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You are listening to episode 16 back to school gluten free. Welcome my gluten free friend to the travel gluten free for your podcast where you my friend listening on how to lead a gluten free lifestyle with more fun and he is because he wants to be stressed out and need gluten free. So in episode 16 we're going to talk about back to school, not just snacks and lunches, but how you can actually create a legal document which binds the school and every professional who comes in contact with your child.
To modify what they do for your child based on their Celiac's disease or gluten intolerance. And that is really important when you have students at school. So I am a full time teacher and I've seen a lot of people get these plans and we're going to talk about those in a little bit. So we're not going to really talk about like bring carrots and celery sticks were Morgan to talk about the how to, how to plan and organize your child and teach them how to, how to plan and organize so that your child can eat safely during the school week. Because we know he can't be with them the whole entire school week as much as we want to, especially when they're little.
But you, there are steps you can take in order to minimize their exposure to gluten or for them to accidentally eat something with gluten in it and end up getting sick. So your child's age and grade level and type of school definitely matter. So as a parent we definitely want to kids to be safe at home and at school, but when they aren't with us, like we said before, uh, we can't see what they're eating or doing unfortunately. Um, and we can put a camera on them all day. That's not legal. We're really practical. So how has a parent, can you add in some safety measures which are really important for your students at school when you're not with them?
So first let's talk about the type of school your child is attending. Public schools have really strict policies and if you decide to go the five o four route, which is a document that we were talking about earlier, which we'll talk about a little bit later in the podcast, this is a legal binding document which all adults must follow in the school and working with your child, you can also get a five oh four and a charter school as well. So if your child is not a 10 public but charter school, because charter schools do have certain things in common with public schools because they do fall under the public school system, you can still get a five oh four from my experience though, charter schools do not have as strict guidelines. So you will have to send reminders every so often to your students, teachers or teacher to remind them of your five o four teachers have lost stuff on their plate and they can't always remember what every student needs.
So saying the reminders by email is they do appreciate that as a teacher, I appreciate that. If my student needs something and a parent emails me, um, that way I know and then I can take care of it. Private schools though are different. I'm not sure if they have 500, four plans at private schools. Um, you will have to check with your schools. Uh, but it will tell you that all private schools are run very differently. So if you have to have your children in two different private schools and I've known some people to do that or um, if you have your child isn't a different private school then their best friend and they both have celiacs still chuck with the administration. Um, because private schools you have to deal with on a case by case basis. What I would recommend, um, from being a teacher in my experience in being a teacher and sending my, my personal children to private school is to have a like face to face meeting with the administration at school. Give them specific guidelines for your student. Not this, they can't eat gluten, but like examples of food with gluten in it. Um, the different types of things they can't eat. Like a list of things including Maltodextrin if your child is sensitive to Maltodextrin reduction and monosodium glutamate. So I would definitely add all of those on the list and some foods that they may not know like soy sauce and salad dressings.
So add all of those things in that list, how they face to face meeting with the administration at the school. If you can get the teachers in with the meeting, that's a bonus too. Um, ask the administration, tell them you want to have a teacher meeting with the administration about your child's celiacs and um, ask them, um, if they can accommodate your student. Some private schools may or may not be able to do that with depending on what they have for lunch. Um, if they can accommodate them or they do have some kind of plan that they can give you, I would still follow up with an email reminder to the administration and the teachers just reminding them, Hey, this is what we came up with. If you have any questions, please let me know. And, uh, if you do get, when you do get that face to face meeting
and when you do get that face to face meeting, ask them if they explain about your child's Celiac disease and that it is not a stomach ache. It is an auto immune deficiency where your body attacks itself, it does make you extremely ill. And then, um, you know, tell them about what happens to your child so that they can be aware of what Ha, what symptoms they have. If they do end up eating some gluten, it's really important to inform your teeth. They're teachers and the administration, not just the teachers, because the administration also needs to know if the administration or the teachers at the private school is not, are not supportive of um, your child's Celiac Oh, I would consider moving them to another school because private schools can be really great and they can be really not great. So, uh, definitely, uh, get their vibe on how they're going to support you and your child with their Celiac and make sure to follow up also and let them know they can email you with any questions.
