A lot of schools now have rules to help peanut allergic kids- such as requiring snacks to be peanut free or even requiring that ALL snack foods are pre-packaged. Some schools are even requiring that lunch side items from home are pre-packaged items. (no home made baked goods, etc.) I get protecting kids with bad allergies, that's not what this is about. It got me and DH thinking, my son can't have wheat, soy, dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, seafood, peas and some other nuts. So if the school makes a rule that ONLY pre-packaged items are allowed, are they allowed to enforce this on a child who can't eat anything that comes pre-packaged? Does my child have to sit by and watch the other kids eat foods he can't have while not being allowed to eat? Where do they draw the line? Are the *potential* risks to some kids allowed to mandate that my child either directly eats his allergens daily or be home schooled? Are they allowed to say we have to conform or he can't be at the school? He can't eat anything they serve through the school lunch program, so if they took his food and made him get a school lunch (as I have heard of schools doing), he would not be able to eat it. This came up on another board I go to, I asked this question and was told I could find something. Okay, yes, if I had to pack lunch for my son with pre-packaged foods I would have to send him an entire loaf of bread, entire box of cookies and entire carton of rice milk so that they were sealed. Chips and crackers would come in whole bag quantities. Is $15/day for a nutritionally deficient crappy lunch considered a minor inconvenience I should just suck up and deal with? It seems unreasonable to me that on the one hand there is a kid whose allergy can mandate what food is allowed for an entire school, and on the other is a child who is denied balanced food completely so as to not make the parents of the other anxious. Where does the line get drawn to where somebody can say it's too much to force somebody to invest in lunch? People don't seem to understand that I can't just toss some sandwich crackers in his bag for 10 cents a day. He can't exclusively eat fruit cups every day for years. The parents saying it's a minor inconvenience to save somebody's life aren't looking at their child's lunch cost being more than half of the entire family's grocery bill. If I can't mandate that they only get to send in pre-packaged foods free of all my son't allergens, why do they get to mandate that I only get to send in pre-packaged foods? Does anybody know if schools with packaged foods rules make exceptions for children with other health needs? In my experience, parents wanting the policy basically say it's your problem if you don't like it, they shouldn't have to keep their kids home... but in the case of numerous other allergies the policy allowing their child to attend creates an insane hardship that would force my otherwise unobtrusive child to stay home. I'm getting scared wondering if I should scrap saving for retirement and save for DS's meals while in public school instead.