Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Our little big man, Moo, turns 3 at the end of this September and has been chomping at the bit to go to school like his big brothers (ages 4 and 6). So, after much deliberation, we decided to enroll him in the "Young 3s" class at the private preschool and kindergarten his brothers have attended. It meets 2 days per week for 3 hrs. and is focused around child-centered learning activities...right up our ally. However, with any form of school comes birthdays and other in-school celebrations involving sweet nothings and yummy treats...no small thing for a wee one with a host of severe food allergies.
Because of the severity of Moo's allergies, I have a strict understanding with the school that he is to consume only those items which are sent in from home. This goes for both regular snack times and celebrations alike. In order to keep my sweet munchkin from feeling like an outcast at special celebrations in school, I created for him an "Allergy Approved Goody Box". I packed it full of sweet treats that he doesn't have regularly so that it would be special when he is allowed to have something from it. The idea is that whenever there is a party/celebration involving food brought in by someone else, Moo will get to go to his goody box and choose a treat that I can rest assured is safe for him.
Now, before you judge the selection of goodies too harshly, let me remind you that these have to be able to compete with cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and more! They are not all-natural yummies and yes, they do have some artificial this-n-that in them, but he does not eat them all the time and they are intended to be out of the ordinary. And, of course, I must point out the ever important Epi Pen Jr. located at the upper edge of the box (as well as a medication administration plan in his file in the school office)...one can never be too careful when it comes to anaphylaxis.
If you have a little one (or not-so-little one) attending school this year, I would highly recommend talking to his/her teacher and administrator about having a goody box on hand for similar occasions. It certainly has helped to give me a sense of peace about letting my sweet Moo spread his wings and go to school.