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 Post subject: School Parties
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
First off, I want to say that I don't wish to home schoo our daughter. I firmly believe that a public education provides children with experiences that parents cannot. Chidren earn that there are varying points of view and I hope they learn tolerance for others. I love my daughter and don't think that I can do a good enough job teaching her all that she needs to know. I am happy to suppliment the education she recieves but am uncomfortable providing it all.
That said, I am starting to see an argument for it as we start to approach party season. Friday we recieved a letter from the teacher stating the class wil have a Halloween Party and that some parents have been selected to provide treats. (The letter implied each parents would be randomly selected to provide a treat) The students wuld be encouraged to try each treat.
I just finished dealing with the teacher giving our daughter a treat that wasn't ok'd with us first. The letter provided some "safe" recipes. (I was the one who sent them in :oops:, I thought the teacher might find them usefull)
1. I am terrified about cross-contamination. Who's to say the correct margarine is used?
2. Who's to say that nobody has cross-contaminated the margarine with something?
3. How do I know that the cutting board was washed thoroughy since it's ast use?
4. Is it right to encourage children to try different foods?
For non-allergic children I'd think this was a great opportunity to learn from their friends. For the allergic schid I think it's like playing Russian Roulette.
The parents of allergic children will have an opportunity to meet each other this Tuesday. I will see what the plan is regarding our chidren and this party.
With Christmas a short time away, this is just the beginning.


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 Post subject: parties
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I find school parties at my daughters preschool to be very stressful. I find that for a week or so leading up to a "special fun party day" I get really nauseous (sp.) and have to hold back tears a lot. Hopefully a party fun day does not fall on PMS week!!! That tends to make it worse! :lol: I always bring her own snack, and she eats nothing that anyone else has brought. I definitely do not trust other parents to bake for her, and understand issues like cross contamination. Even though her school is "nut free" parents often "forget" and bring tim bits, ice cream and other treats that are not safe. I get very stressed out about the thought of preschool for my milk allergic daughter.

This is only her second year of preschool, and I'm already emotionally fatigued over trying to keep her safe, and feel included. I can't even imagine the stress I will feel when it is my milk allergic daughter who I'm trying to keep safe in school.

Because the party days, and other junk food treats are so unnecessary and benifit NO ONE, it is rather upsetting to see my daughters safety and feelings disregarded for junk food. The halloween party day next week is for students and siblings. Everyone will be running around eating milky food. My 4 year old really wants her sister to attend too, but what am I to do? The constant battle between safety and letting them be normal kids is exhausting.

I definitely agree that all children should be publicly educated, and that it is the schools responsibility to provide a safe environment that does not exclude kids all the time!!! Unfortunately, that does not seem to be my reality. Don't teachers understand that these kids are having their feelings hurt continually for no good reason? Don't teachers care about the feelings of all of their students? I am concerned over the stress that these situations will cause me and my daughters every day for what...15 years! I don't know if I can deal with the stress everyday.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
It's a little drastic and last minute to do this, but what about doing all the treats yourself only. The teacher could send another letter to say that she changed her mind. That way your daughter would have a safe party because you would be the source of the food. I do that for some "pot lucks" we have sometimes... I do most of the food that way I don't jump when someone comes with food as I know who did what.

Just a thought.
:roll:

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I actually did that last year for the schools "mothers day tea". That worked well, but a parent actually bumped into my milk allergic daughter and spilled their tea all over her. Luckily they do not use milk in their tea. I have offered to do this for all occassions, but her current school feels that other parents like to be involved too.

For next year, I have found a preschool (located at my other daughters future public school as well) that is willing to go milk free, and eliminate food at party days. I suggested that if they still want some danties, I could bring them all. The teacher was surprised and excited that I was willing to do that. She was very willing to go milk free, all the time. Her son is allergic to fish, and she can't imagine what it would be like to have everyone eating fish around him all the time. So...that is the plan for next year.

Parenting allergic kids can be so overwhelming at times. In addition to all the things regular moms do, you have to make everything ( even bread ) from scratch, clean like crazy ( I think dust bothers my youngest ) watch them like a hawk in public, catering parties...etc etc. It brings new meaning to the term "super mom".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:22 pm 
This subject really hits home with so many of us right now... the first of many school parties is upon us with halloween just a few days away. My son's preschool is also having his Halloween party at school. All the parents are signing up for the food tray they wish to bring (veggie, fruit, cheese, or crackers). The school has requested that food be nut and sesame free (which is all very nice, and I know they are trying very hard to accomodate the allergic children at this particular school) but we still cannot allow our son to eat anything off these party trays. Therefore, what I am doing is bringing a cheese tray of our own to share and I will immediately remove food from it for my son, then I am bringing everything else for my him (veggies, fruit and crackers). The school is providing pizza that day, and he can't eat pizza from a pizza shop, so I'm making pizza the night before, and bringing some for him. Not only that, but I'm GOING to the party! He's just not ready to be at a party on his own, and I can't expect the teachers to keep an eye on him every second, so I really feel I must be there. It's so complicated, isn't it? And to think, just last year, my non-allergic daughter could attend all these parties with not a single worry on our part. And this is only the beginning...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
By the way, I was "Guest" on the last post. For some reason, I was not prompted to log in.

