Food Allergy Planning for Back to School
Having food allergies in your family means you're likely a logistical wizard. You always know where you're going to be and when, what food they serve, where the washrooms and hand wipes are, and how long it takes to get to the nearest hospital. So the thought of having your kiddos out of your sight for whole days at a time can undoubtedly be very stressful.
I highly recommend you check out FARE's (Food Allergy Research and Education) school guide for information about how to talk to teachers, online training seminars, and best practices for keeping your children safe and comfortable in their classroom. You can find the guide here. There are even webinars about how to do a 504 plan!
Check out the Belay app. Belay is a resource for food allergy families that creates a "village" around your allergic child to support and care for them. Create their profile, filling in their specific allergies, where they keep their epinephrine, their reaction action plan, favorite safe snacks, and more. Their comprehensive profile shares all the information you would want a potential caregiver to know and have at the ready. Then invite their caregivers to join your child's community. It's very simple and only takes about 10 minutes to set up. Ideal for sharing with teachers, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, etc.
Stock up on safe favorites for all meals of the day, plus the classroom. Alleviate some of the stress that accompanies the logistical challenges of living with food allergies. Keep a healthy supply of safe snacks at home, in the car, in the classroom, at the sitter's house, or wherever your child spends time. We know that living with allergies can be very expensive, from buying epinephrine to antihistamines, to the elevated cost of safe foods. That's why we offer a number of bundles to help you shave down the costs. Save 20% on your order with the code FALL20.
As an allergy parent, you do a lot of managing. The amount of advocacy you do is practically a full time job. If your child is just starting school for the first time it can be a very emotionally charged and worrisome experience. It's important to take some time to reset and recenter yourself so that you don't burn out. As the summer comes to a close, try some leisurely family activities that don't pose food allergy challenges, like going for a bike ride or a hike and packing a safe picnic in your backpack.