Peanut Table

Publish date:
Updated on

In the grade school (K-6) that my niece attends, they have a

On Jun 12, 2002

Is the peanut table considered a desirable place to sit? Do kids bring peanut butter on purpose so they can sit at the "special" table? We had considered a "peanut table" for my daughter's class this year, but were worried that it would back fire on us. The peanut free table didn't work out so great either, though. So I think next year (2cd grade) we're just going to go for the whole regular table deal and hope that all goes well. If there are any problems we will have to re-evaluate. I do like the idea of isolating the peanut eating kids rather than the allergic one, though. In fact, someone on this site once mentioned that it was actually illegal to segregate a child based on a disability and that "peanut tables" were actually the correct legal way to handle it. We're starting a new school this fall and I just want my daughter to fit in and make friends; I don't want her to ever have to feel alone and/or isolated because of her allergies, which ended up happening this year. I know many other people have had much more positive experiences with peanut free tables but it just hasn't turned out to be a good thing for us.

On Jun 12, 2002

Rebecca started 1st grade last year eating at a regular table. Migraines and bellyaches were fast and furious those 1st few weeks. We then asked for the peanut free table. Not always everyone she wants to sit there does, but she has become accustomed to it. Finishing 2nd grade next week [img][/img] Arlene

On Jun 12, 2002

California Mom, It's the schools policy to have the 'peanut tables' and according to my 11 year old niece, it's no big deal with the kids. Her school is quite large with about 900 students. The cafeteria holds about 300 students a time.

On Jun 17, 2002

I just found out that our school Dist. has a peanut table for children w/ a PB allergy and I don't like this idea. I feel that it singles out these children. I don't want my child labeled and I don't want him to feel different. Well, my son is only 17 months so I have time to work on this...any advice??? Thanks!

On Jun 17, 2002

robinlp, Does your school district make the PA kids sit at a

On Jun 17, 2002

Thanks for the info., B's mom. I didn't mean to sound as negative as I probably came across regarding either the "peanut table" or the "peanut free" table. At our school there were 17 kids in my daughter's class and they all sat together at two picnic tables pushed together. Early in the year we added an additional table adjacent to the regular table(s) and made that the peanut free table. It turned out that after a while, once the newness wore off, Leah was sitting there by herself. The other kids just naturally gravitated toward the "regular" table. Leah felt very left out and just hated the peanut free table. At that point we decided to get rid of that additional table, and just make 1/2 of the regular table (actually one table since it was two tables pushed together) peanut free. That seemed to work a lot better. Usually the hot lunch kids sat at the peanut free table and the packers sat at the other table; it just sort of worked out that way. The only problem was that when Leah brought a packed lunch (the hot lunches were totally nut and peanut free and we never had a problem with Leah eating them) she would often sit by herself at the peanut free table until the kids came back from getting hot lunch. So, in our case it just wasn't a great solution. We have had no indication that Leah is touch or smell sensitive, so we are hoping that it will work out for her to sit with her class next year, without any restrictions. Leah is not a "roll with the punches" kind of person. Every little change is hard for her and she does not want to stand out at all regarding her allergies. We're just hoping for the best.

I still do think the "peanut table" sounds better than the "peanut free table". My only concern would be if it happened to encourage more kids to bring peanut butter. It's so hard to know what kids will do, especially if the kid with pa is not the most popular, or is a target for teasing/bullying in any other way.

On Jun 17, 2002

My 8 year old son has a peanut free table at his school (he is going into 3rd grade & has had a PF table since Kindergarten) and he is not bothered by it at all. He is allergic by touch so having him sit at a PF table actually gives him some peace of mind.

The tables in the cafeteria are long (they hold up to about 30 students at one table) but are divided into sections that seat 6 children to a section. Our son always sits on the *end* so as not to sit next the child beginning the *non* peanut-free section.

