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Seeking Food Allergy Friendly Schools - Nut free a PLUS


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FAMama November 7, 2012


Hello, my child has severe food allergies to milk, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. We are looking for a school with a proactive food allergy stance, one without classroom treats, with trained staff, and hopefully free of nuts/peanuts. She will attend Kindergarten in August and we are desperate.

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SuperMOM_06 February 19, 2013


Where are you located? The PVUSD area schools are all NUT FREE classrooms (including parties and in class snacks). Parent's are asked NOT send nut-foods to school and children with these foods are segregated from the allergic kids during lunch.

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MagnetMom November 13, 2012


Hi FAMama,

I'm not sure if you're looking for a public, private, or charter school, but I will offer a few suggestions to get you started.

Typically public schools shy away from outright bans on anything that can get them in trouble if they aren't successful. For instance, my daughter's school encouraged families to be peanut free, but couldn't enforce it. They did make the children bringing the allergic foods sit at the different table and NOT the allergic child, so I always appreciated that. However the district started introducing a new exotic lunch menu including (wait for it...) pad thai that would make the entire lunch level smell like peanuts so it was essentially a war zone for the kids with the allergies.

There are also parents who are very eager to get rid of the food treats--and just as many who want to keep the parties rolling. My suggestion is to visit as many schools as possible--and visit them early. Let them know your concerns and if you are brushed off, leave. If a school seems receptive to your concerns, go immediately to their parent teacher organization and ask how you can get involved in the school culture NOW.

It often takes a few years for a large institution to implement big changes to families thinking, but newer schools are more adept. You might want to focus on charter schools or even private schools that can better implement exactly what you're looking for. And come up with plenty of options to the candy jar and class parties as a way to diffuse their immediate reaction to 'no.'

Another place to get some information, but you probably already have it is here: http://www.foodallergy.org/files/FAAN_Parent_FA_Guide.pdf



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