Julie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
When I met with our daughters school teacher before school started, I told her that I would like to make food for school parties. I did it for daycare and actually, our daughter has become quite the little cook! (she insists on making safe treats for church bake sales :D )
I will mention this again at our meeting tomorrow night.
My husband hopes to attend the class party.
I will let you know how we make out.
I guess we had all better start preparing for Christmas! Anyone know of a good frosting recipe that dries hard enough to make a Gingerbread House?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
There is a recipe for both the gingerbread, and the icing in "What's to Eat?" by Linda Marienhoff Coss. I think I read somewhere that you had this book too. If not I could post it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
Yes, I think I do have that book. Thanks!


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 Post subject: My 2 cents
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 21
We take 3 different approaches depending on the situation:

1) Attend the parties to make sure we are happy with everything going in her mouth
2) Provide the food - either made or bought (I have made 48 cupcakes at one time previously - can't make enuf just for her class - must supply her older sister!) I work ft too
3)Give her safe snacks to eat.

Obviously 3 is not my favorite but sometimes it is the best way. I approached her soccer coach and said I would provide all snacks. He was quite abrupt and said no. So instead of picking a fight with him or the league I decided to just provide her with snacks (I see what snack is and decide it was ok or not).

At school it tends to be 1 or 2 or a combo thereof. She is in SK. We also keep cupcakes in the freezer for days when kids bring in birthday cakes. Her teacher defrosts one and puts icing on it for her. It does make her feel different but I think it is too much to ask parents to either not bring in a cake and I can't trust them to make it safe. Lauren is ok with it too. Again not perfect but I think a reasonable compromise. A parent once made a mistake and brought in a cake with nuts and the teacher removed that from the classroom - the parent totally understood and was not upset.
Kim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 6
Being a student and allergic to peanuts, nuts and eggs, I can say that whatever partylike event is complete torture and really boring to attend. Instead of going there to see people eating delicious food like there is no tomorrow, I prefer to just avoid them. It's seriously irritating to watch someone consume something your body is unable to allow inside. Even if you're not sitting alone in a corner but in your group of friends, it's a habit to do everything not to touch them after they touched the food themselves, and you stay away while they eat it.

Then comes the time to tell everyone the news. The classes are made of more than 35 students, and I have to tell all of them individually, at least once in the school year, that I'm allergic to the same things, that it didn't change ...

At my new school, they're allowed to still be eating at the beginning of the class because they didn't have time to finish during the recess. So whenever I see someone eating something I can't, I often ask if that food is good. I think it's just to know if I'm really missing anything ... and it always turns out I am.

_________________
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hi Kai-V,
I still kind of feel left out in social occasions where I can't eat anything---allergies just make for social awkwardness. I don't mind so much if people are eating things I'm mildly allergic to, but if it is peanuts, nuts, or eggs it stresses me out. I try to be aware, but sometimes you just can't avoid sticky situations. Like one time I was talking to someone in a crowded room--the person was eating something that likely contained egg and when he became particularly enthusiastic a little bit of spittle flew my way. I didn't have a reaction or anything, but still it's stressful and even more stressful because I was in a situation where running off to the washroom suddenly might appear rude.

That after recess situation doesn't sound that safe if you have anaphylaxis. Classrooms should be as allergen-free as possible. If it is a concern, maybe you could consider asking your parents to talk to the school or talk to your teacher yourself about the situation. I don't think it would be that big of a deal if people were to have to finish their snacks at recess and wash their hands before entering the classroom.
Best, Lisa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Markham, Ontario
I am I’m dealing with this right now too. My daughter is allergic to tree nuts and I noticed that some parents are bringing Timbits to her Hallowe’en party tomorrow. Even if there are no nuts in the Timbits, they’ve still been sitting next nutty doughnuts, pastries, etc. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
We survived yet another school party. I was told that there would be no food out from 9am to 10 am. However parents had coffee, with milk, and were leaving them unattended, as well as carrying them around and a few parents had slopped. At 9:20 kids started running around with popcorn. 9:21 daddy took youngest daughter home for butter free popcorn because she was crying and really wanted it. I stayed with my older daughter until 10:15. She ate only what came from home. I noticed that the icecream and a few other treats were not free of nuts, even though the school is nut free. Kids were running everywhere will all kinds of food. I'm glad my youngest went home. It is impossible to keep a milk allergic child safe in a room full of milky treats. This was a very stressful hour and 15 minutes! I also did not sleep much last night and had been having bad dreams about the party for a few nights. The knot in my stomach is gone, and I feel better now. Can't wait until Christmas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Sorry to hear about that---that's terrible that they wouldn't even follow through with the no food policy in the morning. And they really need to make sure that the classroom isn't so dangerous for your daughters.


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