another preschool let down

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 1:51am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

i took my four year old for an interview at a local preschool yesterday. she loves being home and does not want to go to preschool even for just two mornings a week but i feel like she is not developing socially and learning to share and interact. spite of the peanut allergy and all the troubles we had last year when we attempted preschool...i decided to attempt it again. i called ahead (the preschool is a very nice one owned by neighbors of ours) and explained our needs, regarding the peanut issue. i was told that "they would do their very best" and call me if there was ever a problem (like an unsafe snack showing up at school) so i could come take her home right away. they also assured me there was at least one other child who attended regularly that was allergic to peanuts so they already had a safe environment arranged for him. their response was better than most i've gotten so we decided to go for a look around the preschool and get a feel for the environment there. chase was immediately excited like i had hoped she would be when we pulled up into the parking lot and could see through the picture window the chidren playing and having fun. i was hopeful for her that this would be a good thing. as i focused in on the kids at two of the tables i could see immediately that they were having peanut butter crackers (those little ritz ones) and peanut buddy bars (those chocolate little debbie things). i was shocked! this certainly wasn't the image i was given of the preschool ahead of time. even though i knew it would be safest to just turn around and leave (because of all the peanut-y odor in the room and residue) i decided to go in and ask the director a few questions. i'm usually not very assertive so i decided to act upon it while i WAS feeling assertive. : ) when we all sat down in her office she introduced herself and i said, "as you know, chase is highly sensitive to peanuts and it can be life threatening." she said, "yes, i remember that from our conversation and we will do our best to prevent her from being around any peanuts, peanut butter, etc." i said, "well, do you know that the kids are having peanut butter crackers and peanut butter bars right now as we speak?" she looked a little shocked and then said, and i quote, "well, i said we'd try. however, we can't prevent all the other children from ever doing anything just for one child." FOR ONE CHILD??? i explained that the ONE child was MY child so i would have to differ from her opinion. obviously, we won't be attending preschool again this year...which is sad for my little one who is really in need of companions and socialization. my real question is this one...why the hell is peanut butter so damned important in our society? why are snacks so important in our society? the kids there were eating not one, but 2 fattening, sugary snacks at 11 a.m. when they would be joining their parents for lunch at 11:30 a.m. (pick up time at that particular school) i just don't get it. do our kids actually need any more food? i know mine don't. my husband says snack time is just a space filler and a way to keep the kids busy and maybe he is right. anyhow..i just don't see how difficult it would be to serve the miriad of other snacks available instead of peanut-containing ones if a snack had to be served. also, how would the children at the preschool be prevented "from ever doing anything" because peanuts are omitted from the school? what a ridiculous comment for her to make. the real clencher is that as we were leaving, the director handed me an info. sheet to be filled out by our pediatrician (proof of immunizations, any illnesses, medications, etc..) and said it needed to be filled out fully "in order to protect all the other children there" if we decided to attend. what a joke. it's okay to protect everyone else from my child but not equally okay to ask the other children to do the same. anyway, sorry to be so long, just needed to vent. i am frustrated. if i was more patient and organized i would just start my own preschool for children with special concerns like food and enviromental type allergies, or other special needs. i am really angry that it's this difficult to find a safe preschool for my sweet little girl. joey

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 4:41am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Doesn't it just make you want to [b]SCREAM[/b]?!! I faced a similar situation. My son's potential preK teacher didn't want me to send in safe snacks for Josh because all the other children would wonder why he got a different snack. Her solution? That Joshua should go without a snack. HUH?!! Not that I think that they necessarily need a snack, but why should everyone else have one and not him?! I knew it was the wrong place when she was struck with shock that he wouldn't be able to sit next to a wiggly 4 yr old eating a pb&j sandwich.
I don't have any advice, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
By the way, we found another school where they bend over backwards for us. The art teacher just requested an Epi-pen for her room - even though there is one in the office just steps down the hall. She said she would feel safer with it right there.
Be safe,

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 4:58am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Reading your posts, it just occurred to me what a great preschool barometer PA is. All parents are a little nervous about picking schools and wonder if what they hear from the director and teaches is the real stuff or just a schpeel to get business. PA can certainly bring to light how they really treat kids.

