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Jon Halsey writes - as a father of child with serious food allergies

Comments re article 66742 Mother of child with food allergy concerned about menu choices

By Jon Halsey
Personal Commentary

One of our six children had a serious food allergy so I understand the writer's concern and most of the issues in play.

The ten most common food allergies are Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Tree nuts, Peanuts, Wheat Soybeans, Raw fruits and Vegetables and Sesame seeds.

There's also issue of food intolerance

In addition to the food allergy problem, there is also the very serious food intolerance problem. The children who have this situation can have major intolerances to Sucrose, Fructose, Lactose, Eggs, Gluten or sodium phosphates (sodium phosphates are often used as leavening agents for baked goods and/or to control pH of processed foods.).

How does the school system control all of these variables and still provide a balanced, nutritious, edible (in a child's world) meal?

Writer's guess: Schools can't control all the variables

My guess is that they cannot. For that reason we assumed full responsibility for our child with a food allergy and packed her lunch. With six children, limited income and living in a small Southern town forty miles from a city of any size, it was a difficult task financially as well as logistically.

Has concern with school menus from surrounding areas

I do have a major concern with the school menus from the surrounding areas. I am not a dietitian but it sure isn't what I would eat on a daily basis to maintain a healthy life style. There is also the political/philosophical question of why schools should be in the restaurant business at all, but that's where we are in our culture and a lot of children would not have a meal if it was not provided by the schools.

Given that reality, it seems even more self-evident that the meals be as nutritious as possible. That gets us back to my earlier question:

How does the school system control all of these variables and still provide a balanced, nutritious, edible (in a child's world) meal?

Writer says he doesn't have the answers, but . . .

I don't have the answers, but I know that one of the answers is not to design a system that caters to a small percentage of the population in a way that creates greater harm to the larger population.

That being said, the situation described by the mother is real and needs to be addressed not just in our small corner of the Universe but Nationally and probably best addressed by keeping the bureaucrats and politicians out of the mix as long as possible.

- Jon Halsey

This story was posted on 2014-04-17 08:37:07
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