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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:47 pm 
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We seem to have lost the forum on schools with the exception of the Anaphyaxis Laws so forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong place but...

Our 4 year old pipes up at supper today that after her Fire Drill someone (adult in charge)gave her coloured marshmallows. She really can't remember who (they share the English and French teacher and spend a week with each).
She told me that it was ok but that she coudn't be sure if the person actuay read the ingredients.

Hello? What? :shock:
Am I missing something here? Am I over reacting? Shouldn't the school be feeding our children the food we send and communicating in advance if they are planning to offer something else?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:52 pm 
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sorry to hear that... does your daughter usually accept food from adults? I guess you'll have to meet with the teachers to clearify the situation! :?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:10 pm 
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No she's never accepted food from a stranger before. This is her first year at schoo Junior Kindergarten and she knows what I send for snacks and her lunch (always use the same containers and discuss it in the morning)
I have e-mailed the teacher to say I was told that this happened and that I will make sure she has approved treats in the future. I will call the school in the am and speak with the principal about policies surrounding treats.
I have told our daughter not to accept food from other people but I guess we've never tested it.
I feel guilty for not having sent "safe" treats yet. (We recently moved and are still living with plywood floors-everything is in caos at home and I'm just not as organised as I usually am.
I feel kind of disgusted at the idea of giving treats as rewards for good behaviour (isn't that what you do to train dogs?/what kind of food issues does this encourage?)
I feel let down by the school-didn't we meet and discuss this?
I feel grateful that the food apparently was safe as our daughter is sleeping peacefully and is blissfuly unaware of any dangers that coud have happened.
I will speak with her in the morning.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:10 pm
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Location: Clarington
First off you are not overreacting. This outcome could have been disastrous and fortunately it was not. However there has been communication breakdown. My suggestion to you is rather than calling and emailing(although it is good to do this as well), physically go to the school and meet with whomever it is necessary to meet with. All parties involved will not have to guess at tone of voice and body language as well as have the opportunity to ask questions. These are all important aspects of communication that can't be transmitted over the phone or email as effectively. Also the fact that you took the time to show up at their office/classroom shows that you consider this to be very important, which by the sounds of your post it is.You also can't be as easily brushed off when you are there in person.

This is an excellent learning experience for the school especially because your daughter didn't have any physical consequences. If your approach focuses on that hopefully they will recognize the need for better safety measures. But as her parent, it must be scary. Let us know how it goes........


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:43 am 
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Location: Canada
That's really scary, Susan. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I hope that *all* the teachers in the school 'get it' after this!


Last edited by Helen on Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:27 pm 
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I would be livid!!!! :evil: :evil:

Try role playing with her and put her in various situations where different types of people try to offer her food, so she knows that no one, (or only the people you specify) are safe. Two big thumps on the head to the school.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:34 pm 
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The thing is we just went over this on the weekend! In fact she had a meltdown at the library when my friend tried to get her to ask the librarian something. She is at the "don't talk to strangers" stage and felt the librarian was a stranger. She was torn between following her instinct and pleasing the adult. We had a long chat about doing what she felt was the safest and that it's ok to say No to anyone.
This reminds me of a study done years ago in which children where placed in a room with a hidden gun (disabled). The parents were so sure that their child would not touch it but call for an adult...every child picked it up and waved it around.
I will role play with our daughter. I e-mailed the teacher last night. I sent appropriate treats with a note stating we were trying to teach her not to eat foods which we didn't send. We told her and the teacher (in the note) that she can call us if there is any problem. I called the principal today and she will investigate.
Yeah, right, I know, I'll follow up with her tomorrow. :roll:


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 Post subject: stupid school
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I would have turned into a raging lunatic. Some colored marshmallows (the ones that have brown chocolate ones in the bag ) contain milk. I understand that it is confusing to a young child that their teacher might be an idiot. :?

I also completely disagree with rewarding children with food, especiallty junk food. My post secondary education was in early childhood education. Rewarding kids with food was a big no no. :evil: They should be using stamps, stickers or praise.

I am also aware of the gun study. Sometimes it seems that teachers do not have a grasp on the "mind of a child". They don't seem to grasp that they are dealing with life-threatening allergies...and place the majoritiy of the responsibility on a 4 year old ( I'm also speaking from experience with my oldest daughters preschool ). Young children often lack the ability to foresee the consequences of their actions. They can also be very illogical. If a teacher thinks that a 4 year old should be in charge of telling them what she can or cannot eat, they obviously do not understand the mind of a child and therefore should not be teaching them.

Last year ( at preschool ) the "easter bunny" gave my peanut allergic daughter some easter candy. She reminded her teacher that she "could not have it until she asked her mom" and put it in her bag to bring home ( they were not safe ). I was pretty upset that she was the one who knew not to eat the treats, and reminded her teacher about "the rule".

