I’ve decided to go there: school food for children who have food allergies. I was inspired at a recent food allergy bloggers summit (sponsored by Mylan) by Kelly Rudnicki (www.foodallergymama.com) who told me that the state of Illinois has policies in place that they follow when handling children with a food allergy. (Unfortunately such events only occur after a needless death. In Illinois’ case, a young girl ingested peanuts at a Chinese restaurant while she was on a class trip.)
Illinois has a comprehensive web site on how to handle food allergic children in its system here. On it, there was a link to a document called “Sample Form for Modifying a Meal” that I gave to our child’s Allergist which basically outlines our child’s multiple food allergies, and the foods she must avoid as well as the safe foods that she can eat. The Allergist was thrilled to have the form and saved a copy for her files. I had pre-filled out everything very dutifully and will walk it into the school next week to start the process.
Our child is a junior in high school and will soon graduate. Why am I doing this? For YOU dear readers, so that by the time my friend Stefanie’s child is in high school he will have safe food. And for all of us, since in disasters the Red Cross and FEMA pull food for those affected from the school systems to feed people who have been affected by a disaster. If there is no food in the school system for your child, there will be nothing safe for the Red Cross or FEMA to offer him/her – or us for that matter, as my husband and I both have intolerances and food allergies. My whole goal is to create awareness and a pathway for our food allergic, eoe, EE, FPIES and gluten-free children — and adults.
I tell every parent I can to go to your school and start the process of obtaining safe food in school for your child. It is time that we stop taking on all of the burden of feeding our children and keeping them safe in school. It is time that we educate those in the school system so that they can share in their care. It is also time that we demand what is fair for our children, that they have the same right as others to have a safe and healthy school lunch.
Do I have everything I need? I do and you do too. Thanks to Kids With Food Allergies Foundation for producing a webinar that featured a school nutritionist who went through what the school’s processes are and that outlines her experiences when putting together a lunch for a child who has food allergies. It is archived and you can view it for FREE here. And also thanks to Kelly Rudnicki for her information and continued unwavering support for children with food allergies everywhere.