I always pack him an extra napkin which he lays his food on so it does not touch the table. (Just because the table is peanut free for my child does not mean it is PF for the class before his). Although the tables are wiped down thoroughly, I still don't want his food touching the table...just in case.

When it is time for dismissal from the cafeteria, his teacher squirts liquid soap into each child's hand...this way they HAVE to wash in the restroom before they go back into the classroom. My son washes his hands in the classroom so as not to be in the boy's bathroom with all the guys while they are washing up. (The entire class gets soap, whether they had PB in their lunch or not).

This routine has worked for us for 3 years now w/o incident.

I hope this has helped.

P.S. California Mom, looks like we were posting at the same time. [img][/img]

When I came back in to check my post, I read yours. Excellent point you mentioned about the *hot* lunches...this is usually the case at my son's table. The children who buy lunch (as long as they didn't buy ice cream) usually sit at the peanut-free table. The wait doesn't seem to bother him from the kids who buy lunch. There are a few who bring PF that fill in the gap at his table while the others are in line waiting to buy lunch.

When I have *dropped in* at lunchtime, I find children are creatures of habit and it is usually the same children there sitting in the exact seats every time...even though they do not have assigned seating (except my son) sitting at his table.

My son has a great group of kids in his class. [img][/img]

------------------ Stay Safe.

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited June 17, 2002).]

On Jun 17, 2002

B's Mom...I really like that idea!! Thanks so much.

:-), Robin

On Jun 24, 2002

Just one more thought--- my daughter's elementary school (K - 5) has 2 "peanut/nut free tables" and they're actually the most popular tables in the cafeteria because they are the only tables where students can sit with friends from other classes. Otherwise, kids must sit with their own class. It's nice that being "peanut free" is somewhat rewarded in the sense that you get to sit with kids you otherwise couldn't. Her table is always the first to fill up, and having 2 helps with the stigma issue a little.


[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited June 24, 2002).]

On Jun 24, 2002

As I was working with the school to establish a peanut-free zone for my son, it happens that I was also helping to establish the same for the other FOUR children IN HIS CLASS that are PA. Can you believe that!? There are five children in this school that will all be in first grade next year who are PA. This is the first time this school has had to deal with these issues, and they have been wonderful! There is also an incoming kindergartener next year who is PA. I figure ds will have plenty of company at his pn free table. One point that we discussed was washing the tables down after lunch. Since ds is touch sensitive, we agreed that the staff would wash his table down with disposable wipes. That way the same cloth wouldn't be used for other tables then his. My biggest point was that they need to hire an adult to monitor the table and the children, because there is only one adult in the lunchroom, and that person can not manage all the kids and watch for a PA reaction too. The district is working on this idea, and should make their decision soon. I'll post when I know something. I did the math when I made my formal request, and it amounts to approximately $1100 per school year for them to hire someone. Since there are five children this coming year, I think that is a pretty good deal, don't you? Please let me know if I missed something during these discussions. Thanks, Kristi

On Jul 24, 2002

Has anyone succeeded in getting a school district to pay an aide to monitor the peanut/peanut-free tables in the lunchroom? I have just filed a FOIA request for federal case files of 504 plans for food allergy, hoping to find a case in my state (Maryland) where an aide was assigned to monitor the food allergic children and their seating in the cafeteria. My first-grader's school aides are too distracted to take on this additional responsibility. I'd appreciate news of any case from any state. Thanks.

On Jul 24, 2002

Connie - My 8 year old daughter follows the exact same routine as you had posted!

------------------ Stay Safe, Fran

On Jul 24, 2002

I cannot believe what I read here. I really can't.

I feel like I need mind-altering drugs after reading this stuff.

On Jul 25, 2002

Then don't read it!

Fran, this has worked for us so well...not one incidence of accidental exposure to peanuts since he has been at a peanut free table. His friends can enjoy their peanut butter products, my son can enjoy his own lunch in safety. [img][/img]

Stay Safe!

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited July 25, 2002).]