gluten-free pizza flavored bread sticks. She then dips them (one at a time) into a small container full of (Ragu) pizza sauce and then sprinkles shredded mozerella cheese on that and pops the whole thing in her mouth. It's kind of our version of the pizza lunchables.

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Maybe his class could eat their pizza in the cafeteria or other room to keep the crumbs out of the regular classroom?

I think the point is it is a PIZZA party. It's not some other type of event that they happen to serve pizza at. The whole point of the PIZZA party is to give the kids a treat, pizza. However, there is one kid in the class for whom pizza is not only not a treat but will make him sick for more than a week. I think it seems reasonable to change the theme so that the whole class can participate.

If you are going to a party to celebrate someone's birthday or some other happy event where they happen to serve food that your kid can't eat, then yes bring your own and let him participate in all the other events, games, and activities where the food is secondary. However, when the entire purpose of the party is the just the pizza and only the pizza and the only activity is eating the pizza and not some other thing then it does make sense to me to skip it entirely or change it to something else that everyone can do and I understand why you might be really upset. This is not going to be any fun for your son at all and may even be painful.

There are tons of cooler and more fun things to do with a group of twenty kindergartners than serve pizza and I think I just want the person in charge to think when they hear pizza party from the principal, "Oh pizza party... there is a kid in my class [or other group] who will get really sick from Pizza and I want to include everyone, why don't we have a [pajama day, give out balloons, go on a special trip, or fill in the blank here..] instead." and when they don't, sometimes it makes me angry and this is a nice place to vent. I think with the percentage of kids who have food allergies/intolerances and other health troubles like diabetes and all maybe it is time to rethink the whole idea of celebrating with a class by serving food.

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Alas, my daughter's school has done the pizza thing a lot! One year they even won a party for finding some missing keys. What I did was make a small pizza for her and bring it in a pancake warmer (like a tortilla warmer but bigger). If I could not bring the hot pizza in, then I just made it the night before. I sent it cold and she had to eat it cold. I have done this for many a birthday party as well. The sad thing is she really doesn't like my pizza very much. Things have gotten better now that she has outgrown her dairy allergy. But prior it was either pizza with no cheese or rice cheese. Tasted okay to me but not to her.

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Alas, my daughter's school has done the pizza thing a lot! One year they even won a party for finding some missing keys. What I did was make a small pizza for her and bring it in a pancake warmer (like a tortilla warmer but bigger). If I could not bring the hot pizza in, then I just made it the night before. I sent it cold and she had to eat it cold. I have done this for many a birthday party as well. The sad thing is she really doesn't like my pizza very much. Things have gotten better now that she has outgrown her dairy allergy. But prior it was either pizza with no cheese or rice cheese. Tasted okay to me but not to her.

Do they have a microwave in the teacher's break room. On many 504 plans they state you should be able to warm up food and it would be nice on a special occasion rather than having your daughter eat cold pizza when everyone else has fresh hot pizza.

We are still new to this and have gone to about a dozen birthday parties. Mostly, they are fine because there is lots to do besides eat and even before all this my kid is generally to excited during a party to care too much about the food.

It is just really nice when a parent or teacher makes a special effort to make sure that my daughter can eat something. Last month one of the kids in her class had a party and the mother made sure all the snacks items (potato chips, corn chips, popcorn) were gluten-free and made sure the ice cream cake was gluten-free and brought utensils from her house to cut the gluten-free ice cream cake separately from the regular cake (she had twins). It was really nice. We brought our own little pizza from home. She had invited the whole class and it was wonderful she made the effort. I don't always expect this, but it is really nice when they say "oh, how can I make sure she can eat?"

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Do they have a microwave in the teacher's break room. On many 504 plans they state you should be able to warm up food and it would be nice on a special occasion rather than having your daughter eat cold pizza when everyone else has fresh hot pizza.

We are still new to this and have gone to about a dozen birthday parties. Mostly, they are fine because there is lots to do besides eat and even before all this my kid is generally to excited during a party to care too much about the food.

It is just really nice when a parent or teacher makes a special effort to make sure that my daughter can eat something. Last month one of the kids in her class had a party and the mother made sure all the snacks items (potato chips, corn chips, popcorn) were gluten-free and made sure the ice cream cake was gluten-free and brought utensils from her house to cut the gluten-free ice cream cake separately from the regular cake (she had twins). It was really nice. We brought our own little pizza from home. She had invited the whole class and it was wonderful she made the effort. I don't always expect this, but it is really nice when they say "oh, how can I make sure she can eat?"

