Peanut butter-free school

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2002 - 1:05am
BS312's picture
Joined: 09/05/2001 - 09:00

Our school principal has suggested that our school should be made peanut butter-free in order to avoid contamination of shared equipment, crayons, etc. Are there any reasons not to do this? For example, is such a policy likely to cause resentment and result in teasing on the part of other kids or lack of cooperation in other areas on the part of parents? I don't think that a false sense of security would be a problem because we would not be entirely "peanut-free". Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks.

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2002 - 3:14am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We are presently working with our son's future elem. school (K this Fall). It has been mentioned to me that the cafeteria staff has been thinking about removing the ALL-TIME FAVORITE PB cookies from the menu. At first, I thought: "YEAH!! And I didn't even have to suggest it myself!!!"
However, when I told my MIL, she wasn't as thrilled as I was. Her first thought was: "If the PB cookies really are the FAVORITE at the school, how will Nathanael be treated after everyone finds out they were removed from the menu for him?" (Or in their eyes BECAUSE of him!!)
Good point, I must say. I'm still not sure which way to go with this.
I don't exactly have the experience you asked for, but I do have a similar situation, and I thought my MIL's point was worth sharing.
Good luck!
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited March 21, 2002).]

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2002 - 4:27am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

It is not unusual for a school to go peanut free. I'm sure that your principal is anticipating that more PA students will be entering the school in the future. What you should do is sit with the principal and discuss how the new policy will be implemented. You may have to do some work in helping to educate the children. It's not just your child's safety that is the issue. It's also the welfare of the other children, (loosing a peer is traumatic, especially if it is in a school accident); also the teachers deserve the peace of mind that having a peanut free school can allow for. Sometimes we forget that there is something to be gained by everyone.

Posted on: Thu, 04/11/2002 - 3:44am
Joined: 08/23/2001 - 09:00

We have a child who's school decided to eliminate peanut products from the lunch menu and nut products sent from home for parties etc. The parents, including some teachers (not the children mind you) went crazy. You would have thought this measure was going to scar their children for life. Our principal, supportive at the onset, has since caved in big time. Our school currently has 6 children with nut allergy in conjuction with asthma. These are high risk children who are in true danger of exposure due to the number of useless peanut butter items sent in lunches everyday (nuttybuddies, reese cups and wafers etc.). We have asked that the children wash their hands after leaving the lunchroom and this is now a new complaint forum for the parents. You would think they would want them to wash their hands for good hygeine if nothing else. These parents are not in our shoes. You better believe they would be the first ones causing a major stink if it were their child. Our son's teacher has been as supportive as humanly possible and the children in his classroom have as well.
My suggestion, try to work through the children. They are the ones most open minded. We plan on addressing this issue once again prior to the next school year. Our school policy book now states no candy or soft drinks should be consumed during lunch. We would like to see this enforced.
Ask your PTA if they would be willing to plan a PTA meeting around educating parents of the risks of peanut allergy to children. A good video is offered by FAN "It only takes one bite". We had our educational meeting on a night that did not draw a large crowd (week after Sept. 11) Those who did attend (only about 25 people out of hundreds were shocked when they saw the dangers to these children.
Good Luck!

Posted on: Thu, 04/11/2002 - 10:22am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Our school had the exact opposite response~ they wanted to remove peanuts/nuts from the school lunch program (as much as possible; our daughter still only eats a lunch we send from home) so that it would "be easier" for them to manage. Children can still bring PB sandwiches and cookies, etc from home for lunch 9and then wash hands before leaving the lunchroom), but it is much easier for the cafeteria aids to monitor because at least they know that any child who buys a school lunch can sit with our daughter at the nut-free table. Recently our principal decided to make the primary classroom completely "food-free" after our daughter had some relatively minor contact reactions that we presume are from peanutbutter contact. We met last week to review how that is going (it been in place for about a month) and the principal, nurse and teacher all agreed that it has made life much easier for them. Ironically, I was the reluctant one... I feared this "extreme" would create social ramifications and my daughter feeling wierd, but (so far at least~ my daughter is just a second grader) it seems to be working well.

Posted on: Sat, 04/13/2002 - 8:47am
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

This comment is more directed at those parents out there that don't believe it necessary to fight for Peanut/Tree-nut Safe
Along with all the normal good points of having this advantage for your child and you, also look at the even BIGGER PICTURE.
Manufacturer's (Food Industry)Make tons of $$$$$$ on children's foods. If they have to start producing more and more safe foods because of schools being peanut/tree-nut safe, they will have to make more dedicated lines or peanut/tree-nut free facilities so kids can be bring there foods to school.
As were growing more and more frustrated with the cross-contamination issues I wonder if the Food Industry cares. If no one buys there products because of "May Contain" warnings and they can't send them in their kids lunches....well they would be making some quick changes I would think!

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