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 5:25am
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Joey, I am with you on the food thing. Ugh. Though we have a reasonably safe preschool, they still snack and use food alot in the school. My other options are schools that allow 3 year olds to eat PB, but have a safe table. I do not trust this at 3, so here we are. My dd is very happy, and gets to see friends, loves her teachers, but the days they eat crap, she skips lunch, barely eats dinner, is a bear, and she is very skinny and picky. A Sweets binge just distracts her for days away from interest in good healthy foods.
I spoke to the director yesterday about this stuff, and no other parents have ever brought up any concerns about this. I don't think they even really have a clue. My friend said she would not know if I did not tell her, and I basically know all because I have to.
I am simply and truly amazed that at our whole school, nobody has a problem with all the food and sweets(and there are 3 other PA's, and a couple of multiple food allergies). My dh thinks our teacher uses sweets to get the love of the kids! He says, "Of course they love her, she gives them candy!"
Anyway, I feel badly that you cannot find a safe place for your child to be with friends. How sad. I have decided to put up with the lesser evil, peanut-free crap in the classroom, because I guess I have more peace of mind that way than if there were peanut butter lunches and snacks around.
I wish I did not have to be a spokesperson for the allergy there, because it would lend more credibility to my no candy and sweets campaign! They see my concerns as biased on the sweets thing, and really they are not. I just think it is inappropriate.
Becca(stepping off soapbox now)

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 6:00am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

dawn: it does bother me too that adults often think it's acceptable to leave a child out, singled out from all the others. i popped in one day at noon unannounced and discovered my six yr old (who is also PA)eating her lunch alone and in silence at the end of a big long table while all the other kids were laughing, talking and eating together. it was my understanding that the teacher would make arrangements for her to be sitting with a small group of kids with safe lunches. i had no idea she was alone every day at lunch for a couple of weeks and she never told me. i was very saddened by that. i had her moved back into the group with the understanding that she is never to sit with the kids who bring lunch from home or those who are behind in payment and recieve a pb&j sandwich in a brown bag from the school (how ridiculous is that? they make the lunchtrays peanut/nut-free and then prepare pb&j sandwiches in the same kitchen) i swear.... anyhow...bryce has been sent out into the hall on numerous occasions (alone on some) so that her classmates could enjoy the all-important peanut butter oreo or other peanut-containing snacks. i think the bottom line is this...if the child with the peanut allergy was THEIR child the very same adults (who would want your child to go without a snack or sit alone every day at lunch) would be throwing a fit. it's so funny how self-centered human beings are. one day earlier this year i had a classmate's mother say to me, "you know kendra will only eat peanut butter and jelly. since your child is in her class this year she is refusing to eat her lunch. this has been a real problem. i hate for her to go without her lunch." to this i replied, "how sweet of your little girl. she sounds like a very sensitive person and a good friend to have. i wish more grown ups were like her." it was one of the few times in life when i felt like i had the perfect comeback at the perfect time! : ) i did want to add that she should consider a healthier diet for her child if she really only eats peanut butter and jelly. i didn't think it would benefit any of us to get into a catfight though so i withheld my comment. no kid should be singled out. that's the bottom line. i don't care what the situation, there is always a solution. at least there should be. people make it so much more difficult than it has to be.

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 6:08am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

becca: i think our junkfood eating has gotten out of control. i myself am a major junkfood junkie and i know it's in part due to the fact that i learned that behavior as a kid. food is too big a part of the day in school. it's no wonder we are all (in general) so overweight. if they must have snacks i often wonder what's wrong with teaching the kids good eating/snacking habits so they have less to battle later in life. i wish someone had handed me an apple instead of a two pack of twinkies growing up. : ) personally, i don't think it should be the preschool or schools' job to feed the kids anything other than a healthy lunch if they are there at midday. my kids don't need anything more than that. it sounds like you are doing a good job setting better examples at your house. i am trying but it's hard to backtrack when i've gotten the girls so used to drive thru fastfood and such. we're doing better around here though and IF there is one upside to PA it's that my girls aren't big candy fans. they have done without so many things that they usually don't go for even the sweets they can have if they have other options.

