Educating parents-Help!

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2007 - 5:34am
lreichpink's picture
Joined: 03/19/2007 - 09:00

My new Montessori preschool is considering opening their doors as a "peanut-free" school! Since this has been prompted by ME, I know that I will have to be helping in getting the parents educated to read labels and learn about this. I need ideas of how to do this. If I do a letter for the parents that will go out with the enrollment papers to each household, what should I make sure to say? Ideas...

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2007 - 8:38am
pitterpat's picture
Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

I can't say there is a way to teach someone to be as protective of your child as you will be, but this is what I did for my parents to help them understand how to read labels. After nearly 2 years of them keeping my children daily, I actually ALMOST trust them to read them without me reading everything, too.
I made a nice paper for them showing how a pn can be listed. I can't remember exactly what I used, but I put the labels on my scanner and copied them on one sheet so that I could offer them as an example. So, say, 1 think that was clearly not safe from a company that labels well. General Mills or Hershey with a nice "peanut" in the list. Then, something that has a "manufactured in..." label and something that has a "may contain..." statement. Then, I also included my favorite, Snickers. Snickers has an ingredient list including pn, then has a bold allergy warning that says something like Allergen Information: May contain almonds. Shows that you can't JUST read the warning statement even though it's a nice place to start.
Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 5:21am
TwokidsNJ's picture
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Wow! That Snickers label is problematic. I thought a "Contains" statement is required too!

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 6:12am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Many foods that are obviously nutty don't put it in the allergen statement.....I've noticed that a lot

Posted on: Wed, 03/21/2007 - 9:09am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

We helped our school do it and we got a brochure I think it was the Be A Pal from FAAN, we got signs lamenated and posted, and we got a letter from another school that we gave to our school and they emailed it out. The brochure we brought to Kinkos and they printed and folded them.
It should be in their handbook or any policy and procedure book given to staff and parents too!
Epi pens should be in marked drawers, names of students with allergies should be visable/with pictures too!
They can use this as a marketing tool!
Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2007 - 12:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

lreichpink, the first thing you need to do is define (between yourself and the school) just exactly what *peanut-free* means.
If you expect parents to keep track of which companies label well and which don't -- that's NOT going to happen.
If you say any products with *may contain* or *processed with* are not allowed -- some parents will try really hard to follow that, but sometimes they will get resentful about it. Also, keep in mind whether or not it is enforcable. And, there will also be some parents that resent the fact that they can buy something not labelled that they know is not safe, but not something labelled that is just as unsafe.
Also, decide whether it's peanuts or peanut/nuts that are to be banned.
A letter going home with the enrollment papers is a great idea. That's when I found out my son's school banned peanuts.

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