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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto, Ontario
My son's school has requested that I put together a list of peanut & nut free snacks which can be handed out to parents. I think this is a great idea (it has been a challenge to deal with school issues), however, it also makes me nervous. We all know that ingredients are always changing so it is important to read labels all the time. I am worried that by providing a list with specific items, parents will just purchase these items without even thinking about it and/or reading the labels.

Any suggestions on how to handle this?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
I would just write what you did on your list.

ie: Here is a current list of snack ideas that are peanut/nut free. We ask that you still read the ingredients before sending in snacks as manufacturing processes and procedures can change at any time and without warning making a once safe snack no longer safe.

Maybe not so long winded! LOL

_________________
4ye old DD allergic to sesame, peanut, raw egg , and mulitple environmental & seasonal allergies

2 yr old DS -no known allergies!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Make sure to include a paragraph about cross contamination, and why things like vanilla ice cream or popscicles are not safe for your child, even though you wouldn't think so.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Cross contamination (yikes!)- I had a teacher tell me that she understood that our daughter could have Skittles (it is her candy of choice and I buy it in snack size packagines so I can send one in her treats container). The teacher wanted to purchase a big bag to use for the entire class to practice secquencing and other math concepts. Afterwards they would be rewarded by being allowed to eat a few. The rest would go back in the bag for the next lesson. (eww, imagine coughing into your hands, wiping your nose, sorting your skittles andputting them back in the bag for the next person)

Naturally I advised her not to-what ever happened to tiddly winks?
Why do they feel the need to feed our children?

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
Ew that is disgusting. I decided along time ago to veiw candy not as food. (except for ingrediants) It used to bother me when I threw it away. Now it doesn't I smile infact in the knowledge that it doesn't go into anyones body. :lol:

_________________
Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2947
Location: Toronto
School safe lists always make me a little nervous too. Though maybe it's better than having parents guess at what's safe, as you really can't depend on non-label readers to becoming vigilant label watchers.

I like mygirlsyd's approach.

Also, is the school open to amending the list / resending it as ingredients change? Can you (maybe with the assistance of some other allergy parents) keep an eye on some of the products/labels?

Susan, recycled candies and all those little hands. Ew, ew.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
I sent a treats box that our daughter decorated and it contains safe treats for her. Regardless of what others eat she only eats what her parents have deemed safe. If others wish to reduce the risk of allergens in the classroom by purchasing allergen free snacks, that is great but I would remind them not to feed your child.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
I would want either a very well-trained teacher or myself to make the final check of the product. So, safe snack list gets sent with the expectation that it will *reduce* but not eliminate peanuts and nut from being sent to school. It is not reasonable or safe to rely on other parents 100% to label read. Snacks get sent to school, either the very well-trained, reliable teacher who really and truly gets it or *you* or your DH, etc read the label and sign off on it being 'safe'. If you don't sign off on it it doesn't get served and a back up snack or treat that is stored in the classroom is used instead and the peanut/nut snack is sent back home with the child who sent it in.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
_Susan_ wrote:
I sent a treats box that our daughter decorated and it contains safe treats for her. Regardless of what others eat she only eats what her parents have deemed safe. If others wish to reduce the risk of allergens in the classroom by purchasing allergen free snacks, that is great but I would remind them not to feed your child.


I much prefer this to the method I just posted.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I agree with Susan - for me, safe snack lists are helpful for reducing the risk - so that other kids eating foods around my kids are eating less risky foods and reducing the amount of allergen residue in the classroom/school.

I do agree that there needs to be a major warning on the list about always reading the list of ingredients on the products, as ingredients can change at any time.

Although I think safe snack lists are helpful, they are a starting point only, in my opinion. Most of the time these lists are only for peanut/nut-free products, so they are useless to kids with dairy, egg, sesame seed, soy, etc. allergies. People who are not living with allergies might forget that or not realize that. They might just think "safe" means "safe for all".

Because of all that, I still forbid the school to give MY kids anything that my husband and/ or I have not personally checked or approved, no matter how benign it might seem. My kids have strict instructions to not eat anything that we have not approved. My kids each have a safe treat box (two actually - one in the classroom and one with the daycare teacher) and the instructions are clear: if some kind of treat is being given out, they are to get something from their safe treat box. No exceptions.

If this does not work out and they do not get something at the time, we have an agreement that they can trade it for something at home. (I realize this could be tricky with very little kids... but it's a good rule to have.)

For my youngest, allergic to dairy, this rule includes beverages. I've seen lemonade with a "may contain dairy" warning in the past (Sealtest lemonade in a carton!!), so I do not even want someone else deciding what he can and cannot drink.

