Gluten free VICTORY~ (otherwise called, The lunchlady polka)
I noticed a few weeks ago that on the back of the weekly newletter (aka- waste of valuable GREEN paper, those poor mint-colored TREES!) that comes home every Monday with Sage- that they listed the updated "Health and Wellness" policy. As I purused this said policy, in between the blah blah blan "USDA" and blah blah blah "healthy lunch initiative" the words "accommodate" and "Celiac Sprue" leapt into my field of vision and I "what the WHAT?" 'ed the whole thing to understand that what they were SAYING is that they are now REQUIRED to ACCOMODATE children with food allergies and diseases (like Celiac) so that they can buy a school lunch!
Now, my dilemma was of course- "why the hell would I want my little urchin to buy food that *just* has to pass USDA standards when I know exactly WHAT I'm giving him and have practically memorized the exact nutritional and ingredient information (I'm a label eyeballer between my GF urchin and my peanut free urchin). But then I got to thinking to myself... and I said "self: Why not look into this some more... if not for us, then for the other families who have these needs".
So I emailed the director of food services and we met, talked, read some labels, I gave her my list of food products that were acceptable GF substitutes for the meals that they served and SO- Sage will not only be able to buy a school lunch (he's going to FREAK with joy and extasy, it's such a whiner-subject with him) BUT he's going to get the safest (prepared in a dedicated area of the kitchen with gloves that have not touched gluten foods) and healthiest (the FS director is going shopping at my favorite health food store for a supply of Sage-only foods which ALSO just "happen" (wink wink) to be organic and additive/preservative free!). The school gets reimbursed by the government for the cost difference. (we could too actually, on our taxes but we would have to figure out how much more each GF food item we bought was than a regular item what a PITA!)
SO ladies and gents- here we have it. My son, the Celiac, the disease that has always been one of the most difficult to deal with when it came to mixed food environments, is going to start buying his carrot sticks, chicken nuggets and potato puffs like a REGULAR KID!!!!!!!