school lunch

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 4:41am
amy2's picture
Joined: 09/02/2000 - 09:00

Just venting. Last week, my son is sitting in the peanut free section of his lunch room. Kids are not supposed to save seats or move once they sit. The ladies in the cafe have said my son can save a seat since he rarely gets to sit with his friends. He is in 4th grade, and now kids are saying it isn't fair that he gets to dot this. They all get 10 tables to choose from, he gets 3. Usually he gets to lunch late, and really only gets to choose from a few seats. Many days he sits with kids he isn't fond of. The peanut free area is a popular area, it fills up quick. I also work at the school, in the cafe and recess. So now, I have told both my PA/TNA kids, no more saving seats. It just stinks. They get the *&%$ end of the stick again. He is at that age where kids are starting to take it out on him for some strange reason. Also, every year, things have gone so well with BD snacks, not this year. Every snack bought in has been peanut obvious. His teacher is just awesome, but he can only do so much! Thanks, for listening!

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 12:00pm
falcon's picture
Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

UGH! That is so frustrating. Reminds me of a situation in camp at snack. The counselor told me to stop giving my son such yummy snacks because the other kids are getting jealous. I couldn't believe it. At lunch the kids get a choice of many delicious freshly baked treats, none of which my son can havc and they made a fuss because my son had better snacks than they did! Really incredible. The school should be supporting him by encouraging the other kids to show some empathy and consideration.

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 1:16pm
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 9:51pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

At our school, each child that sits at the allergy table is allowed to invite one or two classmates to sit with them. This makes it easier for the lunches from non allergic kids who are sitting with them to be checked and the allergic kids get to sit by one of their friends.

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 11:20pm
amy2's picture
Joined: 09/02/2000 - 09:00

Thanks everyone! Our school is almost peanut free. The school lunch program has been awesome, and there are no peanut products or may contains in the hot lunch. My son has always bought cold lunch, he's in 4th gr now. Last year he was begging to try hot. He now has hot lunch a few times a week. Both of my kids' classroom teachers send out notes reminding snacks for bdays to be peanut free. Every year up to 4th grade was great. Parents have been thoughtful. Some parents are still. But there are always those few, you know. My daughter is in 1st, and they do books for birthdays! But last year, her Kgtn class was pretty good as well.. The older the kids get, the worse attention parents of students pay to the allergy. I have told my son it is part of this allergy, he'll have to deal with in life. It isn't fair, but it is life. Luckily, he is my easy going one! My daughter on the other hand, gets very upset when she can't have the same snack as others. My son has never really cared. I do offer alternatives, better ones, to make it better for them both. Anyway, thanks everyone!
Take Care, Amy

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 1:34am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

In our school, each class gets 2 tables. They can sit where they want within those two tables, unless they have misbehaved to the point of having assigned seats.
There is a peanut-free table, where my DS sits, as well as other PA/TNA kids. They can each invite a friend or two to sit with them (obviously that friend cannot be eating a PBJ). DS sometimes invites friends to sit with him, but not always. I think he is a little shy about that. I was worried about it, but not as much anymore--his teacher has told me he's the most popular kid in the class.

Posted on: Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:42am's picture
Joined: 03/03/2015 - 09:13

My heart is breaking for you and your son. My son will be starting school in the fall, and I'm already fearful of situations like this.
I have a few questions that affect some of my suggestions below.
1. Are the school lunches nut free?
2. Are you able to get a menu and ingredient list in advance?
3. Does your son bring lunch everyday?
Here are my thoughts, but they may not work depending upon your answers above.
A). If school lunches are peanut free, have all kids that bring their lunch sit at a table together. Then your son can eat his lunch with the others that are eating the safe school lunches.
B). If your school lunches are not peanut fee, perhaps there are days that peanuts are not on the menu? Pizza day? If you have a menu and ingredient list, perhaps you can select days that would be safe for him to join and sit with his peers?
C). Get the school counselor involved. Get him a spot at the boys table. Bullying is a hot topic now in schools... hint at the fact that you don't want him to be bullied due to his allergy.
Good luck to you and your son with this challenge. I hope your school will team up to find a better solution.

