Live and Learn Teacher resources

Teaching Children to Understand, Accept, and Support Others with Food Allergies

After reading a recent post on Gluten Free Easily, I had to share it.  It’s written by the owner of a Michigan preschool, Cindy Winther.  She talks about how she works with the children to teach them tolerance of others with food allergies or intolerances.

I LOVE this.  This is what we all want for our kids – a safe, inclusive, understanding environment.  More commonly, at least my experience so far, it’s been easier for everyone if Autumn just didn’t participate in whatever activity might be unsafe.  We of course don’t want our child to be put at risk, so we have to go along with that scenario.  BUT what if the teacher were willing to change the curriculum to include her?  Not use cereal or marshmallows to count with, not have a cookie decorating project at the class party, not have a pizza or ice cream party as the class prize for achievement…  This article shows how those changes can teach all the children a more valuable lesson about including and caring for others.

I’ve had over 20 years experience in environmental education and I’ve seen first hand that when the children really care about eachother, they become more interested in working as a team, respecting eachother, and getting along better which in turn makes for a better learning and teaching environment.

This would be a great article to share with teachers.  In fact, I’ve started a new category today called Teacher Resources.  We’ll be able to give our teachers these articles so they can learn more about our children and how it doesn’t have to be a bad thing to alter the curriculum a little bit to include everyone.

If you have other helpful teacher resources, please share them with me.

Until next time,  Lisa

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  • Reply
    Shirley @ gfe
    July 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Hi Lisa–Thank you so much for sharing Cindy’s inspirational guest post from gfe here with your readers! I hope we’ll all take the lead from her and slowly ensure that this approach becomes the “norm” instead of a rarity. I love your new Teacher Resources category–love it! BTW, I’m in Virginia and Cindy is actually in Michigan.

    Thanks again! Best,

    • Reply
      July 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

      I completely agree. Recent research has confirmed that allergies are affecting more children than previously thought – teachers will be dealing food allergies more and more. If we can provide some information and help for them, maybe they won’t be so reluctant to change. Thank you for all your efforts and for sharing this great information! Best, Lisa

  • Reply
    Cindy Winther
    July 19, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for your kind comments about my guest post, Lisa, and for sharing it with your readers. I have seen the impact making children aware of food allergies has on preschoolers. It really does make them more accepting and empathic to other children’s challenges. I hope other teacher’s will be inspired to start incorporating this type of teaching in their programming. Cindy

    • Reply
      July 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

      This really touched a cord with me. Thank you for all you’re doing – you’ll never know how opening the mind of child will change their lives and others around them for the better. What a great start these little ones are getting! Best, Lisa

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