Gluten Free at School
Sending a child to school for the first time can be a tough transition for anyone (first time parent or child), but when the child has celiac disease and must be gluten free at school it is significantly more complicated. Parents can control the environment at home to make sure that their child is not exposed to gluten, but that is much harder to do when they are at school. This is especially true because schools often don’t understand what celiac disease is, and neither do preschool children.
In this section of the website, we will share tips and provide handouts that you can give to your gluten free child’s teachers or school nurse to make life easier for everyone. The reality is that mistakes will happen, and another toddler’s gold fish cracker crumbs will likely come in contact with your child at some point, but arming yourself with these tips, educating the school, and creating a line of open and regular communication with the school should help reduce these occurrences.
Handouts & Resources:
- Sample Letter for Teachers and School Nurse (This letter should be updated with your child’s information and individual needs. All children and schools are different, so modify it as needed.)
- What is Celiac Disease Handout for Schools – Beyond Celiac
- Art Supply List of Gluten Containing Products and Safe Alternatives
- 504 Plan Resources & Downloadable template for public schools or private schools that receive federal funding – Celiac Disease Foundation
- Tips for Reducing Cross Contamination in the Classroom
Tips for keeping your kids gluten free at school:
- Educate the teachers and nurses. Tell them that you are always available to answer any questions.
- Have an open line of communication with your child’s teachers. Check in regularly.
- Volunteer at classroom activities and celebrations where parents are welcome so that you can bring a gluten free snack.
- Store cupcakes in the school freezer so that your child is always included at last minute birthday or classroom celebrations.