August 27, 2012

Back To School Gluten Free Safety

It's that special time of year again. No, not Christmas. It's 
almost time for the School year to begin. First day of the year is one week tomorrow where I am.


Sending Gluten Free kids to school can be a scary thought. Although my little guy is not intolerant to anything, I am trying to teach him about not sharing any food at school. Period. Sounds a little harsh I know. But in my opinion its better to be safe than sorry. The last thing I want is for him to share his lunch with someone who may be intolerant to it. There are so many food intolerance's out there and its not reasonable to expect very young children to understand them just yet.


Here are my top tips for back to school Gluten Free safety.

1) Have a sit down meeting with your child's teacher, principal and PTA head. Bring any materials you think will help to clearly get the message across. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

2) Supply both the teacher and office with a letter explaining how medically important remaining Gluten Free is for your child and the details of Celiac Disease. 

3) Advise that if there is accidental consumption of Gluten, that your child may need to use the washroom suddenly and possibly for multiple visits. Depending on the age your child and severity of the reaction, you may want to have the school contact you immediately.

4) Go over an action plan with your child and teacher about what to do in case of accidental glutening.

5) Ask the teacher for a list of dates where there will be food brought in for a special occasion such as a child's birthday or a Halloween party. Make note of these dates and send your child to school with a special treat for that day.

6) Make sure teachers know that your child cannot participate in crafts involving  regular noodles and play dough. Point out that children often touch their mouth without realizing it and how this would cause accidental ingestion of Gluten. See if you can provide a small craft kit to be kept at the school for your child. 

Items that can be included in craft kit : homemade GF playdough , GF noodles , peel and stick stickers, GF finger paint. The kit doesnt have to be huge. Just make sure it includes the GF version of what the other students will be using.

7) Advise that under NO circumstances is your child to be given any food other then what you have sent with them. Not all children are comfortable saying no and some don't understand the severity of their intolerance's until they are older.

8) Suggest that the teacher and or Librarian read a book about Celiac Disease to the students. Some great options are :



Mommy, What Is Celiac Disease?: A look at the sunny side of being a gluten-free kid













If you have any back to school tips, feel free to share via comment :)
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