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andrea2

Making Safe Gluten Free List For Preschool

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Hi Everyone. My daughter is getting ready to start preschool and I am trying to put together a list of gluten free items and ingredients. Does anyone have any on here that are current? I am new to this because this is the first time she is going to school. I am a little nervous about it because we do pretty good at home and am worried that she will have problems when she goes to school. Any advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. I am also trying to compose a letter to other parents asking them to inform when they are planning on bringing birthday treats in so I can make something that my daughter could have. This is just frustrating because I am afraid I am forgetting something. Also we live in the south and people do not know what gluten is here and they don't understand Celiac disease either.I know some of you have been going through with school packs for years. Please help! :-)

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Hi Everyone. My daughter is getting ready to start preschool and I am trying to put together a list of gluten free items and ingredients. Does anyone have any on here that are current? I am new to this because this is the first time she is going to school. I am a little nervous about it because we do pretty good at home and am worried that she will have problems when she goes to school. Any advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. I am also trying to compose a letter to other parents asking them to inform when they are planning on bringing birthday treats in so I can make something that my daughter could have. This is just frustrating because I am afraid I am forgetting something. Also we live in the south and people do not know what gluten is here and they don't understand Celiac disease either.I know some of you have been going through with school packs for years. Please help! :-)

Hi.

As far as the birthday treats.....we've found it easier to keep a gluten-free goody jar at school to cover the birthday/teacher/party treats. There will always be the parent who forgets to tell the teacher they're bringing a treat or the teacher who forgets to tell the parent. It makes it easier for all.

I can't help much on the gluten-free list, but I do know that Play Doh and some finger paints do have gluten. Also, be sure the teacher understands that your little one can't string dry pasta or cereal. One of my kids came home with a fruit loop necklace. :o

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I'm not sure what you are trying to do. There is no way workers at a preschool can follow a gluten-free list. It's asking far too much. You need to tell them that she can only eat food you send with her to school, no matter what. Then pack her lunch and snacks every day. Also ask them to keep an eye on her at snack and mealtime to be sure she doesn't trade food with other kids. I was never inclined to trade food because I understood that wheat gave me a stomach-ache, but you need to be sure.

You also need to tell them that she cannot play with Play-doh, or handle ANY food items for craft projects. (Don't let them try to decide what is gluten-free. Do it yourself.) If they are planning a craft project with licorice whips, cereal, or pasta, send gluten-free substitutes. If they are serving treats, send a gluten-free treat. You can probably stash "emergency" gluten-free food there as well. When I was in preschool there was a refrigerator/freezer where Mom had some frozen rice flour cupcakes. The teachers were supposed to tell Mom about parties but if a parent showed up unexpectedly with a birthday cake, they could thaw me a cupcake.

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I insisted that kids wash their hands before and after snack to eliminate cross contamination in the classroom. Glue, paint, playdough all need to be gluten-free. There are some common brands that are gluten-free you just need to check. I am in canada but Elmers and UHU glue sticks are safe as well as Sargent paint. Crayola Model Magic dough is also safe (in canada at least). I asked for the supplies mentioned to all be gluten-free to eliminate CC in the classroom. You may need to be the one to shop for the supplies or cover the extra costs. I always try to go above and beyond to help the teachers with all of my requests. I have washed toys, bought playdough and NEW playdough toys for the room etc. I also encourage the teacher to ask for non food items for birthday celebrations. They can bring in a toy or book to share, a baby picture, party hats or blowers, stickes etc. Not everything needs to be celebrated with food. The teachers in preschool were open to this and supportive. unfortunately not all of the parents were. Good luck!

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Are you looking for supplies? Food for snacks? What exactly?

I don't agree that the workers can't follow a list. While we have a very strict "No food unless from home!" rule, they still need to be educated on how to deal with this.

