UPDATE: I called up the director of the preschool to confirm these food allergies to dairy, soy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts. As it turns out, Luke's teacher misunderstood "the memo" and the only restrictions we really have to make are peanut and eggs. The child has an allergy to the others, but the reaction is very minor. Phew. So, basically, I made a really big deal out of nothing. Thanks for listening. At least I'm a little more educated about food allergies now. Thanks to all of you who left such thoughtful and informative comments. L
Last night we took our kiddos to their Back to School Night to see classrooms & meet new teachers and new classmates. It was very cute and everyone was very nice. I will be able to rest easily at night knowing they're in a good place with good teachers.
While talking with one of the teachers, she asked me if I'd heard about the new dietary restrictions in her classroom -- this happens to be Luke's classroom. She went on to tell me that peanuts, all tree nuts, eggs, soy and all dairy are prohibited from the classroom.
My first reaction was, WHAT?! What the heck is my kid going to eat and drink at school? His regular diet consists of staples like milk, yogurt, peanut butter, tofu, edemame, and various soy products. Of course fruits and vegetables too.
I get it. I'm a nurse, and I should be 100% sympathetic because I know there are some serious, dangerous health consequences associated with food allergies. And I know that the more a child is exposed to an allergen, the more serious their reaction can be. But if there is truly a kid out there that has a violent reaction to all of the food sources I just mentioned, I can't even imagine how paranoid the parents must feel when their child leaves their sight. I am really fortunate to have two healthy boys with no apparent allergies, and I understand the need to take precautions, but I just wonder if this is going a bit too far. I don't know the whole story, so I shouldn't really comment. And it's none of my business what their medical records say (although I wish I could take a look at them), or who their doctor is. I should follow the rules without question. But these restrictions are pretty limiting, and it's sort of a lot to ask of another parent, especially when alternative food sources tend to be more expensive and less readily available.
Also, the kid is going to be spending 3 8-hr days at school each week. That's 24 hrs of his life (minus nap-time) every week that he can't have any dairy, which, we know is important for brain and bone development.
To be honest, it's just going to be a challenge (and sort of a pain) to pack lunch for the guy. It seems that a lunch of chicken, carrot sticks with hummus and some blueberries falls in line with the guidelines. I guess I could throw in some crackers and sun butter, as well.
So, I'm calling out to all of you creative minds out there if you can give me some food suggestions, or direct me to some helpful websites. I'm hoping daycare will give us a list of acceptable food items, but until then I'd love your help. And if you are a parent with kids who have food allergies, I would love your suggestions and any input you might have about the issue.
And I do apologize if I've been offensive or insensitive during this post. Life is challenging enough with two little ones, and my superficial self just sees this as one more thing to think about.
Here are a couple of websites I've found so far...