Dealing with Children Who Have Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities
It is estimated that up to 15 million Americans have good allergies. This affects one in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom. (Food Allergy Research & Education) While some people have allergies, others have sensitivities and intolerances. Symptoms can range from severe anaphylaxis to gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, skin rashes and not feeling well.
Here are some tips to make events involving children with food allergies or sensitivities less stressful.
- When sending out invitations, ask if any of the attendees have food allergies or food sensitivities. Guests can RSVP this information.
- Do not leave dishes of candy or other food accessible to children. Always ask the parent/caregivers before feeding a child.
- Ask for certain brands that are safe for the child and save any labels or packaging from items that you are serving. You can send the parent/caregiver a picture of the ingredient list also confirming if the product is safe or not.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the parent to supply a safe treat if you are concerned about what will be served.
- Don’t be offended if someone asks to look over the food, wants to bring food or does not eat.
- Consider bringing a nonfood item in for your child’s birthday celebration at school. Save the treat for at home.
- Communication is key. Communicate with teachers, other parents/caregivers, and your child about food allergies. Make sure your child knows not to share their food with others unless allowed to by parents/caregiver or teacher.