EatInEatOut FALL 2016 - Page 15

An estimated 6% of Canadian children have food allergies, and the numbers continue to rise. With many schools now becoming peanut-free and some even tree-nut free, parents need to ensure they pack allergy-friendly foods for school lunches. If you’re a fan of the old standby, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it’s time to add some new ideas to your school lunch repertoire! While most allergic reactions are caused by peanuts and tree nuts, other common allergens include soy, wheat, sesame seeds, seafood, eggs, milk, sulphites and mustard. Reactions can range from itchiness and hives to an anaphylactic reaction that could be deadly. Find out from your school whether they limit allergens beyond nuts. If Your Child Has a Food Allergy School boards across Canada have policies to optimize safety and deal with emergency situations for students with allergies. If you’re a parent of a child with a food allergy, it’s important to meet with the principal, teachers and cafeteria workers to make sure they’re informed. See that a safety and emergency plan are in place to protect your child. It’s essential that you find out whether the school has any food policies such as discouraging kids from sharing food. Speaking to your child about his or her allergy and how to react to scenarios that could come up is another key part of getting ready for the school year. Food Allergy Canada has some great resources on their site foodallergycanada.ca. Make sure children with allergies understand how to read ingredient lists and know not to accept any unlabeled food from other kids. Beyond that, keep it positive! Focus on all of the delicious and healthy options your child can eat. WWW.EATINEATOUT.CA 15