My daughter has had a peanut allergy for almost 5 years, so we have a good routine going for back-to-school preparation. My first suggestion is not to wait until the last minute to prepare for school, as some items may take time to find or order online.
Allergy bracelets, etc.
When my daughter started preschool and kindergarten, I had her wear an Allermates allergy wristband for the first several weeks, so that her teacher and other school staff (like lunch aides) knew right away that she had a food allergy. You may also want to order other related items like allergy alert stickers, allergy lunch boxes, etc. Also, I LOVE my Allermates Epi-pen case! My daughter does not take this to school with her, but I always have it with me, and it would be useful for older kids to have.
This is very useful to plan ahead, as it may require making an appointment with your doctor, and keep in mind that allergists are bombarded with paperwork requests at the beginning of the school year, so don’t wait until the last minute to put in your request.
We start by making sure our Epi-Pens are up to date, not expired, and we buy a fresh bottle of Benadryl.
We also have to prepare paperwork for the school, so that the medications can be kept at the school. I like to do this not too last minute, so that I don’t have to rush around.
Snacks we have our school teacher keep in the classroom.
My rule – which also aligns with the school district guidelines – is that my child only eats what they bring to school. That leaves no room for error. By that, I mean even if someone brings in cupcakes that are supposed to be peanut safe, my daughter can’t eat them. I don’t trust homemade food, I can’t trust people reading labels on my behalf. There have been mistakes made in the past where people gave my daughter something that was not peanut safe even after they claimed to read the label. Fortunately it was not at school and there was no reaction, but it is a good lesson that your child only eats what YOU approve.
I put sweet snacks and salty snacks in a bag labeled with my daughter’s name. For example single serve, snack size bags of cookies, and then a salty treat like snack size pretzels, Goldfish, etc.
School snacks and lunch foods.
It isn’t too hard for us to find peanut-safe snacks, but that might not be the case for all allergies. And even though we have quite a few choices for snacks, there are some favorites that are tough to find. For example, we order “Don’t Go Nuts” granola bars (peanut safe) and roasted seaweed snacks on Amazon. Another favorite that can be tough for me to find in stores are Enjoy Life Foods, which are free of the top 8 allergens.
My other allergy blog posts: