My son's preschool has a allergen free table, and they split the kids up so that kids who don't have nuts/other allergens in their lunch can sit at the nut free table too (basically, they make sure to split it up so that the kids with allergies aren't sitting at a table by themselves.) All the kids bring their own lunch, but the school provides a mid morning snack which is allergen free. The school's philosophy is that the world is not nut free, so kids have to learn to be safe with their allergies, and they help facilitate that. I think that is a reasonable approach to take. I actually think about that when I'm packing T's lunches, and I intentionally try to limit the amount of "nut" lunches I pack so that T can sit with his friends at the nut free table too. I would go completely nut free if they asked us too, but I'm glad they don't because since he goes to a Jewish preschool, we have to pack kosher dairy meals (no meat) so limiting nuts would limit us further.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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Carolyn - 37
Wife to Chad - 39
Mom to Tom - 15
Nathan - 10
Oh, classroom limitation should definitely be limited to anaphylactic/severe reactions. Otherwise, children should just learn not to eat or touch food besides what their parents have packed for them (and I think in situations with severe reactions even very young kids know this).
oh ok. I thought you meant in the cafeteria.... I have fruit allergies in my class now. raspberries, last year I had a mango allergy. I have taught my 3 yr old to ask about nuts. so yes they can be taught young. now I have to add mango into it bc the allergist said there can be a cross reaction with tree nuts and mangos
This hits close to home as DS is peanut and tree nut allergic. DD was also dairy sensitive for the first year of her life. I have a friend who refuses to believe that it's as serious as it is. She always complains about no peanut butter sandwiches when we get together (which is 3-4 times a YEAR, since they live so far away). It pisses me off because my son could die. Just please find another lunch option for one day?!
It's a little different when it is school. I think a separate table where any kid can go is a good solution. It's the family's responsibility to provide food the child can eat IMO. I do think the school needs to provide information about snacks/lunches so that the family can properly decide if the child can have that snack/lunch. For example, my daycare provides lunch for the kids. When DD was milk sensitive I was forever asking questions about how the food was made. For example, mashed potatoes can be made with milk/butter, or they can be made from a box with water (ick!). I needed to know which way they were made so it was frustrating if they can't tell you that. I'm not looking forward to grade school and all the questions I'll need to ask then.
it's easy to teach my son to not eat nuts or peanut butters, but looking out for peanut oil...that's difficult at 3 years old, or shoot even 7 I'd think!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
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