Food Allergies Go to School: Resources for Managing the Year
Getting ready for school has a whole new meaning and layer of complexity if your child has a food allergy or sensitivity. One out of every 25 kids has a food allergy, but that number is on the rise, as is the number of kids dealing with food intolerances, such as gluten.
Food sensitivities make it tricky for kids to fit into the lunchroom and classroom without calling attention to themselves. Accidental ingestion of a food allergen happens most often at school. Studies show 16-18 percent of kids with a food allergy have had a reaction during the school day. Different procedures and special attention need to be paid to keep the cafeteria and classroom safe places for kids with food intolerances. Schools are stepping up to make that happen, but the lion’s share of vigilance rests with families. Many resources exist for parents, schools and kids. Here are two worth checking out:
- Food Allergy Reserve & Education (www.foodallergy.org) and their resources, including: Managing Food Allergies in the School Setting: Guidance for Parents
- Kids with Food Allergies Foundation (community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/pages/community)
Contributed by Sue Moores, M.S., R.D., Kowalski's Nutritionist.