504 plan to get your child a gluten free lunch

My wife is part of a Celiac parent group and a few people expressed interest in how we ended up getting Gillian a hot school lunch that was gluten free. Believe me, it wasn’t easy.

Our daughter Gillian is the first in our school system to be diagnosed with Celiac Disease (detailed description of Celiac below), and we had quite the time getting her legal protection via a 504.

So I’ll share the 504 with you, below. If you live in the US, you’re legally entitled to everything on it for your school-aged child with Celiac. The cherry on the sundae, though, was getting the school system to train staff (by a registered dietician) and provide hot lunches every day for her (for which we’ll pay the same as every other child in our district, $2.25, but the quality is extremely high). We had trouble getting them to agree to this (we were told that they didn’t see this as a necessity), until we told them that, according to the Food & Drug Administration in Washington, DC, schools have to accommodate under 504 by preparing and serving at least one SAFE meal per day to the student (this goes for kids with 504s with food allergies as well, and there are lots of them in our district). This means safe hot dogs, hamburgers, etc (whatever is formulated in 504 plan) and prepared in separate area of the cafeteria with separate utensils.

The woman who runs the cafeteria couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating, and Gillian had a wonderful experience eating a gluten free version of what the other children were served.

Here’s the actual file we got finalized and put into her permanent file. Just the fact that she can eat a lunch along with everyone else is HUGE since she has a tendency to feel apart from the group.

CLICK HERE TO GET the 504 plan