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School food policies: Columbus educators are making changes

If your child has food allergies, navigating school can be difficult. Class parties, food used in lessons, lunchtime: Depending on the school food policies, it can be stressful to make sure your child is included. But there is some good news on the horizon. Some school districts in Central Ohio are working to change their […]

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If your child has food allergies, navigating school can be difficult. Class parties, food used in lessons, lunchtime: Depending on the school food policies, it can be stressful to make sure your child is included.

But there is some good news on the horizon. Some school districts in Central Ohio are working to change their school food policies – and not just because of allergies! Kids who eat better not only behave better but they are better able to learn, move and grow.

Also, in addition to children with food allergies, there are likely children with conditions such as diabetes or autism that require special diets.

No child should be left out of a celebration or lesson because of food. Getting children to eat healthier foods and limiting sweet treats is crucial, as obesity and other diseases are an epidemic in the U.S. Ohio Action for Healthy Kids has a toolkit for parents and teachers to help make changes in local schools. http://ohioactionforhealthykids.org/wp-content/documents/Parent_Toolkit.pdf

Advocating for changes at school – and with school food policies — has long been an issue of parents with kids who have food allergies. There are online support groups, lists of snacks that are allergy-friendly and other ways to make school safe and inclusive.

Both the Worthington City School District and Dublin City School District have banned treats like cookies and cupcakes for birthdays, asking instead for non-food treats like pencils or small toys.

Also, some districts – like Worthington – are asking parents to provide healthy snacks for class parties and teachers are being asked to not use food in lessons or as rewards.

Has your district changed its school food policy? Let us know in the comments!

Midwest Allergy

At Midwest Allergy, we want all students to be safe and healthy in school. If you have questions about food allergies, make an appointment online today!

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