Category: School Resources

Helpful school resources for advocacy, school policy, safety, parents, teachers, allergy students, snack lists, parties, field trips,etc.

Sample School Letter Sent Home Regarding Safety & Food Allergies in Classroom

I apologize for getting this letter out after the start of the school year.  Below is a sample template of a letter that should be sent home by the principal prior to the start of every school year.  This letter should be mailed to the parents of classmates with food allergies as a reminder of the severity of food allergies.  Please note this classroom below is completely “Nut Free.” 

August ____, 2015

Dear “School Name” Kindergarten Parents,

Your child has a classmate this year that has life-threatening anaphylactic food allergies to: all dairy, peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. We want to inform you a little about food allergies to ensure a safe and healthy school year for everyone.

Over 14 million Americans have food allergies which affects 1 in every 13 children (under age 18) or roughly 2 students in every U.S. classroom! Allergic reactions can be life-threatening, and in rare cases deadly. While emergency treatment is available for allergic reactions, there is no cure yet. The only treatment for food allergies is strict avoidance of allergens. Sometimes a small amount of allergen can cause a deadly reaction.

Benadryl and an Epi-Pen will be kept in the kindergarten classroom for immediate access as well as the school office if your child’s classmate should have an allergic reaction.

Please do not send any peanuts or tree nuts (i.e. almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, etc.), peanut butter or foods containing peanut/tree nuts or peanut butter to be eaten as snacks or for lunch in the classroom. Healthy alternatives are: Soynut butter, Sun Butter, or Biscotti spread. Additionally, please check all food labels for the listing of peanuts or various tree nuts, especially on crackers, cookies, and dessert treats.

I would ask if you’re bringing in food for a party or special event that might not be allergen-free, please let your child’s teacher know in advance so that a safe alternative option can be provided for the classmate with food allergies. (In particular, because homemade baked goods are so likely to contain traces of allergens from previous baking, they’re not safe options for children with food allergies even if they don’t contain ingredients with milk, nuts, and eggs.)

I would also ask that you discuss food allergies with your child. Please ask them not to share or trade food with any of their kindergarten classmates during lunch time. Please also assure your child that children with food allergies are no different than other children. They can do everything anyone else can.

Finally, if your child eats foods containing dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, or eggs for breakfast, please ask them to wash their hands and brush their teeth before coming to school.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at  XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Best regards,

Principal ____________________

“Safe” School Snack List

snacks

This week I seem to be posting a lot of  lists.  In the world of food allergies, lists are extremely important to have around as references.  In addition to the “Safe Halloween Candy” list I posted yesterday, I thought it may be helpful to post my comprehensive “Safe School Snack List.”  Parents and teachers alike constantly ask me for healthy safe snacks in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Labels must be read every time since manufacturing practices and ingredients can change at any time. Please check for dairy, eggs, peanuts & tree nuts (butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, cream and many times labeled as whey/casein, albumen, and lactic acid starter culture). Also, see any allergen warning for “may contain” or “made on/processed on the same equipment as” or “made in the same facility as…”

Suggested Safe Snacks:

  • Fruits & Vegetables are highly encouraged (no cream dips/peanut butter)
    • Also, Sunmaid & Meijer Brand Raisins & Most apple sauce containers
  • Meijer Brand Naturals Baked Sea Salt natural pita crackers;
  • Silk Soy Yogurt (blueberry & strawberry)—ALWAYS read this label as several Silk Soy Yogurt flavors are processed on the same equipment as almonds!
  • Organic Ville Non Dairy Ranch Organic Dressing
  • Whole Soy & Co. Soy Yogurt
  • Follow Your Heart Vegan Cream Cheese
  • Go Veggie Classic Plain Cream Cheese Alternative (This is our favorite brand!)
  • SO Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Topping
  • Nabisco Honey Maid Graham Crackers or Spartan Brand Honey Graham Crackers
  • Nabisco Whole Grain Premium Saltine Crackers
  • Nabisco Low Sodium Premium Saltine Crackers
  • Nabisco “Original” Wheat Thins (Whole Grain) Crackers
  • Triscuit Original Whole Grain Wheat Crackers
  • Back to Nature Harvest Whole Wheat, Crispy Wheat, Organic Satines & Organic Stoneground Wheat Crackers
  • Glutino Brand Pretzels
  • Keebler CLUB crackers
  • Ritz Crackers (no sandwiches)
  • Savoritz Original Woven Wheats (Aldi’s Brand)
  • Savoritz Original Clubhouse Crakers (Aldi’s Brand)
  • Live G Free Gluten Free Mini Twists & Straight Pretzels (Aldi’s Brand)
  • Southern Grove Banana Chips (Aldi’s Brand)
  • Live G Free Cocoa Loco, Mixed Berry & Caramel Apple Baked Chewy Bars (Aldi’s Brand)
  • Enjoy Life Choco Loco, Mixed Berry & Caramel Apple Baked Chewy Bars
  • Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips and Multi Grain Pita Chips (not parmesan herb)
  • Sabre Original Hummus, Tribe Organic Roasted Garlic Hummus and Tribe Classic Hummus (Glen’s)
  • Whole Grain Cheerios (not honey nut)
  • Rice Chex
  • I.M. Healthy Original Creamy Soynut Butter (peanut free) & Safe 4School WOW Butter
  • Aunt Millie’s 100% Whole Wheat or Whole Grain “Hearth” Hamburger buns & Thomas 100% Whole Wheat Mini Bagels
  • Koepplinger’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Lotus Biscoff Spread Smooth and Crunchy
  • Lundberg Brown Rive Organic Rice Cakes
  • Most brands of Tortilla Chips- Always check the labels as many contain “Milk”
  • Most brands of salsa
  • Ocean Spray Berries & Cherries Naturally Flavored Snacks

 Common UNSAFE FOODS (please avoid):

  • All granola bars
  • Almost all English Muffin Brands contain MILK- Aunt Millies seems to be milk free
  • All Goldfish (Pepperidge Farms)
  • All Annie’s Bunnie Crackers
  • Veggie Shreds Soy Cheese Products ALL HAVE MILK CASEIN
  • Cheez-Its Crackers
  • Yogurt tubes, cups or Yo-gos
  • Cheese/String Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Veggie Straws (may contain milk) & my oldest son started to have a reaction from cross-contamination last spring!
  • Hostess Snacks and most processed cookies/sweet snacks

With schools back in sessions parents of food allergic children are more at ease since Michigan Law requiring schools to stock Epi-Pens has been implemented throughout the state

With schools back in sessions parents of food allergic children are more at ease since Michigan Law requiring schools to stock Epi-Pens has been implemented throughout the state