They may have at any time and for the, so that they'll feel comfortable with, with communicating with you when they, when they do need to. That's really important. So our next topic, we're gonna talk about his snacks. So kids as we know don't only eat three times a day, they are growing and hungry eating a lot. A great idea to do with your child is shopping with them. So if you imagine another goat and you might say, well that takes a lot of time, but if you could imagine another adult going into a supermarket, buying your food and bring it back and telling you this is what you're going to eat this week, you probably be kind of upset and you wouldn't want to eat all the food they brought back because it wouldn't be what you wanted. So have your child go to the supermarket with them and let them choose two snacks each week they can bring to school.
So they don't have to bring both of those snacks but have them choose two and two. Maybe they have one one day and one the other, the one in the afternoon. And one in the morning. Um, that way they have a little bit of variety so it's not the same thing every day as far as, um, just having the same one snack every day. If you don't have time to shop every week, I use this great website called vitacost.com and in Utah, uh, you can get an order in two days, which is pretty fast. And they also have free shipping for over $49. And if you go to retail, me not.com, which is a coupon website, a lot of times they have offers on there where you can get coupons for percent off of your order at vitacost. And if you sign up for the email list, you also get a percent off, which is pretty awesome.
So definitely check out vitacost.com if you don't have a lot of time to shop, which a lot of us don't, but um, and you can just browse in, um, online. If you type in gluten free and the search menu, many gluten free items will populate. So you can check out the description, have your child look at the picture up close, see what they want to buy because this buy for kids, like they get a choice in what they want to do is super important. Uh, so remember, give your kids a choice and guide them to choose to get snacks you think they would like, that's going to make your week and they're weak a lot easier. And then if they have buy in, they're going to want to eat what they choose. So that's really important. Another idea you can do with snacks is you can purchase snacks and then ask them if they would like to try your snacks.
So you're eating different tax during the week. Uh, it gives them a little more variety because kids are really curious and you can ring them in with this approach pretty easily. So I've done that before and eating something and I was like, wow, this is really good. Not talking to them directly and then again, kind of get them into the conversation with you. So that's pretty great idea. Um, next thing we're talking about is how to pack your kids' snacks to snack pack. Uh, a good idea is to have your child pack their snacks in their backpack that are gluten free, that they can always eat on the go and they're easy for them to handle depending on the age level. Um, and depending on their different types of treats or snacks that are easy for them. So some snacks travel better than others for young children, be aware that they can open the package easily.
It might be looking easy for us as an adult, but it might be pretty hard for them as a kid to open that package. So do a test run. Make sure your student can open that package easily. If you can find a few containers they can easily open, buy enough for the week and then put snacks in them. They can eat in the container and they can take these containers with them if they can easily open them. That's another easy solution for your kids. If your student has trouble opening packaging, they might be tempted to eat that snack that's available, that is not gluten free. So make sure that the food you want them to eat is easily accessible for them. And also be careful of snacks that can melt easily. A warm temperatures and snacks that contain oil or honey, both of these can be messy and they can create a big cleanup for your student or your student's teacher. So if you're not sure, what you can try is you can do a test run yourself, put that same snack you would send with your kid in the same wrapping or is Hainer you would use for your child and stick it in your purse or your gym bag or whatever bag baby the baby bag you have.
You can leave it in your purse or your bag for several hours and then open it up and see if it's hard for you to open or if it's a mass, uh, it will be, if it is hard to open Ermez for you, it's definitely going to be pretty hard for your student. And remember teachers have 20 to 30 students or more depending on the grade level of students and they may not be able to help your student. So your teacher student might also not be aware of cross contamination and ask another student who eating something that has gluten in it to help your child opened their snack. This is a common practice in classrooms just for you to be aware as a parent to help have students help.
