So I just received a phone call from Sam’s new kindergarten teacher. A very nice lady who has never heard of Celiac Disease. As I explained CD to her and sited Play Doh as an example of cross-contamination, she exclaimed, “I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have Play Doh in my classroom!” It was like hearing screeching tires in my head. I bit my lip, since I did not want to get off on the wrong foot before school even starts.
I was blessed to have had Sam in a preschool where the year he was diagnosed, he happened to have a teacher that knew all about the disease and was very cautious with him. “Ms. D” kept an open line of communication and if they were going to be playing with Play Doh, I would bring in some GF play dough for Sam. Ms. D also suggested to me that I bring in a snack box with Sam’s favorite treats for snack time. If another classmate happened to bring in a gluten free snack on their assigned day like grapes, great. If a classmate brought in Goldfish crackers, then Sam could grab something out of his box.
On Sam’s snack days, we took the opportunity to bring in something naturally GF like fresh fruit, string cheese, etc., or I would send in a GF replica of a popular preschool snack, like GF Goldfish. Yes, I made a GF version of the bright orange mini fish shaped crackers that tasted identical to the packaged neon colored variety. The only differences between the two were that the GF variety were homemade, all natural, and the fish were just a bit larger. Sam’s classmates loved them and my Sammy felt like the whole GF diet thing wouldn’t be so bad after all. 😉 Stay tuned for the recipe…
Having been spoiled by his last teacher and with all the new mainstream items like Betty Crocker and Chex going GF, I really hadn’t anticipated his first teacher in elementary school to have NEVER even heard of Celiac Disease. The school nurse had heard of it but said they had never had a student before with CD. I could possibly see this in a small rural school, but we live in a suburb and in his new school there are seven, SEVEN kindergarten classes, it is a huge elementary school! I wonder how many kiddos are walking the halls of this school with this very serious disease and do not know it?
I am currently reading a fascinating book on parenting. The author uses a different term for parenting: mentoring. I like that. My job as Sam’s mom is to teach him how to navigate though life. I need to give him the tools and teach him how to use them then let him practice until he can take over on his own. It’s like teaching your child to ride a bike and when you finally let go, you hold your breath and close your eyes and pray they don’t fall, but they often do, at least once. At some point Sam will fall, and I will be there to pick him up, dust him off and encourage him to try again.
I too, am like the child learning to ride a bike. A bike called “entrusting my son’s well being to strangers.” I am scared. There is so much to figure out. Terminology like a 504 or an IEP. HUH??? I am not sure of the right path for Sam and but I will figure it out and before you know it, I will want to ride my bike all day long (not implying that I will always want to entrust Sam’s well-being to strangers, but I will be able to enjoy watching Sam embrace and enjoy his journey in life).
GF Play Dough
1/2 c. Rice Flour
1/2 c. Cornstarch
1/2 c. Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 c. Water
1 tsp. Canola Oil
This play dough has an interesting aroma while it is still warm so I decided to add Koolaid (based on other repies I have viewed on the web) to make scented play dough.
Unsweetened Koolaid Packets with flavors to match your play dough colors (ie: orange flavored Koolaid for orange colored play dough).
- Mix ingredients.
- Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until it forms a ball.
- Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.