Told he couldn\'t have hot lunch.....

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:36am
Boomer's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Hello, again I am new to this board and I have a TON of questions.

My son is in 1/2 day kindergarten (this will be long), but goes to an extended day program at same school. He is in the extended day program because he was diagnosed with PDD and needed the extra socialation. He has been doing very well. I only had him in the extended day program 2 days per week and made his lunch for him. Now he goes every day because he has done so well.

My son has a flexability problem and only eats a few things. Which can work in our favor for his PA. This week he decided he wanted to try hot lunch. I was excited that he might try new things. The school has never had a PA before and this year they have 2 although the others isn't as severe.

When we set up his IEP and all of the meeting at the beginning of the year we had decided that we would write letters to the other kids in his extended day program about his allergy, those who wouldn't comply would simply go eat in the lunch room and my son and the others would stay in the peanut free classroom. They sell PB&J in the cafeteria every day along with a hot lunch. Because he was only there 2 days, they decided to just hand people wipes as they leave the lunchroom and my son would never go in there.

Now he goes to school all day every day. He wants to try a school lunch once in awhile, and they told me I had to wait until next year. They didn't really give me a good reason, just that we would figure it out in the spring. Is that legal?? Don't they have to provide him a safe lunch from the lunchroom that he can eat if he wants??


Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:45am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Is this a public school? If so, I believe they do need to provide safe substitutes for children with food allergies.
See this document from the USDA:
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:18am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Just me, but no way in heck would I let my child eat hot lunch at school. Sorry, too risky......

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:22am
luvmyboys's picture
Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

Regarding PDD, check out the NVLD thread under off topic...
Regarding lunchtime at public school, read up on 504 plans under the school forum. They can't tell him he has to eat in the classroom if he has a 504 (for which he qualifies). It is against Disability law to segregate him based on his disability (PA). Try this link.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:27am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

They do have to provide him a peanut free lunch, but I am with saknjmom....the majority of pa fatalities which occur in children occur at school due to the child eating food that was not from home and the school making a mistake. But that is a comfort zone thing, by law they do have to provide him a safe lunch. When my dd started kindergarten she was allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts. The school nurse told me that by law I could request that the school provide a milk free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free lunch for dd. Of course, I did not do that since there would be such a high chance of a life threatening mistake. They have to provide a peanut free lunch for your ds if it is public school.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 04, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:54am
Boomer's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

It is a public school. I don't think they know the law or something. I am going to mention it. They have never dealt with a severe food allergy before. I can't believe how many people think I have Muchousin by Proxy (sp??) because of this. It is so FRUSTRATING!

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:06am
JaneyL's picture
Joined: 06/11/1999 - 09:00

Since it is a public school and you have indicated that you want your child to have hot lunch they need to accommodate your child now.
My son ate hot lunch for 4 years at his school. It required some work on my part since our comfort level is tight. I went in every Monday to read the labels on the products being served for the week. Since they stocked up sometimes I needed to go in only once a month. There was a supervisor and 2 workers. They knew me and my son very well. They questioned everything, took notes, and called me with any changes or questions. When in doubt (very few times) they substituted a known okay product just for him.
We had no problems with the lunchroom-they were the best. My son loved having hot lunch with his friends. My son was Pa/Tna when we did this. When he was still allergic to egg we didn't feel able to allow this even with my input.
Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:53am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I check DS's lunches. He buys almost every day (he only brings 1-2 days a month). I have to go a couple of times a week, because they don't have much storage space they rarely have Friday's food on Monday. If there is a problem with a food we find a solution (he often gets a special roll, because sometimes the bread comes in without a sufficient label, or if he can't have a dessert, he gets something from his own stash of safe treats). It's more work than making him a lunch, but he loves buying lunch like the other kids, so it's so worth it.
BTW, our cafeteria does make PBJ daily. But I have seen their setup--separate knife, that is washed separately from other utensils, made on paper that is thrown out, then the counter underneath is cleaned. They even have a different apron for making the PBJs, so the lady making the sandwiches doesn't wipe her hands on the apron, then touch other stuff.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 8:32am
Boomer's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

We actually have and IEP and not a 504. I had posted earlier that I needed explanation as to what is a 504 and someone had noted that having it in an IEP was better so I am not sure.
I guess I am not really as interested in giving him the hot lunch as I am getting the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they always sell and all super peanut snacks that leave the scent in the air out of the cafeteria. And the fact that they said they weren't going to do anything about it until next year, I just know that it is wrong. I did however do more reading and emailed some more information to the principal. I also requested a copy of the districts policy on life threatening food allergies. Hopefully they are hearing me loud and clear and will change their tune.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:12am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

My son is allergic to peanuts/nuts/eggs and just started full day Kindergarten in October(he was 1/2 day and never ate at school). But he buys hot lunch everyday as well. I can see how this would be a comfort level topic, I do know many PA kids at school that only bring cold lunches, I can undertsand that. But for my son, he gets his hot lunch and sits at the peanut free table with 2 friends that choose a safe hot lunch. Our school serves pre packaged pb&j Uncrstables on Mondays, I eat with my son EVERY Monday, just to be sure he is safe and okay. He has had some minor reactiosn on Monday's though ranging from stomach cramps to welts around his eyes. his request I still let him order hot lunch. If things continue to cause problems though, we may be rethinking our options. I would LOVE our school to ditch the Uncrustables, and just not serve pb&j period....or the egg sandwiches that just popped up on the menu(they serve just once a month, but I meet my son on those days for lunch too...and the teacher makes sure his table is nut/egg free that day). I know the lunchroom staff by name, they always let me know of any changes from the menus and I read labels as well. I have read the ADA guideline(printed me off a copy too) about the school *having* to provide an alternate lunch to food allergy kids, I haven't pushed it though. Let us know how the principal handles this, good luck too. I am new to all this, just now getting my stuff together for a 504 designation, just awaiting the letter from the allergist and we can get started. It's all so overwhelming and as everyone here will tell you, the schools aren't much help in the matter, you really have to know your "p's" and "q's"!!!
I just foudn out today my youngest, almost a year old, is dangerously allergic to eggs as well and now she has an Epipen jr too...that's 3 of my 4 kids that now carry one(for eggs or nuts/peanuts), what in the heck did I do wrong(no food allergies in mom and dad)! Anyways...Good luck [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited January 04, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:58pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We used to not allow Drew to eat school lunches. However, as he has gotten older it has become very important to him to be able to safely eat school lunch and be like his peers (or at least have that option available to him.....even though he rarely eats the school lunch). For a long time, that was not in our comfort zone. However, we had to take a step back and realize that if we trust the cooks at Wendy's (or whatever resturant), then we could surely trust the school cooks, who knew him by name. It is definitely a family-by-family comfort zone decision.
Regarding trying to get the pb out of the school cafeteria. I would suggest checking into SunButter. It is a government commodity offered to schools as a safe alternative to pb. (Your state has to choose to obtain it from the USDA, and then your local district has to request it from the state level.)



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