Are lunchroom peanut free tables the answer?

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 12:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pI would like to hear from anyone whose child is PA that does not sit at a peanut free table in the lunchroom. /p
pI like the peanut free classroom. I hate them eating snacks in the room anyway./p
pBut, at our school, my daughter will be eating all by herself in the cafeteria. This really bothers me. Any advice?/p

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 1:24am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

She shouldn't eat by herself. I think her friends will avoid bringing peanuts so they can sit with her. Although peanut butter is pretty popular, I'm sure that on any given day there are lots of kids eating other things. Anyone without peanuts would be able to sit at that table. If she's shy, maybe a teacher could help make sure a few other kids sit with her.

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 1:34am
Joanne's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

My PA son is in 1st grade and he sits at a peanut free table in the cafeteria. Each week children can sign up to sit at the peanut free table for the week. A note goes home to all parents weekly asking if their child will be sitting at the peanut free table; from those that volunteer the teacher picks 3. This has worked for us because:
1) my child is at a peanut free table but still in the cafeteria and never at a table alone
2) participation is voluntary
3) his friends care more about sitting with him than eating peanut butter so he does get to sit with his friends and we've found his friends are very good about handling food allergies and wanting to keep him safe.
The school very quietly removed peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter cookies from the cafeteria menu years ago. They didn't make a big announcement, they just did it. This has helped reduce the amount of peanut butter in the cafeteria, because now it's just what students bring in.
My big fear going into this was that no one would sit with him, but that hasn't happened. I called 2 moms I knew only slightly before school started and asked if their sons would sit at the table for the first week of school and they were great about it.
This has all worked for us handling our son's PA.

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 2:49am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Joanne, that is a wonderful story you shared! I just love it; what a wonderful way your school is handling the allergy issue. That was great thinking on your part to call those two moms before school started. Is the teacher doing something special to make it seem like a positive thing to sit at that table or is your son quite popular? I will consider suggesting this for next year when my daughter is in first grade. Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 4:09am
CarolynM's picture
Joined: 03/27/2001 - 09:00

This is how they do it at our school: My daughter sits at the "buyers table." Anyone who buys their lunch (not PB&J of course, which is available) sits there. If a "packer" wants to sit there, they have to have a note from home stating that their lunch is peanut free. My daughter sits there whether she packs or buys. There is an equal number of kids at each table. This has worked out well.

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 7:13am
Joanne's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Sean just reminded me that he puts a disposable tablecloth on his table every day, just as an extra precaution.
It's mostly the same 3 or 4 kids (his closest friends) sitting at the table, but I think just about every boy in his class has eaten with him at some point, and a few of the girls. It's been presented as a positive thing by the teacher to sit at the table.

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 10:03am
DeeJay's picture
Joined: 07/05/2000 - 09:00

My 10 year old son does not have a peanut free room or table at lunch. He ususally brings his own lunch and sits next to the kids eating pb sandwiches and it has pretty much been OK. He is not smell sensitive and has not had any reactions. However just last week he was sitting next to a friend who was eating pb on crackers. The friend said "How would you like it if I shoved this in your face?" My son responded with "I dare you!" so of course the friend tried shoving it in my son's face, scared him to death, but did not actually touch him with the pb. I couldn't believe that with all the role playing we have done rehearsing this type of scenario, my son would come up with "I dare you!" as a response.
I never wanted my son isolated in the lunchroom, but this type of situation makes me think twice. It also reinforces my belief that when he gets to Middle School next year, we are not going to advertise his allergy to the other students (unless he is going over to someone else's house etc). This probably isn't the ideal solution but it's how I'm leaning at this point.

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 10:12am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

My son does not sit at a peanut free table and has never had a reaction at school. He is in the third grade. He does put out a napkin as a placemat for his food and makes a point not to touch the table. If someone sits near him that has peanut butter, he chooses to get up and move. His best friend dislikes peanutbutter so that works out great!

Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2001 - 10:58am
mamagaona's picture
Joined: 12/29/2000 - 09:00

My daughter, 1st grade, sits at a table where no one eats pb. She was getting headaches, her first sign of allergy, when those around her were eating pb. The allergist suggested she eat alone, which made me very unhappy. I asked him if we could try a table with no one near her eating pb.
So,the teacher spoke with the students who were eager not to eat pb if they could sit with her. The teacher helped make her a valuable member of the class and it was like a prize to sit with her. The cafeteria workers also all know who she is and are to keep an eye out so no one is sitting near her with pb.

Posted on: Thu, 02/01/2001 - 8:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My 1st grader eats at a Peanut Free table in the cafeteria, and many of his friends request that their moms not send PB so they can eat with Keivn. He is touch and smell sensitive, so this has really been working out well. This is our second year of this arrangement, and he hasn't eaten alone once.

Posted on: Thu, 02/01/2001 - 10:16am
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

My daughter is in kindergarten and sits at a pnut free table in the cafeteria. Each day before entering the cafeteria, the teacher forms 2 lines: 1 for "Meggie's" table, and one for the class table. At first, she had just a couple of girls sitting with her. Now, it's always completely full and we have to turn some kids away! Anyone can choose to sit there as long as they have absolutely no pnut/nut products. The kids are really good about it and "watch" to make sure nobody has nuts at "Meggie's" table.
The table is also cleaned between lunches with a special cleaner and paper towels, but I always have Meggie put down a napkin...I don't want her putting her food directly on the table.
Now, if I could only get them to remove the PBJ and PB cookies from their menu, that would be great!


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