Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hi, my name is Heidi. I'm Ella's Mom...

Tonight was back to school night and we got a chance to meet the parents of Ella's new class mates. There are three children in Ella's class that have food allergies. One is allergic to milk, another is allergic to all nuts and then there is Ella. Our school has a healthy snack program where each week, a different family is in charge of bringing in a week's worth of snacks for all 19 children. Often, Ella can partake in the snack (fruit, cheese, veggies, yogurt, etc.) but most times, she has to pass. Thanks, wheat allergy! So I keep a bag of snacks at school for her, to cover all of the bases. In there are crackers, cookies, veggie chips, Pirate's Booty, etc., etc.. It is a system that seems to work really well. A win, win situation. Ella gets to eat, choosing between many options and it makes it easier for the teachers (who have enough on their plates without worrying about Ella's allergies.) And on some occasions, Ella has been known to pass on a perfectly safe snack (applesauce) because she hates it and instead, chooses one from her bag.

The area that I have felt is beyond my control is the celebratory birthday snacks that parents tend to bring in on their kid's birthdays. Last year, Ella's teacher ran a very tight ship in her classroom. Every parent had to tell her in advance and she would write it down on the calender. That way, the barrage of sweet treats was evenly distributed. And she would ask WHAT was being brought in. And then, God love her, she would call me up and tell me, "On February 21, Sammy's mom is going to be bringing in donuts to celebrate his birthday." And for those of you who have been reading my blog know, I would make up a batch of wheat free donuts so that Ella could celebrate with the rest of them. I hate the idea that Ella would be missing out on ANYTHING, so I have made it a priority to make sure she is included. Be it cookies, cupcakes, pie, donuts or WHATEVER. I embrace the challenge. Who cares if people think I am a nut! (Let's be honest, I am.)

So tonight, I gave my little "Hi! My name is Heidi and I am Ella's Mom. If you wouldn't mind shooting me an e-mail or giving me a call before bringing in goodies, I would really appreciate it." And then I told them how it kills me when Ella cannot partake in a sugary celebration. And has to watch all of the other kids eat yummy desserts, and cannot have any. And then I told them about the blog and how I am a bit of a challenge freak. One of my Mommy friends even winked at me and said, "Bring it on!" Everyone was very kind and seemed to be bothered by the notion that a child or two, would feel left out of the fun. I felt a little silly bringing all of this up, but it was necessary. Ella's school is truly a special place and all of the families are so wonderful. We feel blessed to be a part of such a welcoming community. So hopefully people will indeed let me know when they are going to be bringing in stuff. In the meantime, I am going to stock up my freezer and try and be ready for ANYTHING that may come my way!

1 comment:

nutritioninanutshell said...

Hi Heidi, as a mom of two kids with food allergies, I share your concerns about school snacks. For nearly a decade I have made pizza, cake, cupcakes, and everything else needed to make sure my child was able to participate and feel included. I think doing that doesn't make you a nut - it makes you a mom!