FoodASC Asks- Back to School
Welcome to our Food ASC Asks post where FoodASC asks YOU, the community, to share your ideas and tips on a particular topic. It’s a chance to exchange ideas and share valuable information that you have discovered, written or experienced.
Heading back to school is on the minds of some children and probably many more parents during the month of August.
In our post, Don’t Get Schooled-20 Questions Parents Need to Answer, we list 20 necessary questions that parents need to ask when sending their children with food allergies to school.
Back to school questions cover:
- Heart to heart talks with your child.
Share your tips:
In the comments below, simply add a favorite tip or a link to an article or blog post (personal posts are fine) on the subject of Back to School for all of us to enjoy.
Donna DeCosta, Founder FoodASC.com
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Back to school means back to checking ALL areas that need to be safe for your child with allergies- this is our list
Thanks Nutrimom. Crafts and activities, as well as the others, are quite a concern particularly in elementary school with so many projects in the classroom. Great reminders!
My youngest daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts & tree nuts. I have a list of items I discuss with my daughter’s teacher & principal to ensure her safety at school. I wrote about it here: https://ourallergiclife.com/2017/04/10/school-safety/
Hi Jyoti, thanks for sharing your list of items with us. I think it’s great that you included staff, classmate and student strategies.
Some of the things we do to prepare is set up time to meet the new teacher, the nurse and the school psychologist. All of these play a huge roll in our daily school life. We meet with each to review the action plan and review the schedule for my son and figure out all the best ways to keep him safe throughout the day. It has helped my son to know everyone is prepared along with gives everyone time to ask me questions before school starts. Here is an article as well from my site that I found helpful too! http://newyork.navigatingfoodallergies.com/things-every-parent-needs-to-know-before-their-child-with-food-allergies-starts-kindergarten-and-more-for-when-they-do-start/
Great idea to get the school psychologist involved as well. I’m sure that your son feels more comfortable knowing that the staff is aware of his food allergies. Thanks Pamela for your wonderful suggestions!
A week before school begins, sit down with your FA child and create a list of their favorite school-safe lunches, snacks, and desserts. This saves time and brain power at lunch-making time and acts as a mini shopping and inventory list. Review the list periodically and make additions and deletions throughout the year as their tastes changes, they try different foods, and as they pass food challenges. This system has worked well for us!
Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer
Mom of child allergic to Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts (except Almonds) and Finned Fish
Great idea, Stacey! I never thought of making an actual list of their favorites. I usually wait until I am at the grocery store and try to remember what they like (not the most efficient). I’m sure your idea saves time and decreases stress and last minute decisions. Thanks so much for the suggestion.
All of the ideas listed below are great conversation starters! I also believe in getting into school early and having one binder that is provided to teachers. This can easily be referred to when there are substitutes and aids. We’ve had too many occasions when alternate teachers come in and offer treats NOT realizing any kids has food allergies. I wrote an article a few years back with ’10 tips for prepping for Back to School’. I think it still is helpful today, especially for those new to navigating food allergies and school. http://www.smartallergyfriendlyeducation.com/2015/09/10-tips-for-talking-to-your-school.html
Thanks FoodAllergyMom. The binder is a great idea. I did that when my kids were in elementary school. I included things like their Food Allergy Action Plan, Facts and Stats about food allergies, places that allergens hide, how to read labels, contact info etc. What kind of information do you include? Thanks for your article, it is still very relevant!
My daughter is older – 17 and a senior in high school this year. Ever since middle and through high school, I have made it a point to either email or greet each teacher (since there are so many at this point) in person on back to school night. Just so they know who I am if they would ever have a question in reference to my daughter. They become aware of her situation and the fact that she carries an epi pen, through the school nurse and health care action plan that is given to them, but its always good to put a name to the face – hers and mine! Also, starting with middle school and obviously now high school, it has not been necessary for her to sit at any peanut free tables! She sits with and has sat with friends since 6th grade and has been able to manage her allergies just fine. So bottom line, and this is just my advice for those with middle or high school kids, start letting them manage on their own at school. Of course the nurse, my daughters teachers, and her close circle of friends are aware of her allergy situation, but as far as the general population of kids at school goes, we keep in on the down low. I don’t single her out. Like I said, this may not pertain to all kids – just the older ones! Thank you! 🙂
Thanks for your suggestions, Angie. I agree that putting a name to a face is really important as well as giving our children more responsibility as they get older.