7th grade.  For my daughter that means taking cooking in her FaCS (Family and Consumer Sciences) class (what we used to call Home Ec). For the last few weeks — ever since school began I have been working to try and figure out how to make her gluten free lifestyle work in a a room filled with kitchens, 7th graders and flour!  Read more about the concerns about cooking in a non-gluten free environment in Part 1 and Part 2 on this very subject.

Friday I finally got a call back from the nurse who was helping me figure out how we can work with Emma and her diet and still let her participate in Home Ec class.  Keep in mind, it’s still early in the process and I don’t think it’s as accommodating as some people have experienced.  But it is a start.

Plan for Handling FaCS Class if you’re Gluten Free

Emma will be getting a 504 Plan.  We hadn’t done this before, but the nurse recommends it because it is a legal document. This way I can make sure rules are being followed.  This will help for cooking — except for their first project which is this Wednesday.  The plan will not be complete by then.

On Wednesday the class is baking chocolate chip cookies.  The nurse and I have agreed that just for this one experiment, she should do it from home with me, and not be in the class room for their baking festivities.

What does Emma think?  Well I think she doesn’t seem overly excited about the class in the first place.  She may not be engaged in the class because she’s not interested in cooking, or because she’s gluten free or even something else…like being turned off watching the TEACHER CROSS CONTAMINATE THE FOOD!  Emma said last week that even if I was able to get her to cook in class, she doesn’t want to cook with their ingredients.  Why?  Because the teacher just did a demo on how to use measuring cups.  First using a cup in the flour, then REUSING the cup in the sugar and so on — cross contaminating all the ingredients after that first cup of flour.  Smart girl!

This alone helps me have information to organize for the 504 Plan.  I will work with them to include in the plan that Emma has fresh ingredients.

I am not all that fond of her missing the first cooking lesson.  It really goes against my accommodation mantra.  But it appears I don’t have an alternative.   I can’t pull her out of the class because the alternative FaCS class, sewing, isn’t happening now.  I had originally thought that I could move her over to sewing for the trimester and tackle the 504 Plan now and have it ready for her by the next trimester.  But I’m told there are no alternatives to cooking at this time. Plus I’m late to the game.  I should have started this process last spring and Emma wouldn’t probably be in this conundrum.

I’ll let you know how it goes!  Feel free to provide feedback below.  I hope to do a comprehensive post on this some time soon and I may include your experiences!

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3 Responses to “Gluten Free Home Ec Part 3! Launching a Plan”

  1. Family and consumer sciences should have a day…this week, maybe?..of educating the class about feeding the family when dealing with allergies, and other food sensitivities. You could be guest instructor, or, better yet, your daughter could educate the class for extra credit, and also because this is the real world, people! You, and the nurse could be standing by to answer questions after her talk.
    I suspect there are other sensitivities in the class, or at least in the families of the students.
    It is naiive to assume all these students will grow, marry, have children and not have special dietary restrictions along the way.

  2. Believe me…I know. It would make the perfect subject for people to understand that sometimes you have to cook for others who may have restricted diets.
    So far I haven’t gotten the love that you mention above…Still a big challenge right now. Love the ideas above though. You’d think they’d think of it on their own.

  3. I am dumbfounded. No reason in the world this class can’t be taught completely gluten-free! The skills required for basic cooking have nothing to do with gluten. It just seems like a no brainer, take out the gluten, teach the skills, everyone is happy.

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