It might seem Draconian, but after 4 years in the school system, I have found that it's a lot easier and a lot less stressful for everyone - staff, family, and the allergic child - if you keep it simple like that.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I have done the same. We have a treat box at school and no other food is allowed.

Every once in a while when we are out together there is a tantrum about not getting the treat that the others get. Then I tell her " You have 2 choices, eat the treat we know is ok OR eat the other food and maybe have to use the epipen and go to the hospital". That ends the behaviour pretty quickly.

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I have used a similar line. "Well, if you eat the treat, you might have a reaction, and that really wouldn't be fun, would it?"

Now that they are older and we have been through this kind of thing a lot, I often ask them what they want to do, or kind of work it out with them, rather than telling them no. They haven't let me down yet. :) My DH's uncle actually remarked on how much self-control the boys seemed to have around food a few years ago... You better believe it! ;)

Just before Christmas, a mom who knows all about my oldest's allergies spoke to me at the end of the day. She had made chocolates for everyone - not just her daughter's class but all three grade 4 classes, so my son was one of the happy recipients. She went on to tell me the ingredients (including almond extract - hmmm), but it really didn't matter. I couldn't verify what was in the chocolate itself, or whether there might be traces of nuts in it, and I nicely told her so. I said that he wouldn't be able to have them, but that was okay, we would do a trade at home. My son then came running up, and very matter-of-factly gave me the chocolates and said, "Here Mom. This is for you. We'll do a trade at home." I was very proud of him. (He later told me that he told the girl thanks - which is also important - but that he couldn't have it, and would do a trade at home.)

I actually spoke to a member of my support group the other day, and suggested that she offer her child options. Maybe give him 2 treats for the one he has given up. One to replace the treat, and one to say "good job for waiting so patiently until we get home". Other kids might like money (mine likely would!). I really don't care - as long as they realize they will be compensated in some way.

This kind of thing doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen. I know people just want to be nice, and I know that for a lot of the world, giving food to others is a way of being nice.

I have to admit, though, I really wish that giving food treats of any kind was banned at schools. But it's not (yet), so I try to keep it in stride. (Of course, I've had years of practice. I was a bit of a mental case when my oldest was in kindergarten and grade 1!)

The one thing I am not comfortable doing myself, is giving food to others. I don't want it to be done, so I personally do not want to perpetuate this custom. I even explain to the kids that I am just not comfortable giving food treats of any sort to their classmates. I don't care if it's "safe" for them and thus for their classmates. By giving out unnecessary food treats, I am giving the message that I think it's an okay idea, and frankly, I don't. What about diabetic kids? What about kids that can't eat foods for other reasons (there is a little girl with special dietary needs of another sort in my son's class)? No one seems to think about them - I suspect they are considered even less than allergic kids.

So we are the Grinchy No Spontaneous Food Treats Family. ;)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6469
Location: Ottawa
Karen said,
Quote:
The one thing I am not comfortable doing myself, is giving food to others. I don't want it to be done, so I personally do not want to perpetuate this custom. I even explain to the kids that I am just not comfortable giving food treats of any sort to their classmates. I don't care if it's "safe" for them and thus for their classmates. By giving out unnecessary food treats, I am giving the message that I think it's an okay idea, and frankly, I don't. What about diabetic kids? What about kids that can't eat foods for other reasons (there is a little girl with special dietary needs of another sort in my son's class)? No one seems to think about them - I suspect they are considered even less than allergic kids.


Yep, me too.
I send erasers, stickers, pencils, books, foam cut outs and such to school but not food. Lead by example. It is my way of saying, "There are alot of other things that can be done other that gving food." The only time I give food is food bank drives. Next time I think I'll give 3-4 tetra packs of soy milk.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


Last edited by _Susan_ on Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Here's a new document that has been put out by BC Nutritionists. I really like it:

http://www.bcsta.org:8080/docushare/dsw ... ttings.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 823
Location: Kingston
I have a safe snacks list that I can share with you. It has been used by a number of schools, daycares and youth groups not only in Kingston but in other towns/cities. The only gotcha is that you will have to recheck all the items on the list as I am out of country for the year.

I update this on a quarterly basis normally. I also do one for Halloween treats , Valentines Day and Easter. treats

Parents have stopped and thanked me as they wanted to help but were overwhelmed when making choices. They say it t has helped them learn about labeling as well.

I always stress it is not a guarantee as labels change.

I know there is are those who don't agree with giving out safe snacks list but it has always been well received and a great starting point for education for our family.

Email me if you want the list keeping in mind that you will have to check labels to verify its accuracy.

Mary

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Mary


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