Yesterday, at preschool she made a craft that had a sucker taped to it. Her teachers know that she only eats food from home, and is not to bring home any food ( her sister has other allergies too ). I checked the bag and they were an unrecognizable brand with poor labeling. The sucker was thrown out, and once again she felt excluded. :evil:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:25 am 
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Saskmommyof2- That's what I said - about the stickers!
Now my husband thinks that I have over reacted by calling the principal. :roll:
He seems to think that all communication with management will ony result in a persons jobloss. (I guess his employer is more efficient than mine :wink: ) I come from the heathcare field where areas of concern are routinely communicated to al involved. I guess we're on another learning curve.
The teacher sent me a note back saying that she assumed it woud be ok as I had commented in our meeting that No-Name marshmallows were ok. I still do not know who it was who gave our daughter the "treat".
She also said they would be using sunfower seeds in a craft in 2 weeks. At least this is somethng I can look into.
I'll leave a message for the allergist on is machine today and follow up on monday.
We haven't tried sunflower seeds. They're not tree nuts or ground nuts...hmmm.


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 Post subject: you did not over react
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:34 am 
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
I do not think that you over reacted. I'm struggling with the idea of my milk allergic daughter in school. It makes me literally sick to the stomach when I think about it. If a teacher fed her food that was not from home without your consent she deserves to be repremanded. Maybe then the concept of life threatening allergies will really set in.

I've never given sunflower seeds to either of my daughters. Could you ask the teacher what the craft is and suggest a non-food substitution to the seeds? Maybe the teacher could use pom poms, old puzzle pieces, foam shapes, shaped hole punches, confetti, glitter, sequins or something else instead. Maybe you could even suggest purchasing the alternative yourself? Then they would be aware of your concerns with "new foods" and hopefully try to not use food in crafts the rest of the year.

Sometimes when I refer to my daughters allergies I call them her "known allergies". I also tell them that there are many foods she hasn't tried yet, so I'd rather her not be doing "food challenges" at school.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:55 am 
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My husband is an "under-reactor" too, I feel your pain. You need to make as much noise as you can now so that this doesn't happen again with BAD results. You're the only one that can advocate for your child. You're doing the right thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Location: Canada
Susan, I don't think that you need to worry overmuch about the teacher in question losing her job. Teachers have really good job security.


Last edited by Helen on Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:19 pm 
Susan, Wow, that's really scary. I would be very very upset as well. It seems to happen so often that people reward with food. At my son's preschool, every Friday it's "gummie bear" Friday. As the kids leave the school, they get a gummie bear. Is this really necessary? As the container of gummies reads "may contain peanut", I have provided an alternate candy treat for my son to be given as he leaves the school, but I really wish they didn't have this tradition. And the other day, my son bumped heads with another child, and over ran one of the teachers with 2 freezies to console the children. Good thing I was there, because, without reading the label, there's no way I would want my son to eat something. Besides, I never console with food - hugs are much better, aren't they?

Also, wanted to comment about sunflower seeds... some people are allergic to sunflower seeds (my son for example), so an alternate non-food choice to include for the craft would be a better idea. I liked Saskmommy's suggestions! [/quote]


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:56 pm 
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The teacher called me today to say she felt just awful for putting us through all of this stress. She had remembered that I had said No Name Marshmallows were ok and that she had checked the ingredients.
I told her that I didn't know who had given our daughter the 'treat', whether or not the ingredients had been checked and that it went against what we were trying to teach - Don't eat anything, unless Mommy or Daddy has said it was ok.
She told me that she uses mini marshmallows as place markers in Bingo and asked what I thought. I told her I was thinking that these kids were getting a lot of junk food at school. I asked her why she didn't use tiddly winks (the students don't pay attention) and I suggested they try raisins.
Really, what is it with incorporating food into every area of waking life?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:47 pm 
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
Allergies aside for a minute, childhood obesity is at an all time high. I've heard it refered to as an epidemic. Junk food is being pushed on kids everywhere. Maybe we just notice it more because of the allergies. I do feel that putting my daughter in preschool and activities has tought her a lot about junk food, something we do not eat very much of at home. I put my oldest daughter in soccer last spring. Tim Hortons was their sponser. They all had little jerseys that said "timbits" on the back. They even gave out free drinks to kids at their donut shops afterwards. After the game all the kids (except us) would go for donuts. Once again, my daughter was sad and left out. I put her in soccer for the fun and exercise, not to have donuts pushed at her. We quit after two weeks. The whole experience made be sick!

Schools need to stop pushing junk food and "treats". Also refering to garbage foods as "special treats" implies that eating junk is wonderful and special. Is it any wonder that so many kids struggle with their weight. Now I'm not suggesting that being thin is the only way to be happy, but pushing junk on kids and contributing to issues they might be developing towards food and their bodies is wrong. Overweight kids sometimes are in a lot of emotional pain from teasing and feeling negatively about themselves. If junk food has contributes to this, its sad to think that parents and teachers are to blame for their pain. Teachers and other adults who constantly push junk food shoud be ashamed of themselves.

As far as the bingo markers go... the teacher could easily find a food free alternative that the kids would think was cool too! Many stores carry buckets of craft foam shapes. There are numerous sizes and shapes to choose from. I'm sure you could easily find one that would work well on the bingo cards. I've even seen sports equiptment ones, letters and numbers. How about promoting exercise, or the alphabet or math. Isn't that what school is for?


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