Wednesday, August 16, 2006

School lunches

Andy takes a bag lunch to school every day and I keep a supply of snack foods at the school that he can have on days when they have a snack that he cannot have (snacks are parent provided at his school - every day a different parent provides the snack for the entire class).

At daycare (during school breaks) - I send in chicken nuggets, fish sticks and mini corn dogs and they keep them in the freezer and prepare his lunch separately. He eats the same veggies and fruits as the other kids - but it is rare that they have an entree that he can have. I have read the labels on the foods at daycare to help the staff determine what he can and cannot have.

I believe I could force the daycare to provide GFCF foods through the ADA act since they do provide lunch free of charge as part of their program. I do not do that for two reasons. 1. No one reads labels as closely as I do and I like to maintain that control. And 2. I do not want to anger or upset the daycare or make anyone's job more difficult. Andy has been attending the same daycare center since he was six weeks old (except for a break last year when I was unemployed). They never once considered disenrolling him (or if they did, I never knew about it), they cooperated with all of the evaluations we needed done when he was getting diagnosed - answering questionnaires themselves, letting therapists come in and observe him, etc. When he was in special ed preschool and his school bus came at a different time than the school age ones, they accomodated us and got him on and off the bus with no complaints (and I know sometimes they had to dress the whole class up in snow suits to wait outside with Andy because someone had called in sick and there was no one to take him out alone - try and dress 8 to 10 three year olds for outside yourself). They treat him like a normal child and as a result, he is much better behaved than he is at school where they seem to anticipate problems based on his diagnosis. We have had our ups and downs with this center over 6 1/2 years, but that is normal. I won't say they have never upset me - but when it comes to his special needs, they have been awesome and there is no way I want to upset that apple cart. I can go to work and not worry about Andy - I can't say the same when he is in school. Anyway, if you are local, the center I am raving about is Children's World in West Saint Paul - I totally recommend it to anyone.

So what do I send in his lunches during the school year - well, I have a wonderful excel spreadsheet with 5 tabs on it. One is a 4 week menu, a list of foods in the menu, a shopping list, recipes and lunch packing ideas. I wish I could post it here but it doesn't appear that I can copy an excel document into this blog. I will gladly e-mail it to anyone who wants it. You can e-mail me at - this is an e-mail address I only use if I am afraid of getting a lot of spam - so please put school lunch menu or something in the subject line.

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