Posted on: Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:10am
MadelynesMom's picture
Joined: 12/03/2012 - 14:51

I really feel for you and your son. The schools don't get how isolating this can be. My daughter sits at the peanut/nut free table with mostly boys. She says she's friends with the boys and doesn't seem to mind and sometimes a few of her girl friends will sit at the table. I'm not a fan of the peanut table myself, I feel it's discriminatory and when voicing my opinion, was asked just recently, "What do you want us to do? Put her in a separate room?!"
And this from a social worker. Pretty scary. Anyway, the point is, sometimes the school just doesn't get what a awkward situation this can be for a kid. It's awkward for a new kid in second grade and for my daughter who's in fifth and knows everybody. I know if it was me, I'm not gonna beg someone to come eat with me after being turned down a few times, it stinks. Definitely things need to change. If you ask me it's a huge example of bullying by the very people in charge. There are very few people that get it. Keep on advocating mom. Things will change with moms that speak out. Be the squeaky wheel!
Good luck to your son!

Posted on: Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:23am's picture
Joined: 02/27/2015 - 13:52

The school is not nut free but they have nut free options that the kids can buy. They have the crustables and a yogurt parfait that are not safe for him to eat but both are made off campus so I'm comfortable with the safety of the hot lunch he eats. He buys his lunch each day so that he's fair to those that may potentially sit with him as they are only allowed to sit at the peanut free table if they buy hot lunch.
They do not segregate based on school lunch or lunch from home at the other tables and many in his class bring PB&J from home or eat reeses peanut butter cups which seem to be a favorite. Even if they did buy from school, the kids have the option of buying a crustable.
I had a meeting today with the administration. They don't want to incorporate him into the general population as they are concerned of a reaction. Frankly, my son doesn't want to sit with them either given all the consumption of peanuts. We're going to do some peer education in the hopes that kids will realize how isolating it is and how best to keep him safe. I'm going to incorporate some black light/germ technology to show the kids that washing hands and keeping surfaces safe is important for someone with food allergies. I convinced them to give the kids reward tickets once we see some people making a move to the peanut free table.
They choose lunch options in the morning and they are going to make the peanut free table a lunch option so they can start seeing if he's going to be eating alone and address it before the lunch rush. I've started to cultivate some of his classmates in the hopes that we can build some stronger bonds and the kids will take an interest in sitting with him. However, this year might be a lost cause. We only have 3 months left and I'm afraid the behaviors are ingrained now. We'll see. I was hopeful at the beginning of the year, not so much now.

Posted on: Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:32am's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for your question. We are very sorry to hear about your son’s experience at school.
Dealing with isolation can be difficult, but it may help to know that others have been in this situation. Check out two previous discussions among our members about their kids eating alone at a nut-free table here and here.
Kids with food allergies can struggle with feeling left out by their peers. Check out tips to help your son feel accepted here.
Some children don’t know how to adjust to the attention such an allergy can bring. Check out how to help your child cope with the embarrassment of being singled out here.
Furthermore, cookbook author Elizabeth Gordon suggests that alienation could be avoided. Find out what her solutions are here.
Teasing could also stem from the lack of understanding about allergies. You can share this video about what kids wish others knew about food allergies.
We asked our Facebook community to share their thoughts and here’s what they had to say.
We wish both you and your son the best!

Posted on: Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:00pm
Saralinda's picture
Joined: 01/12/2004 - 09:00

Isolation at the lunch table is the worst! I was the PA kid years ago when they didn't isolate us for being allergic, but I was the talkative kid so they made me eat by myself so I would concentrate on eating. Guess what! It only made me eat more slowly. I'm sorry I don't have a solution, but I do feel your kid's pain.


Peanut Free Store

More Articles

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...