My son starts kindergarden soon. He's allergic via ingestion only, and we're curious about school lunches. We're still trying to discover the school's rules on everything. There are so many foods he can eat -- veggies, fruits, fish, grilled chicken -- that he loves and that are healthy, that we are curious. Is it a universal policy to have him bring his lunch every day, or have some schools accommodated and screened kid's foods? At his preschool, they read ingredients and showed us stuff any time there was a question, so we were very well treated there. Public schools may be less careful. What's your advice?
On Aug 15, 1999
For my son who is muliple allergic and attends a private school the caferia staff have been wonderful in helping to explore which are safe for him. I was given ingred lists to read on things I requested-hotdog buns and hotdogs- I then contacted food companies that made these and found out they are safe for son-one of the men I spoke with was very helpful as his wife has PA. The caferia staff also allowed my son to buy just the hotdog and bun for lower price than meal as they often serve potato chip etc(he is allergic to white potato.) They also were careful about other cross-contamination of egg/nuts etc. The School buys the pizza from Pizza Express who I checked with them to make sure it is safe. I do need to re-check everything again this year.
On Aug 21, 1999
Our child is entering Grade 1 with a peanut allergy. Giving a list of acceptable foods instead of unacceptable food lists seems to be better understood and accomadated. Don't wait for school to start to find out procedures. The principal and teachers are usually in 1-2wks prior and usually more than willing to answer questions and concerns. Is the classroom peanut-free? Has a note been sent home prior to all children attending the first day?
I hope this helps,
On Aug 22, 1999
My son (6 YO) is PA and just started 1st grade at a magnet school this year. I could not be happier with how thay have handled David's allergy. I scheduled a meeting with the principal, his classroom teacher and the school secretary. They spent an hour with me going over his history, what a reaction looks like, how to use the Epi-Pen etc. They came up with an idea that I thought was great. Every teacher in the school will have a little laminated peanut that says "David's Peanut Buddy." (David will be unaware of this as they don't want him to feel singled out). If he were ever to have a reaction, the teacher would send one of the kids to the office with this "Peanut Buddy" and they would immediatly call 911 and bring his shot from the office to where David is. The District Nurse also held an inservice for all staff members (including cafeteria workers) to teach them about this allergy. They have assigned seats in the lunch room now(didn't last year) so that David will be right next to the teachers table and not know he was put there purposefully. He ate hot lunch all the time last year, no problem!