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Cooking Class with Allergies

(99 Posts)
MidniteScribbler Wed 14-Feb-18 12:18:50

If you had a child who had allergies to egg, wheat, shellfish, any nut product, milk, and sesame, and they also have a vegetarian diet, would you sign them up for a cooking elective at their school? They would like to do cooking, but there are also 39 other activities on offer at the same time by the school. Would you let them sign up for cooking?

HereWeGoRoundAgain Wed 14-Feb-18 12:21:36

Depends on the severity of the allergies and whether I could speak to the course leader myself and double and triple check their understanding, policies and risk assessments. But honestly, probably not, just too many risks.

Sirzy Wed 14-Feb-18 12:21:37

I would arrange a meeting with the member of staff running it to discuss whether it was a suitable choice.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 14-Feb-18 12:27:59

No, I wouldn’t if the allergies were serious because It would hugely affect what everybody could learn to cook. I think it would be dangerous for the child and unfair on the other kids who would miss out. Disclaimer: I have a child with an allergy which is fairly easy to manage. He can cook but he learns at home with me.

pastabest Wed 14-Feb-18 12:28:35

I would say a child with that many allergies is going to have to get pretty good at cooking their own food in the future as they will struggle to eat out or buy readymade so I can see the logic behind it.

Depends on how good the cooking classes are really. At my school we learnt how to make cauliflower cheese, pasta dishes and stuff like cottage pie. Most of that can be adapted to veggie/special diets without too much fuss by just swapping the problem ingredients.

For example I've made perfectly good white sauce with GF flour, not tried it with milk substitutes though. Most GF pasta is dairy and GF and there are all the usual meat substitutes.

MongerTruffle Wed 14-Feb-18 12:30:06

If they could cause anaphylaxis, then no because it would mean that nobody would be able to cook with them.

MidniteScribbler Wed 14-Feb-18 13:03:31

If they could cause anaphylaxis, then no because it would mean that nobody would be able to cook with them.

They are diagnosed as anaphylaxis to airborne egg or eggshells, any airborne peanuts and tree nuts and sesame. Shellfish allergen through any contact. The child cannot have gluten, so any products that are not gluten free are not able to be used. Vegetarian is by the choice of the family and the child has never consumed any meat products, and the child is not to consume dairy.

Psychobabble123 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:08:08

Categorically no, if this was my child they would learn to cook at home with me for their own safety and for the benefit of the greater good. Far too restricting for the others and risky to the child.

FluffyWuffy100 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:09:55


Way too risky for the child, and way to restriction for the other children to not be able to use any of those ingredients!

AdaColeman Wed 14-Feb-18 13:17:25

No, far too risky for the child.
Teaching them to cook at home is going to be the only way.

SnowGoArea Wed 14-Feb-18 13:25:45

No, I think I'd get them to choose a different activity. A bit much for the entire cooking class to effectively have to learn to cook according to one child's dietary requirements. Plus so risky for the allergic child if anyone makes a mistake and brings the wrong ingredients, and hard for the teacher.

It's a shame that they would like to do the cooking classes, but it just doesn't seem practical for all involved.

Glumglowworm Wed 14-Feb-18 13:30:17

For that many severe allergies, no I wouldn’t

You can teach them to cook at home in an environment and with ingredients you know are safe.

It’s a shame for the child if they want to cook with their friends. But their safety is more important.

BarbarianMum Wed 14-Feb-18 13:30:22

No not given the airborne sensitivities. If these weren't an issue then they could cook but not eat the result.

kateandme Wed 14-Feb-18 13:33:45

no but cooking is so mportant so if they want to do this its a must to capture find a course outside of school etc for them to join.there are so many allergy cooking classes nowadays.
or you and them get cooking together instead.dont let this stop them wanting to cook.

Ffsnothingworks Wed 14-Feb-18 13:36:55

Blimey, what does the child eat?

I have a friend whose adult son is severely allergic to nuts who tried to be a vegetarian, and it was so difficult, because nuts are used as protein in so many dishes (he was a student at the time, and trying to eat out too) . He had to stop in the end for his own health, but eats meat as ethically as possible.

TheSpottedZebra Wed 14-Feb-18 13:40:22

Are you the teacher in this scenario?

LML83 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:41:39

No I would think it's unlikely the school can manage that. Even if they were willing to try I would worry about cross contamination from other classes.

Great your dc is interested in cooking though, must be difficult to manage all the allergies.

Schroedingerscatagain Wed 14-Feb-18 13:45:26

Ds, severe coeliac, vegetarian and severe shellfish allergy did cooking at school on the proviso that he did it in a separate space from others and not if flour was likely to be airborne eg bread making

If they did fish he was removed as steam can cause protein to become airborne

No one at home apart from dad ate the food as we are all severely coeliac with a nut allergy etc thrown in

Poor dad had to suffer as the food wasn’t really very good

WhooooAmI24601 Wed 14-Feb-18 13:47:45

I run a cookery club at school and although things like nut, lactose or shellfish allergies are common and easily catered for, that many allergies in one child would be a tough call.

Ask the school and the person in charge how they feel and make sure everyone there is epi-pen trained if you do proceed. Because our current group has two different children with two different allergies I always make sure another member of staff is in the room at all times in case of an emergency, and our Receptionist never leaves til the club finishes. Another thing to check is if the club leader is First-Aid trained; in an ideal world they really ought to be.

The other thing I've learned to be strict on is bringing ingredients; I bring everything in each week so I can check every single item before using it. If you have parents all buying and sending in different types and brands of similar foods it's so much easier to overlook a potential allergen.

AdidasGirl Wed 14-Feb-18 14:05:20

I have a severe allergy to shellfish..I carry 4 epi pens with me everywhere I go.
Personally I really wouldn't risk it.
I'm so careful about where we go to eat or where we get a take away from as a mistake for me could be fatal.
Sign them up for something else as if it were me I would be stressing the whole time they were in the class incase of any cross contamination.

Shednik Wed 14-Feb-18 14:16:01

I would. Because I wouldn't want my child's medical needs to limit their opportunities or dictate their subject choices.

The school have a duty under the Equality Act to make the option accessible to everyone, or nobody.

Shednik Wed 14-Feb-18 14:21:08

The duty for schools to comply with the Equality Act does extend to extra curricular clubs and non-compulsory activities.

Shednik Wed 14-Feb-18 14:23:16

The vegetarian element is a choice and it's up to the family to find an acceptable meat substitute that's allergy safe, imo (I say that as a vegetarian). But a medical condition, however restrictive, shouldn't be dismissed as too much hassle.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 14-Feb-18 14:24:02

Not with airborne allergies. That will mean no-one in the room can use them either. So unless it's marketed as nut free vegan cooking, it'll be a challenge.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 14-Feb-18 14:55:31

Shednik, surely there is a point when insisting on equality just becomes a little selfish?? I say that as a parent of two children with (much less severe) allergies and one child with some learning difficulties so I have some experience of changes/allowances being made to accommodate everyone. But in this situation, this one child joining the group is going to hugely affect the experience for every other child. There are also 39 other options - it’s not like they can’t do anything if they don’t do this.

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