Friday, November 12, 2010

allergic to snack time

The other day I was chatting with a friend in the school yard who's daughter is in a different kindergarten class than Lulu.
She was telling me how frustrated she is when it comes to packing her daughter's snacks for school.
Not to mention how discouraged she was when trying to plan a class party with baked goods and food for the class.
She had just been reprimanded when she packed a banana in her daughter's lunch that day.
A Banana!
Apparently there's a kid in the class that's allergic to bananas- therefor no one is allowed to bring bananas for a snack any longer.
There is also a child in the class that is allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat.
Which basically eliminates a ton of available options for snack time.
Not to sound insensitive, but man, am I glad that kid isn't in Lulu's class.
Of course there's a few kids with peanut allergies in the class as well.
Not much of a shocker there.
We have several good friends who have kids with peanut allergies (though none in Lulu's class this year)
so we are totally used to avoiding anything with peanuts (or any nuts for that matter) when packing her snacks or lunches.
I think most parents are aware of peanut allergies these days.
I'm pretty sure it's a basic policy of most schools to avoid bringing them to school or other kids programs.
I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the parents, not to mention the poor kids.
I mean to never enjoy a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on fresh bread washed down with an ice cold glass of milk is truly unfortunate.
So my heart really does go out to kids with food allergies.
That being said, at what point do we make the kids responsible for making sure they just don't touch or go near other kids snacks?
Our friends who have kids with allergies know that eating something with nuts can literally kill them so they just don't go near other kids food.
simple as that.
I know in Lulu's class they are very strict about not sharing snacks and washing hands before and after eating.
But they are still pretty young, so things can slip by the teacher's attention I'm sure.
So I totally get it when it comes to avoiding bringing "potentially dangerous" foods into the class.
But where do we stop when it comes to banning certain foods?
I mean eggs, dairy & wheat are pretty hard to avoid if you technically don't have an allergy to them.
And bananas??

Try planning a class party with that child in your class.
Cookies. nope.
Cupcakes. nope.
Sandwiches. nope.
Pizza. nope.
fruit plate. yes. oh wait...nope- well not if it has bananas on it.

Like I said, I feel terrible that all these food allergies exist- and more importantly, why are kids from this generation becoming so allergic to so many foods?
A very scary situation.
But honestly what food options are left for this mom friend of mine to pack in her daughter's snack each day?
That's a bit scary too.


Betsy Mae said...

i think everyone with school aged kids can relate to this post in some way (either by having kids with food allergies, food intolerances, or just by being in a class/school with kids who have food allergies). you never mentioned dairy or soy which are both on the list (along with everything you mentioned except bananas, that's a first i've heard!).

i don't want to give my opinion here in your comments, i don't want to get into any trouble.

Mac and Cheese said...

As in deathly allergic to bananas? Even if someone else eats it? Really?

Betsy Mae said...

sorry you did mention dairy| oops.

Lynn said...

Our oldest is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts...which really cuts out a lot of options for him. Our school doesn't restrict these items in his classroom and that's okay with us. We feel it's important for him to learn for himself how to filter food and keep to what he knows is safe. He'll have to learn how to live in this world sometime!

petite gourmand said...

EXactly my point!
thank-you for this comment.
I'm sorry your son has all those allergies, that must be a challenge.
Over the summer we found a grocery store up north (Toronto) , that had a TON of specialty items for people with food allergies.
Nature's Emporium I think it was called.
Plus thanks to places like Whole Foods, Noah's and Carrot Common it has become a bit easier to find dairy/nut/gluten-free products.
I hope over time he out grows these food allergies or that eventually we figure out why there are so many food allergies in the first place.
Thanks again.