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Allergy-Friendly Snacks for the Classroom

Growing up, I didn't know a single person with food allergies.  

Not one. 

Now, it seems like more then half of the kids in my children's class have some sort of food allergy--mine included. My son was diagnosed anaphylactic to eggs, dairy and all nuts before turning one. His elementary school years were a constant battle between keeping him safe in the classroom and finding a balance socially so that he didn't feel left out of things like holiday parties.  

As a mom of a severely allergic child, I always felt like the elephant in the room on back to school night when the teacher tried to suggest allergy-friendly treats for the other children to bring in for class parties. While the other parents were clearly concerned for his well-being, they didn't seem to have a clue as to what could be considered "safe" for my son.  

Here is a list of some allergy-friendly treats for you to consider sending in to school this year: 

  • Jello Snack Cups 
  • Italian Ice
  • Cotton Candy
  • Fruit Skewers
  • Popcorn
  • Oreos
  • Rice Krispy treats made with dairy-free butter
  • Fruit snacks
  • Home-made Trail Mix {pretzels, chips, rice cereal, and dairy-free chocolate chips}
  • Non-edible treats {think: tattoos, pencils, or small crafts}

Other useful tips if there are kids with food allergies in your child's class: 

  • Labels are an allergy-mom's best friend. When in doubt, send in the label! 
  • Be sure to check the label in it's entirety. When children are severally allergic, they usually have to avoid food that "may contain" allergens, and even some that are "made in the same facility as" their allergens. 
  • If it's your child's birthday, a quick call or email to the parent of the child with allergies asking what you can send in for them will be much appreciated.
  • Be sure to ask for a list of foods that need to be avoided before assuming something is safe. My suggestions above are free of several common allergens, but still may not be safe for all children.  

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Comment by Cindy Dudas on September 22, 2015 at 1:49pm

This is a great list.  Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Alix Hayes on September 7, 2015 at 11:06pm
I was thinking tonite -- can schools tell all the parents if a child in our kid's classroom has any allergies? (Like from day one, not just for celebrations?) I honestly would love to know bc I would keep peanuts out of lunches I send. Hmmmm. are they allowed to disclose that? I would think parents wouldn't mind! (I usually ask but even packing for first lunch tonite I left out pbj bc I wasn't sure yet...)

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