Does your child sit at the nut-free or allergy-free table at school?
When I was getting ready for my son to start longer school days where he would be eating lunch, I read so many stories about exclusion and isolation in regard to how other kid’s allergy plans were handled, and I knew I didn’t want that for my child. Plus, since my son’s allergies are more than just nuts (ana to milk for one) I knew isolation issues would likely be more complicated for him.
On the flip side, I read how other allergy kids were finding ways to sit with their friends at lunch by choosing a low-traffic end of the table to sit, reserving seats for allergy-aware or less rambunctious kids to sit next to them, having an adult close-by to monitor for food fighting, trading, general uneasiness of the allergy child or other possible issues, wiping down the allergy child’s table and seat an extra time before sitting, and covering the allergy child’s table with an extra layer of protection (butcher paper, disposable table cloth, etc).
It sounds like a lot of effort to help your allergy child have an ideal social experience while also staying safe, but with a well thought-out 504 plan, preparation and good communication with school staff, it’s entirely possible and practical. For the past two years, my son has eaten lunch safely at school. Only one time has there been an issue at lunch (chocolate milk was splashed on him when it fell to the floor) and he was able to get cleaned up with fresh clothes and continue on with his regular school day because the correct plan and resources were in place.
One of the extra layers of protection we’ve put into place is a FlatBox lunchbox. We own two of their bento-style boxes and can easily fit a multi-compartment microwaveable container inside so that tonight’s leftovers can become tomorrow’s school lunch. I love how easy it is to throw the FlatBox in the washing machine each day and how the insulated material holds up (still looking new after two years).
Blog Provided by: Allergy Cookie