Ready For Heading Back To School with Food Allergies?
I hope everyone has been having a safe and fun summer. Unfortunately, I recently injured my arm, which has put me a bit behind. I have received several questions about getting ready to go back to school, lunchbox ideas, 504 plans, and navigating school. I have enlisted help from my youngest child and fellow allergy advocates to answer as many of these questions as possible. So keep reading for lunch box ideas, recipes, and navigating school.
504 plans and navigating school
Let’s start with 504 plans and navigating school plans. I can vouch that it can be daunting and a little challenging to understand at first. However, I can also state that I am the expert on my child’s plan and not yours. So, let me point you in the direction of some experts in this area and ensure you have the proper support for you and your child to excel at anything they take on this school year. I am fortunate to be able to call these amazing fellow allergy Moms and allergy experts friends.
You may have seen Dee and Leah in some of our Meet & Eat lives we did this past year. If not, please
allow me to introduce Leah Robilotto of The Food Allergy Institute and Dee Vicino of Aller Cuisine. Leah and Dee have created this great tool to help build your Aller Tribe and so much more. They have created a class I wish I had when I started my allergy parent journey 18 years ago. In addition, they have a whole section dedicated to school and 504 plans. Click this Aller Tribe Link to their Learn Desk to learn more about how they can help you.
Now we are moving onto my second favorite meal of the day, LUNCH! My oldest and youngest children never ate a meal provided by the school cafeteria. We need our kids to eat and feel safe at school. My children did not feel safe and refused to eat lunch from the school kitchen. So they took a lunchbox every day until they graduated from school. We were lucky that we can afford to pack a lunch. Unfortunately, so many people can’t, and it brings into the reality that we must have better allergy training for public school’s food services.
I was speaking with my kids about what their favorite lunches were. My oldest was pretty easy as long as there were chips and a sandwich; it was all good. Thankfully chips have come a long way as far as safe food options and healthy options. Some favorites of ours are pirates booty and Enjoy life Lentil chips. My youngest loves fruit and yogurt. There are a great many options of dairy-free yogurts now that we used not to have. We usually get an individual cup or yogurt tube and freeze it the night before. Put in the insulated lunch box, and it is used as an ice pack and thawed out by lunchtime to enjoy!
Fruit and Veggies, yes, we can get them to eat them! Grapes are a favorite in our house , and I would freeze them as well the day before, and then they would be thawed out by lunch. Bananas, oranges, and Apple slices with Sunbutter to dip were always a big hit. (If you can’t use Sunbutter try, soy or another nut butter) Celery, Cucumber, and carrot stick are always a win when you can dip in either Sunbutter, dairy-free dressing, or hummus! Next are some of our favorite recipes to help turn the Lunch box into a fun and delicious experience.
Recipes Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly!
Kara’s Chicken Salad Recipe
1 cup of cooked chicken shredded or cut into pieces
½ a smashed avocado or ¼ cup of vegan mayo
½ cup of seedless grapes (optional)
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp of onion powder if tolerated
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, and mix until well incorporated.
Serve with safe crackers as a sandwich or wrap.
Easy Allergy Friendly Home Made Hummus
15 oz can of chickpeas or approx 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
¼ cup of diced shallots or 1 small clove of garlic ( can use both or omit if not tolerated)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil
1 tsp of salt
2 to 5 tablespoons of water
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except the water and blend for 2 minutes. Then scrape downsides, and add 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth consistency; add water 1 tablespoon at a time until a smooth texture is achieved. *If you like a chunky texture, then don’t blend as long or add extra water.
Serve with Veggie sticks, Chips, as a Sandwich, or Wrap.
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese or Vegan cheese
⅔ cup of Vegan Mayo or regular mayo
¼ teaspoon of onion powder if tolerated
2 to 4 oz of jar pimentos drained and diced
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until well incorporated.
Serve with safe Crackers, Veggies as a Sandwich, or Wrap.
I hope this blog post helps answer any of the questions I have had the pleasure of receiving about the upcoming school year. If you have any more ideas on blog posts or videos, please message us. Also, if you try any of the recipes, please let us know what you thought of them and how you made them safe to tame your Allergy Dragon.