To have students help other students. So be aware of that. Would every snack you pack. Make it easy, accessible for your child to get the snack open on their own. Have your child's elementary school, their teacher might be able to keep a box or a bag of premade shelf stable snacks in the room for your child. If you do go this route though, Mark your bag clearly with your child's name, age, grade teacher and gluten free. Celiac, there are many things happening in your teacher's Day. Um, and other teachers may use the cabinet so you have one to make sure your bag of snacks is not mistaken for a field trip or someone bag of snacks or for some other activity then another teacher may have and it make it eaten by someone else. So have that clearly labeled with your child's name, age, grade teacher and that your child is gluten free.
CELIAC and these snacks are specifically for them. Have all of that labeled on a big bag, um, that is for your child or box container would be even better and that your teacher can keep in their room. That is easiest way. If your kid is an elementary school for middle and high school students, they may be able to keep snacks in their locker. Well they can keep snacks in their locker because they have, they can keep their lunch pail in their locker. Make sure though these are not sugary snacks because ants and other bugs can be a problem. And I would not recommend this for children who have a hard time staying organized because they may leave multiple used wrappers in their locker. I have actually seen a student leave a whole entire sandwich in her locker for many months and it came out all fuzzy, which was kind of gross, but have your children isn't student isn't organized.
That can happen. So that also creates problems with bugs in their locker, which gets into their bag, which they bring home to you. So for the less organized student, my advice would be to have them bring home their backpack and binders once a week. I empty everything out and reorganize it. When you do this once a week, you can get rid of empty wrappers in their bag, which is not as much of a problem is leaving them in their locker and replaced her snacks once a week. So you know they have good, easy, safe snacks to eat for middle and high school. All right, we are going to take a short break. When we come back, we're going to talk lunchtime. Are you planning on going to New York City, the spa? Do you want to get in all the highlights on a great tour? I'm not talking about like sitting on a bus for hours listening to someone and talk incessantly about landmarks in an air conditioned to close up us.
I'm not a big fan of those types of tours. The tours I like are the open air hop on, hop off bus tours, which you can hang out as little or as long as you like. Pop in your headphones and the bus tour audio, sit back, relax and enjoy that narrated ride. These are really awesome. You can hop off the places of interest. You not the tour company. You're not stuck with a set place that you have to get off every time. You can hop off whenever and wherever you want. I use these tours in Paris and Philadelphia to find out where I wanted to explore and even though I'm a Philly native, I still learned some really cool historical information that I didn't even know about the area I grew up in. These tours are a great first day experience to learn your way around and to find out what you'd like to see if you're looking for the best sightseeing tour in New York City.
I suggest checking out top view New York City. They provide you with the best sites, seeing experience using real time bus maps, utilizing cutting edge gps to optimize your hop on hop off experience top you, New York City also narrates in 10 different languages including Korean, Japanese, Chinese, German and Italian. They have multiple tour packages to choose from and they're the most affordable price for bus tours in addition to bus tours. So if you want to do something else in addition to a hop on hop off bus tour, you can also tour the city with top view New York City through their very cool cruise tours on the water to the liberty to historical sites on the water, which are super cool. Bike tours and bike rentals as well. Click on the link in the show notes below to book your New York City tour at top view in New York City starting at just $29 that's right. I said $29 so check them out in the show notes below. Now let's jump back into the show. All right. We're talking lunchtime for the best ideas to pack home. All right, we are talking lunchtime for the lunch. All right. We are talking lunchtime for lunch. The best idea is to pack a home lunch. That way you know your kids are safe, especially if they're an elementary school.