If worse comes to worse, you can kindly "threaten" a 504. Usually, they hear that and want to avoid it so will do what they can to so your child is safe. I too have found working with the teachers is VIP in this process and educating is a key in it. I made it clear to them that if they have ANY question about ANY of the products they use I am more than happy to contact manufactures to be sure it is safe.

I did find out they have "cooking" every other Thursday and we are trying to figure out how to deal with that at this time. I would ask about that kind of stuff in class to be sure you cover yourself.

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I just finished high school and while i have no kids of my own going through 2.5 years of school with celiacs was awful because the staff wasn't understanding and they wouldn't except a 504 for it, although i would definately look into one or something like it for your child because they have a long time to deal with the school system. I would talk with the teacher 1 on 1 because they can ask more questions than in a letter and having a safe list as well as an unsafe list so it is easier for them to just glance up and find a safe food instead of reading through the ingrediant list and making a mistake. also talk with the food service because there were several times when i was in school that there were extras and they gave them out for free and you don't want them giving the left overs to your student. bringing and leaving your own snacks for your child is a good idea. i would also recomend getting a braclet that identifies her as gluten free escpecially if it is a large school so she can be easily identified in the cafeteria as well as in the classroom (this shouldn't be a problem except for the 1st couple weeks).

good luck

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Are you looking for lunch and snack ideas or for something to tell the teacher?

As for dealing with the school system, I'd definitely start by trying to get a 504 plan put in place. This way if your child is not safe you have legal ground to stand on to correct the issue. Some of the things I'd want it to include are:

1. If the child is concerned about CC or feels "glutened" the STAFF MUST LISTEN TO THE CHILD, and contact you immediately

2. Child only eats food from home

3. No gluten containing crafts in the classroom (especially important at this age - older kids can identify problems to stay away from and wash up on their own, and the other kids don't make as much of a mess. Preschoolers will get it everywhere.)

4. ALL children wash hands with (gluten-free) soap and RUNNING WATER at:

- the beginning of class

- before eating (at least your child)

- after eating

5. The table your child eats at is to be wiped down before eating

6. Children use a new paper towel/placemat under their food when eating

7. The teacher must inform you in advance of any activities involving food, birthday parties, etc so you can send something special

8. You must be able to have a special stash of gluten-free treats for your child at school for surprise situations involving treats for the other kids

My kids were older when we changed our diet (10 and 12) and we are homeschoolers so we didn't have to deal with little ones at school. HOWEVER, my kids do lots of activities, classes and camps. My daughter just got home from a successful week at sleep away camp where we sent all her food. My son has had some problems at a couple of his day camps.

The single most important thing you can do to ensure your children's safety is to make sure that they are educated and able to stand up for themselves.

One time, a class got taken to a fast food place for milkshakes. Fortunately he knew there is corn syrup, sugar, and fresh, pasturized dairy (all things we don't eat) in milkshakes, and he knew that there would be cross contamination all over the place. He had to explain to the teachers and all the kids over and over that he couldn't have ANYTHING there because it would make him sick. That time he did not get glutened. He regularly turns down lunch time trades as well. Kids always want to trade with him because he lunches are so good.

EVERY time my son has gotten glutened at a class or had trouble with kids teasing him it has been because a teacher did not listen to and respect him. For example, he was made to eat lunch at a table that had crumbs on it, sitting between two kids who had bread in their lunches. He told the teacher he wanted to sit at the end of the table and have it wiped down and they said NO.

After these experiences, I always make sure to send an email and have a conversation with the teachers and assistants of my kids' classes where I probably come off as a nearly crazed advocate for my child.

I give them the benefit of the doubt, make it clear this is just a precaution because WE HAVE HAD PROBLEMS IN THE PAST with other people, then I tell them about my son's hospitalization, rattle off the symptoms, share that BECAUSE TEACHERS DIDN'T LISTEN to him in the past he got sick! I thank them, I am polite, but I make it very clear that I am an extremely squeaky wheel and it will be easier to do as I say than to cut corners on this one.

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