Who has a \"peanut\" table instead of a \"pnut-FREE\" table in their school cafeteria?

Posted on: Fri, 08/22/2003 - 11:26pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I'm looking for information from parents whose school has implemented a "Peanut" table instead of the familiar "Peanut Free" table. Has anyone tried this? How has it worked?


Posted on: Sun, 08/24/2003 - 2:39am
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

In my dd's classroom, she has had a "peanut" table. The lunchroom is way too big at our school to have this, so there are 2 "peanut-free" tables.
We first send out a letter to all parents saying to avoid sending in any pnut/nut snacks with their child, but if someone does, they are to sit at the "peanut" table. The kids who have PB have to move somewhere away from my dd instead of her moving to a separate table. It's contained in one area and it's easier to clean up 1 table than to clean up several. So far, my daughter is allergic only to ingestion, so don't know if this will work with someone who is sensitive to an airborne allergy.

Posted on: Sun, 08/24/2003 - 10:58pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I know there is one school in our town with tables(more than one) for peanut products in lunches. It has been mentioned to me by several parents and more specifically described by one. She said they have rows of tables and each row has a single table with a sign with a peanut on it. The children sit there if they have a nutty lunch and all the other tables are restricted from having any peanut products.
I like it because it leaves several choices for all of the children. A single table either way seems to force people to eat together and not give any choice. Social stuff is hard enoough in school, and I would not like my child(or anyone's) to be forced to sit with certain kids simply because of what is in her lunch.
I do not know if they enforce any handwashing, but this would certainly more clearly identify who needs to wash extra. At schools in Newton, MA, I have heard that children with peanut lunches have to wash their hands twice under supervision. My friend's son started asking Mom to sotp giving him PB becuase it was a pain to wash his hands twice. Good deterrant!
I might be able to find out more info for you if you give me a list of questions you have. It would benefit me to call them as well, though we are 2 years out of starting in K. Three years away from public achool lunches. becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/25/2003 - 5:30am
Heather2's picture
Joined: 09/25/2001 - 09:00

The school my DS will attend the year after next (he has one more year of preschool) has a peanut table. The nurse told me they were worried about my son feeling different having to sit at a peanut free table. Personally, I think it will be easier for them to keep all of the peanut products in one area anyway. I guess since Linda-Jo, Becca and I are all from Massachusetts, maybe this concept is really catching on in Massachusetts. I have heard it is the new trend.
[This message has been edited by Heather2 (edited August 25, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/25/2003 - 9:05am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Heather2:
[b]I guess since Linda-Jo, Becca and I are all from Massachusetts, maybe this concept is really catching on in Massachusetts. I have heard it is the new trend.[/b]
Thank you to my 3 Massachusetts friends for responding! I really appreciate it. I hope I can start your trend here in St. Louis!
If any of you could share with me any additional details regarding how the school implements this, I would grately appreciate it.
Currently our school has 2 peanut-free tables, but my 4th grade dd hates them since no one would sit with her last year, despite her "inviting" serveral friends to sit there each day. I posted on the Main board about her "touch challenge" and that her allergist will write a letter to the school supporting her wish to sit at the "regular" table, but I'm still hesitant and considering this option.
Becca, thank you for offering to get more details... if you would, I'd be indebted. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] If anyone else has information too, I'd [b]really [/b]appreciate it.
Thank you, all.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 10:46pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Bumping up ... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
We start school next week Tuesday and I'm still hoping to find some examples of schools who use a "peanut table".

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 11:05pm
tando's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

Hi Gail,
DS will be in K this year, so not eating in the cafeteria but I did talk with the nurse and principal about how it works. The cafeteria is also the auditorium. Since DS will eat in his classroom this year, I was more focused on the cleaning procedures than the eating procedures for now.
Multiple tables are "peanut" tables. I don't know if they are marked. They are big tables and I haven't seen it in action so I don't know if there are ever peanut and non peanut at opposite ends of the same table. There are several other PA students at this school.
The cafeteria serves PB every day and has no system in place to avoid nut products in other foods served -- so there is always PB present somewhere.
There are always aides in the cafeteria. Though there would not be an aide assigned exclusively to monitor a PA student.
Students at this school are given jobs and one is to clean the tables between lunches. However, if DS were eating there his table would be cleaned by the aides with separate materials. Also, DS would not be given the table cleaning assignment.
The peanut table concept seems to focus mostly on obvious peanut like PB and foods with peanut as a known ingredient. I don't think they focus on the may contains -- e.g., a student with plain M&Ms might not have to each at the peanut table. This makes sense because its easier for children to follow themselves -- less monitoring effort for the school staff.
Again, school hasn't started here yet and I haven't seen this in action.
BTW, I'm in MA too.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 11:15pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by tando:
[b]Students at this school are given jobs and one is to clean the tables between lunches. [/b]
[i]Really[/i]? (Won't go into details but quietly pondering the time I wiped something off a window in a public area and was verbally chastised by a union window washer).

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 4:42am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Thank you for your reply, T. Once you are settled into school, if you could, I'd really appreciate it if you could confirm some of these details.
Quote:Originally posted by tando:
[b]Students at this school are given jobs and one is to clean the tables between lunches.[/b]
This is also true at our school. The cafeteria montiors supervise the kids wash the tables and also pick up garbage from the tables/floor. We have it written into our IHP that Mariah is excused from any cafeteria clean-up duties.

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