Any tips for raising a healthy kid in a public school environment??

@astromama (1226)
United States
February 25, 2007 1:01pm CST
I was wondering if there are any parents out there whose children have special allergies or dietary restrictions, and how you make sure they aren't getting those things at school. I am thinking about vegetarians also, how do you make sure someone doesn't give your child meat, or if your child has a dairy allergy, how do you make sure that on little Johnney's birthday, your child doesn't ingest a milk-laden cupcake? Any tips for maintaining strict dietary rules once your child enters school?
3 people like this
7 responses
25 Feb 07
When your child starts school you will be asked if they have any allergies, dietary requirements etc. This goes onto their records and is made aware of by all who work with the children. As a parent you also have to make your child aware of their needs as well, so they can take responsibility too. Its amazing how a child as young as 4 can tell you what they are not allowed to eat when the parent has told them. I work in a nursery and the kids will tell me they are not allowed milk or if they are vegetarians. My kids were vegetarians when they started school and they were never offered meat or even asked for it. When they got older and decided to eat it, then I couldn't stop them as it was through my own ethical views that I didn't let them have it and not because of religious beliefs. You should not have any problems, as long as the school knows. This has been my experience anyway, both as a parent and nursery officer.
@astromama (1226)
• United States
26 Feb 07
Thanks for your response. I guess the thing that has me the most concerned is refined sugar, as it seems it is everywhere these days. I remember when I was in high school there were already junk food alternatives to the 'healthy' school meal, and it seems like the trend is ever more present as the American diet spirals downward. I want to do the best I can to keep my son healthy, and while I'm not worried about the occasional piece of birthday cake, I want to make sure our dietary lifestyle doesn't become challenged by what is normal at school. thanks again!
27 Feb 07
Thanks for best response!
• United States
25 Feb 07
I know someone that does & have read information about what people do. First of all you have to make sure the school personnel know of the allergy--especially his/her teacher. They also make chains for kids to wear that say what they are allergic too. But, I think the best case scenerio is to make sure to send food that your child can eat with him to school & obviously if they are in school they can prob' understand basic directions & just go over informatino with them about what they can't have & what it can do to them if they would eat it. Also, make sure they have the appropriate medication incase for some reason they ingest something (epinipherine. If they go to a birthday party-- tell the person that's throwning the party that your child can't have anything to eat & that you'll be sending something along with him. It's a scary situation-- I just read in the paper around our area that a child went on a field trip with his class & the school provided the (Peanut Butter cookies) & the child was allergic to peanut butter and the teacher forgot about it & the child ended up dying-- so it's deifnatly something that you want to have your bases covered with and even at that, you could still have something happen.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12913)
• Australia
26 Feb 07
My daughter is vegan/ vegetarian and also has a lactose intolerance. I made sure that when I filled in school forms I stated her requirements and allergies. Children eat their lunch in the classroom here, and so it is relatively easy for the teacher to supervise. At recess they are in the yard. All the school can do is tell the staff when on yard duty, to keep an eye on certain children who are at risk. If necessary, you can get the teacher to tell the class not to share food. When your child is invited to other children's home, you just need to tell the parents. If having a class party, a quick reminder note to the teacher is necessary. My daughter wouldn't eat any of kids food with meat in it anyway, and she soon learnt to avoid foods high in milk. More serious allergies, such as celiac, require detailed information in writing to the school.
@lithmus (52)
• Philippines
26 Feb 07
Honestly, in that sense you cannot actually 'protect your child' cause he might get it from a classmate or a friend who doens't know if he has any food restrictions. I think the best you can do is,first inform his teacher regarding any of your concerns, ask if she can check in on him every now and then. Next is the best one to protect your child from these sort of things is your child him/herself. How can I say this? Your child must be aware of his allergies or food restrictions he may have. You instill it in his mind that he is not supposed to eat food stuffs that are not allowed for him. If it's allergies then tell him the consequences if he ever takes in food that he is allergic to, consequences if he's vegetarian and he is fed meat. STuff like that. I guess that will be your best defense. Your child's knowledge of his conditions, he will be his best defense. You cannot be there 100% for your children, so the best weapon you can actually give them is knowledge.
25 Feb 07
My daughter started school in September and is a vegan who can't eat sugar. I give her sandwiches for her lunch so I know there isn't a problem with the school dinners even though she would be able to get them for free. When the kids give out sweets etc at the door when its their birthday she isn't allowed them and parties are usually held at soft play areas so I always phone ahead and sort out the food for her. When she is invited to a party at someones house I always chat to the parents before hand about what she is allowed. I have found there to be no problems at all with that. School is far worse. If they are doing cooking they only tend to phone me an hour or so before so I can't arrange an alternative for her, and they don't usually have alternatives for sweets for her if they ever give them to the kids as a treat (which I would think would be against their healthy eating policy anyway).
1 person likes this
@isasice (2015)
• Iceland
25 Feb 07
Thankfully my child doesn't suffer from any food allergies so I haven't had to worry about that but many of my friends have. As you probably know, the only way to be sure is that you prepare the food yourself, from scratch. It must be very hard for a kid not to be able to eat the same thins their friends do and for young children, it might be temptin to try when their parents don't see. You need to talk to the teachers and whoever serves the food at school and explain the allergies to them. Explain it to other kids in the classroom or ask the teacher to. When there are birthday parties or other activities you don't attend, make sure you call the hosts and explain to them, write a note where you list everything your child is allergic to. Good luck to you.
1 person likes this
@emendblu (94)
• United States
25 Feb 07
my little sister goes to a private school and one student there is apparently like deathly allergic to peanut oil. so as a result, no students are allowed to bring in anything with peanuts in it at all. seems like overkill but i suppose they are just playing it safe
@astromama (1226)
• United States
26 Feb 07
I read somewhere that some people with peanut allergies have it so bad that peanut 'dust' in the air could cause them to go into anaphalactic shock and die... this is why most airlines don't serve peanuts on planes anymore. I would say better safe than sorry in that department...