Peanuts in School

Now that school is in full swing for the year, you’ll be packing plenty of lunches and treats for the kids. As you’re doing so, remember that roughly six percent of young children are affected by food allergies, as reported by Health Canada. Peanut allergies often top the list of problem foods. When packing your child’s lunches and snacks, make sure the food is peanut-free!

Many Canadian schools already ban peanuts and peanut products, and restrict certain food items including pecans, walnuts and cashews. As a parent, you have to stay vigilant and attentive for the safety of your children and their classmates.

To ensure your kids' lunches are safe to bring to school, start by reading the school's policy on food allergens in the classroom – make sure you know what is and isn't allowed. Many manufacturers have made it easier in recent years to identify peanut-free foods, with no-nut-guarantees. Others food companies have moved production to completely nut-free facilities, so shop for these sorts of products.

If someone at your child’s school is affected by peanut or other food allergies, they might experience symptoms ranging from a runny nose to a hive breakout to an anaphylactic shock. By being aware of what you pack in your child’s lunch, you are helping children with allergies avoid needless discomfort and, sometimes, life-threatening situations.

Avoiding products with nuts or other allergens may be a chore at first, but it's the smart and responsible thing to do. Once established, a peanut-free environment is easy to maintain and helps ensure everyone has a happy and safe lunchtime.