Some schools like the one I teach at, which is a junior high offer, gluten free, but you have to order ahead of time as a school kitchen does not keep gluten free items in stock because they are more costly than their regular kitchen items and cafeteria items at the school in which I teach, there are gluten free choices and the head lunch lady is very knowledgeable about what is and is not gluten free. However, if you are gluten free at the school I teach at the choices are basically salad, which isn't really a choice, uh, because that's pretty much the only thing you can eat at my school. If you are gluten free and you're going to the cafeteria, uh, ivy in some other stuff in their cafeteria and our cafeteria, that wasn't supposed to, we're supposed to be gluten free, but I think it was cross contaminated. But there are some things that they do offer every once in a while, but it's pretty slim. It is cafeteria food it and is a public school junior high. So since I'm also dairy intolerant some days, um, there would not be any choices for me if I did eat school lunch every day, which I usually pack my own lunch anyway.
So be aware of your child's school menu schools usually post lunch menu a month ahead of time so you can see what's offered in advance, which is really great. A fair warning. I have not found a school that is very good for your family though. Of course all schools are different. I would contact your school and ask them for the person who was in charge of managing the cafeteria, uh, and the food at your school. Do not be afraid to ask them questions at a minimum. Ask them how your student can get gluten free foods and what their protocol is for students who are celiacs. If they can't answer your questions or they're, they sound really unsure. Just be safe and have your kids pack a school lunch. If your child is an elementary school,
I would definitely just have them pack their own lunch. It's a lot safer unless your student is an older student, like a fourth or fifth grader or they have more experience with their gluten free and they know what questions to ask about their food, but you also need to be sure that they're going to be comfortable with asking questions. There are a lot of children who are eat with do not want to ask adults questions because they're afraid or shy, and if this is the case in your Sioux falls into one of these categories, just have them pack their own lunch to be safe. A lot of students in elementary do pack their own lunch, so that's pretty common with just the general population. Now let's jump back into the show. If your child is Celiac or they're gluten intolerant, you can get them a 504 plan. Now you may have heard about that, but wondering what that is. A five o four plan is a legal and binding document which gives them special accommodation. Every teacher must sign the document that comes in contact with your child during the school day. So for example, in my junior high, every student teacher, so they have six, seven periods a day, every student's teacher has to sign it, including the administration, the 504 plan, clearly it's out.
The 504 plan clearly lays out what your child's dietary restrictions are as you the parent, outline their restrictions when you meet to create your students. Five o four teachers now understand what they can and cannot do relative to your student. And their diet so they can now know what they can and eat based on their five o four plans and safety precautions. They can also take maybe the, they need to wipe down their desks before they said that it or their keyword. That's really important also to put in their five o four plans. So put if you do decide to go this route, put everything in it, do not leave any details out. Um, some parents feel they can just tell the teachers a while you can do this, I would definitely suggest um, getting a five o four plan because the teachers are not obligated to follow your instructions if you just email them.
The five and four plan lays out in detail and it is a binding legal contract, which is a huge difference between you making a request by email and that legal binding contract is between you and the school, which is a whole different level of protection for your child. So you definitely want to get that. You can get a five o four plans at any time in the year. So if your child ends up being celiacs in February, you can get one in February and then you just renew it the next school year. So even if your child's school has started, you can still get them a five, four plan. You don't have to have it just at the beginning of the year and soon give five o four plans for many different reasons. Uh, including medical, academic, and emotional needs. I've had students had five before, plans for diabetes, um, add ADHD. So there's many different reasons.
There's actually quite a few children who have five o four plans. So don't feel like your child is the only person because I can guarantee you there's probably at least three or four other kids in a class of 20. You have one to get a five, four plan. All you need to do is contact your administration at your child's school and let them know what medical condition your child has. So in this case, we'd be silly ox or gluten intolerance and tell them you would like to get a five o four plan, uh, for medical reasons. You will most likely have to go in and meet with the administration and be very clear on the fiber for plan on what is acceptable for your student based on their medical conditions. As a teacher, I can tell you the best way to let all the teachers know about your student needs.
