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Advice On Learning To Let Go?

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My daughter was this week invited to participate in a two-week residential science and math program for very strong students. It was an honor that only the very best students in her school were invited to. My first thought was how would she deal with meals. Should I call them? Etc. etc.

I'd like some advice on how to lessen my reaction from the food worries to being a proud parent and also advice as to when and how to bring this up.

She's in 7th grade and has been diagnosed for 3 years now.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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I don't know if I have any advice but I'm dealing with similar feelings and situation. My daughter is 16 and only been gluten free for 3 months. She is a strong ballet dancers and will be gone 8 weeks this summer taking ballet classes away from home. For 5 weeks she'll be living at a boarding school with cafeteria style food. I have spoken with the boarding school's coordinator. The food service company that serves the school will not guarantee meals as gluten free because of cross contamination in an industrial kitchen. They will allow my daughter to store food in a refrigerator and freezer in the dorm. She will stock up every few weeks on yogurt, frozen meals and other gluten free options. There is always a salad bar and she will be able to check the menu each week. The school said there are restaurants that will deliver every 2-3 days to the school a gluten free meal. My daughter was only diagnosed because she has a brother who was very sick from Celiac disease. She had no symptoms other than hypothyroidism and Vitamin D and iron deficiencies. Her biopsy was negative but her blood work was positive. She made the choice to start eating gluten free now.

I would contact the residential school and see what they can offer. You may be pleasantly surprised! Good luck and congratulations to your daughter!

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Thanks so much for your response.

I am pretty sure at this point I can figure out how to make the experience gluten free. The program is a few miles away and I could even bring her meals.

What I am struggling with is letting go of feeling like everything is shadowed with worries about how can this work? When should I ask them about the food? I don't want everything she does be colored with my anxiety about the food. In general she seems comfortable with coping.

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Thanks so much for your response.

I am pretty sure at this point I can figure out how to make the experience gluten free. The program is a few miles away and I could even bring her meals.

What I am struggling with is letting go of feeling like everything is shadowed with worries about how can this work? When should I ask them about the food? I don't want everything she does be colored with my anxiety about the food. In general she seems comfortable with coping.

Unfortunately, until she is ready to take on the full responsibility of controlling her diet, you have to step in and take care of things. There are so many things a girl her age could easily forget about or purposely overlook just to not make a fuss (or whatever reason they come up with.) For one of my daughters, having Celiac is such an embarrassment, she would rather go without eating than ask the lunch lady if there is anything else available to her, and she's in 9th grade. The school is well aware of her situation.

I don't think you should be worried about anxiety. This is a very important part of her life. The sooner she learns that it's absolutely necessary to take these precautions, the better.

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The food service company that serves the school will not guarantee meals as gluten free because of cross contamination in an industrial kitchen. They will allow my daughter to store food in a refrigerator and freezer in the dorm.

The food service company seems to be unprofessional with this type of response. They are the food professionals, and I feel that they should take ownership of providing safe food for those they are serving. Why can they not review their protocols and advise *exactly* what the issues are? Just like they *hopefully* have procedures in place for "guaranteeing" that their foods will not be cross contaminated with raw meats, they should also be able to take appropriate measures to ensure gluten free food. Is the problem that they are using flour throughout their kitchen on a daily basis? Then I think you need to know exactly that. I have worked with industrial kitchens before to make food preparations safer. And it is better to know upfront if they are simply going to make unsafe food for your child.

I know how difficult working through these issues can be, but the more we can help others understand that *safe* preparation of gluten free food is possible, the easier it will be for all of us in the future . . . I hope anyway. I have also worked with kitchens to modify and diversify their menus for all in efforts to make offering safer gluten free food easier for everyone. There really are a lot of foods that are naturally gluten free that everyone enjoys, and I wish you all luck in advocating for safe feeding of your children. It is quite an undertaking, but well worth it when it all comes together! Good luck!

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My daughter was this week invited to participate in a two-week residential science and math program for very strong students. It was an honor that only the very best students in her school were invited to. My first thought was how would she deal with meals. Should I call them? Etc. etc.

I'd like some advice on how to lessen my reaction from the food worries to being a proud parent and also advice as to when and how to bring this up.

She's in 7th grade and has been diagnosed for 3 years now.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Congratulations on your daughter's achievement! That is very exciting for both of you.

I have found that Allergic Girl resources have been of tremendous value in helping me learn how to better enjoy our blessed lives while navigating the finer details of food and allergy management that comes with our medical condition. I loved reading her book, and really found comfort in how she relates to some of our struggles. Here is a link for her: http://allergicgirl.com/allergic-girl-adventures-in-living-well-with-food-allergies/ - I loved her book and employ many of her suggested strategies. Just knowing that there are others who also have to navigate these sometimes eye rolling obstacles was a relief for me!

I hope that your daughter enjoys her experience, as it sounds phenomenal. And, yes, I would call the program early to start discussing how they want to work with you in refining her eating plan while she is there. Allergic Girl has some great tips for contacting dining places, and you may be able to find her book at your library. Wishing you and your daughter an extraordinary time!

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Congrats! And I'm wondering if this program is offered through the public school system. My understanding is that Celiac kids fall under ADA and that the public school cafeterias are required by law to treat our Celiac kids equally by offering safe and appropriate food. I think I read this in "Gluten Free Kids" by Danna Korn.

Anyone else have more experience with this?

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Congrats! And I'm wondering if this program is offered through the public school system. My understanding is that Celiac kids fall under ADA and that the public school cafeterias are required by law to treat our Celiac kids equally by offering safe and appropriate food. I think I read this in "Gluten Free Kids" by Danna Korn.

Anyone else have more experience with this?

Wow-I'd love to hear more about this. My dd has Down syndrome and does not understand why she can no longer eat any lunches from the cafeteria. She didn't have many before, but both she and I would love to have the option. There is a second grader at school who has celiac, so the cafeteria should already be accomodating his needs, no?

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Quick note...need to get kids to bed. Look at the celiaccentral.org site at the 504 plan, I think! I'll try to find more later tonight for you!

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The food service company seems to be unprofessional with this type of response. They are the food professionals, and I feel that they should take ownership of providing safe food for those they are serving. Why can they not review their protocols and advise *exactly* what the issues are? Just like they *hopefully* have procedures in place for "guaranteeing" that their foods will not be cross contaminated with raw meats, they should also be able to take appropriate measures to ensure gluten free food. Is the problem that they are using flour throughout their kitchen on a daily basis? Then I think you need to know exactly that. I have worked with industrial kitchens before to make food preparations safer. And it is better to know upfront if they are simply going to make unsafe food for your child.

They actually are taking ownership of providing safe food by saying that they cannot guarantee that their food is gluten free. Would you rather they say that some foods are gluten free only to find out the hard way that they are CC'd in some way? It's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Especially if food is self serve and the cafeteria doesn't and can't monitor if someone mixes up the serving utensils. It's a CYA statement. They don't want to claim that something is gluten free and have the kid react.

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Definitely the clearest info: http://americanceliac.org/for-families/school-lunch-faq/

Q. Can my celiac child receive gluten-free meals at school?

A. Students who must adhere to a medically prescribed diet may qualify for special dietary accommodations under the National School Lunch Program. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal civil rights statute, prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in an educational program or institution. Celiac disease may be considered a disability under this law.

Public schools and other institutions participating in federal programs, like the National School Lunch Program, must provide equal access to and participation in, such programs.

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