Food Allergies in Nursery
Joseph turned 18 months in September, which made him eligible for nursery at our church. While we go to the two hours of lessons after sacrament, he would go to his own class. During this two hours, they play, sing, have a lesson, and eat a snack. The snack made me nervous, since it is usually made up of animal crackers, pretzels, and other things he can’t eat.
The nursery leaders in our old ward were very aware of Joseph’s allergies and getting ready to accommodate him. Unfortunately, we moved a month before he was ready to go into nursery, so our new ward had no time to adjust to our needs. I went and talked with the leaders, and the cupboards were only stocked with things that Joseph couldn’t eat. They told me I would have to provide my own snack for Joseph.
Now, I had expected to need to do that. However, I requested that as they find the need to restock the cupboard, that they consider buying things that Joseph can eat. Their response was it was too hard to find things that were gluten-free. I was really amazed that they didn’t even want to try. I offered ideas of foods he can eat that are reasonable for others to buy – rice cakes, cereal, fruit, and fruit snacks. I offered myself to be available to read food labels. I did not receive a response to that e-mail.
There is one silver lining though. The nursery leaders and other teachers in our church are chosen by our bishop through inspiration. So it was that my husband was asked to be a nursery leader in Joseph’s class. I’m a little saddened that Joseph’s not learning to deal with separation anxiety, but I am so, so glad that my husband is there, and he will not forget about Joseph’s allergies. He even informed me this week that the primary leaders told him that he can choose some foods that are safe for Joseph when they need to restock the cupboard. It would have been nice if they had told me earlier, but I’ll take it.
For now, Joseph is enjoying his time in nursery, and my husband has learned how to keep him far enough away from the other kids during snack time so that he doesn’t steal their snacks.