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 10:50am
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

It is pathetic how our society revolves so much around food. Everyone is too FAT anyway. Less food and more exercise sounds like a good plan to me (wish I could follow it!!)

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 1:57am
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

That's just it, though, the acceptance and attitudes of food are what make it so darned hard to make the best chioces all the time. Of course we are responsible for ourselves, but there is no secret that good advertising works. Supersize it, tastes great, 30% free, new great taste, etc... There is just so much prepared and processed food these days.
I am trying to go for the healthier prepared foods these days, like salad in a bag, or forzen veggies, or cold cuts that are lean, baby carrots ready to eat, fresh fruit always ready to go, once washed, but it is hard. Also, the crappiest stuff is often the "loss leader", stuff they sell off cheap to get you in the store and offers the best value for the dollar(bacon, ham, balogna, hot dogs, cookie and cake snacks). The short cuts are often cheaper as well as less healthy.
I am not endorsing suing McDonalds, but it would be nice to see a great public awareness campaign to promote healthy eating in our kids that actually competes with all the advertising for junk foods. Maybe some guidelines for schools and healthy snacking. Maybe it is out there, but it seems to have bypassed our preschool! becca

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 8:01am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

becca: sorry to change the whole thread but i had to comment on what you said...isn't is crazy how much more expensive it is to shop "healthy?" i can't believe how much more i spend when i shop primarily in the produce dept. and buy healthier choices at the grocery store. then, to top it off, we are so conditioned to eat junk that much of the healthy stuff rots in the refrigerator while we pass it up. i know that i need to start with my kids NOW so they have better habits as adults and future parents. my primary physician said there are studies that show that kids past a certain age have already been programmed in terms of choosing a healthy diet as adults and that reversing those habits can be very difficult. junk handed out at school, preschool, church etc doesn't help either. joey

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 9:10am
KarenH's picture
Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

I just had to add my 2 cents... [img][/img]
Last year we visited relatives in CA a few times, and brought our 6 year old along. There were two children there, the oldest the same age as our son.
I totally agree about junk food habits!becoming incredible! OMG! I was completely shocked by the amount of junk food my relatives ate, and allowed their children to eat. Fruit roll ups at son was offered one and declined...and then was told "why not? They're fruit". My son said "look at the label, the first ingredient is SUGAR." LOLOLOL!!!! I never buy those things, except as a very occasional treat. Obviously he's repeating what I said to him once at the store.
Pop was offered at every meal. We NEVER drink pop, and soon nixed that idea, and went without ourselves to show our son that we weren't having it either. Once or twice was fine, but not every day for a week. The most hilarious thing though was when the 6 year old cousin asked for pie for breakfast, and was told yes. DS wanted some to, and we said no. We told him pie wasn't breakfast food. He wanted to know why his cousin could have it and was told by a relative that the child was "not a good breakfast eater." DS was very good about it. Then came lunch. DS asked for a hot dog, with carrot sticks and grapes. Not the most healthy, but okay. Cousin asked for chocolate cake, and was allowed. DS asked for cake too, and I told him yes-after his lunch. Apparently cousin was not "a good lunch eater" either. Well-here's the two boys sitting up at the counter, and cousin begins to eye DS's lunch. Then he pushes away the cake and asks, "can have the same thing? I want carrots and grapes too."
I almost died laughing. Apparently he IS a good eater, he's just being trained that the high sugar stuff is better.
Children seem to be getting more and more obese, and I sincerely believe that it's because they are inactive, and are being fed extremely high fat, high sugar foods. My son is allowed to have treats, but our rule is that you can't live on them, they are only just that-a TREAT.

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...