Some of the teachers have microwaves in their rooms but the kids are not allowed to use them. One year a teacher did let her heat up her pasta after I forgot to do it. It was in a thermos type thing that was supposed to be able to go in the microwave. What we discovered was if I did that, we couldn't get the top off again. This year her teacher said no kids could use it at all, ever.

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We're dealing with this issue now in first grade. We didn't have it last year because our kindergarten teacher didn't have any "parties". The kids didn't have holiday or birthday celebrations, but I must say it was a lot easier than this year.

Implementing the same procedures as we did last year, he's had 4 times the amount of contamination when he's even more vigilant than before. He doesn't even eat in the cafeteria (they can't keep it clean), so it really is all in the classroom. He washes his hands at school a minimum of 4 times a day, if not more, and whenever they eat in class he sits separately from the others. But they have gluten treat parties almost every week, and the crumbs get everywhere. They made gluten gingerbread houses that were made by the teacher (I had to make gluten-free gingerbread cakes that we decorated in a separate corner with our own treats - luckily I can't get a job right now so I have the time to be there <_< ), they had gluten cornbread, cupcakes, and pretzels for Thanksgiving, they had gluten cupcakes and pretzels (because they're "healthy) for Halloween, and weekly birthday parties and two pizza parties. The day after the gingerbread houses, the class mother wanted to have a cookie decorating party to celebrate Christmas. And it's not just my son that has issues with food, there's a type 1 diabetic in his class who was just diagnosed in June and even though he's visited by his mother 3 times a day, he's still been sneaking treats lately. I nearly pulled out all my hair when I heard about the cookie decorating party.

That proposed party was the last straw. We did tell the organizer of the cookie party (in a very nice way) that our son would not be attending and that we hoped that in the future the parties are not always centered around food. We also noted that other parents were concerned, too (which several were - not only the diabetic's mother but others since there was so much sugar). Once this was brought to her attention, she immediately changed the theme. She actually told us that it was more habit to assume the parties needed to center around food and that we were right that there are far better things that could be done. None of the kids knew about the original "plan" and all of the kids had a lot of fun doing a Christmas craft and drinking water out of cool re-usable sippers. I would bring it up. In kindergarten, it's a lot different than 5th grade. All of his classmates will only care that they have a party and not that it's different, and therefore less, than what the other kids at school had. Not one of my son's former kindergarten classmates bemoan the fact that they didn't have a pizza party or cupcakes the way the other kids did. They talked more about the cool things they got to do that others didn't (making art with "found" objects outside, learning Kung Fu moves from a real sensei, having a lesson with a Japanese dance instructor, getting to play on the playground for extra time because they did so well in class, winning magnifying glasses for good behavior, etc.) Good luck!

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Maybe his class could eat their pizza in the cafeteria or other room to keep the crumbs out of the regular classroom?

That's a good idea!! Kids do, however, like eating somewhere other than the cafeteria as a treat - so could they pair up with another class and both classes eat in the other classroom if there's space - the kids may like seeing some of their playground buddies, and the teachers may like spending a little time with another grown-up. Or eat in the music room or library if they aren't carpeted?

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Glutino Frozen Cheese Pizza's are really good. (especially if you don't have time to make one by scratch). Sometimes we will add ham/pineapple to the cheese pizza before we cook it. Will he eat cold pizza? My kids love cold pizza. Maybe you could cook it in the morning before school and send it with him and he could eat it cold. Maybe the teacher could warm it up for him in the microwave if they make sure they cover it completly so no CC. I have taken my kids gluten-free pizza's to school when they have had parties and the love it! Good luck!

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No suggestions, but just total sympathy. You don't realize how many kids' events center around pizza and cupcakes until you have a celiac child. My kids are pretty relaxed about not eating the same thing everyone else does, which I think will make things easier in the years to come, but I do feel sorry for them.

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Pizza parties at school? I curse them!!!

Then I usually get a take-and-bake gluten free pizza from a local pizza joint (which I feel very fortunate to have close by). Then I plan on working from home the next day so I can bake the pizza and drive it to her school.

I make her "deal" on so many other occasions that I try not to let pizza parties slip by without some special mom attention.

As she gets older (middle school > high school), I try to make her more aware of the necessity of being prepared so one doesn't feel left out in those situations, so she'll feel comfortable doing it herself in college.

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