Even if you do have a five, four plan for your child celiacs is to email all of your students, teachers and let them know what your child cannot eat specifically or if they have any other special accommodations like they need to wipe down their keyboard. Um, with junior high or middle school, they're going to multiple classes, so we make sure they know that as well. Um, as a teacher, I can tell you this is extremely helpful because even though I have five o four plans for my kids, there are lots of things going on in a school day and lots of things to remember. And if you, I have 200 children in one day every day. So that's a lot of kids and it's really hard to remember everybody's accommodations every day. But if you do send a personal email, it's a great reminder to your child's teacher along with a picture of your student, especially if they're in middle school.
Because we do have a lot of students which helps them, helps the teacher identify who they are and that way your teacher will be well about your child and it will be easier for that teacher to provide medical changes for your child celiacs. And as a teacher, I will tell you that I appreciate getting emails from parents when they have special accommodations or special needs. Um, even if it's just a reminder and I already have their five before plan because that helps me provide them with a better and safer environment for my students. All right, let's talk about after school activities. If your child stays after school for afterschool activities, the best bet is just to have them path an afterschool snack that's high in protein and does not contain a lot of sugar because you don't want them crashing in the afternoon or being crazy on that sugar and then they get in trouble because of behavior.
I've seen that happen lots of times. Um, they can keep this in their locker or cubby at school. So they have the supplies for after school or if they're in a specific afterschool program every day you can ask the after school program director if they can keep a box labeled, like we said before with your students snacks. If you do have a younger child, you can, you may be able to leave these with the teacher and she can put them aside for your student to give them to your student at the end of the day. Just make sure that you send her an email to remind her and tell your child to also remind your teacher that they need that snack at the end of the day. Cause teachers have lots of stuff that they're wrapping up. Um, that way your student, we'll have snacks readily available. So that's kind of the one oh one on a five o four facility acts and how to have your student be free at school even when you're not with them.
So it is a little more work of course, because you have to, uh, be very prepared. But that is definitely the best safety for your child is to be well prepared and to have them pick out their own food and to do these tips I've given you in this podcast today. If you have any questions about anything we talked about in the podcast, definitely email me through the website, travel gluten free.me. I'd be happy to help you out and answer some questions. Being the Hummer full time teacher. I know lots of stuff about teaching. I'd be doing it for over a decade now, so I would definitely love to help you out if you have any other questions that I did not cover in my podcasts. So next stop. We're going to do the guilty gluten questions. Um, I always ask my, uh, my interviewees who have gluten intolerance or celiacs.
When was the last time he cheated eating gluten? What was the food that I ate and why? I actually have not cheated on purpose, although we've been cross contaminated four times in the past six weeks and my joints are not happy about it. So, um, including last night when we ate out, but it wasn't last night. Luckily it was not that bad. So I never actually purposely cheat eating gluten cause I just get way too sick from it. What is the food I miss most and why? Right now it is tasty cakes, which are kind of like little, Debbie's been on a whole different level and they sell them in the north east. And when I was recently in Philly for a podcast convention, they were all, of course, they're all over the place in every store because that's where they originated and I really wanted one.
So I really have to get them an email and tell them they need to get on the Gluten Free Bandwagon and offer up some tasty cake. Goodness, gluten free style because I love those declare pies, but there's no way I'm going to eat one right now. And another question, what is the best gluten free food I've eaten and Philly again, one of my podcaster friends I met in Philadelphia and other female podcasters. Super Awesome. She was telling me about a Fox and sun, which is owned by a wonderful woman named Rebecca Rebecca and her restaurant Fox and sign our dedicated gluten free and even though they don't like to promote that on their menu because they don't want to be pegged as a specialized restaurant, everything is gluten free. It is dedicated gluten free and they offer funnel cake, which was off the charts, fried Oreos and corn dogs among,
Okay there are other dishes that they carry. So I literally, the first day I went there ate a whole funnel cake with strawberries and s hence sauce on top. I never eat that much sugar. I literally went back to my airbnb and went into a sugar coma for two hours and slept. It was amazing and awesome and delicious all at the same time. They also served my favorite drink at Fox and sun, which is white birch beer. If you go to the northeast and you like root beer, birch beer is the bomb. It's a whole level up.
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