Parents Who's Child Has a Food Allergy

Updated on July 08, 2015
L.J. asks from Picayune, MS
17 answers

My daughter was sent to a allergist to been seen for having headaches. They did a food allergy test and some other basic test since headaches are caused more from food allergies as what the allergist told us. My daughter's test showed she was allergic to bananas, nuts, shellfish, fish, tomatoes, and rice. My question is with school coming up in August am I suppose to pack her lunch or let her eat the school lunch but let the school know what she allergic to? This is my first child who has a allergy to a "food" item so I'm trying to decide what is the best way for her. Thanks!

edit: she been eating lunch at school. We thought it was outside allergies that was causing the headaches since that was happening alot after lunch during recess time in the end of April this year. When we seen the allergist at the end of may for the first time thats why she wanted to do food allergy test first because she said headaches usually can be from food allergies. Like I said this is a first and wanted to know which way. Allergist didn't tell us anything about lunch at school. But most likely I'll pack her lunch to be safe. She going to the pediatrician next week so I'll make to the let the doctor know and get a paper for the nurse. She's about 8 yrs old. Allergist didn't say anything about a pen for to carry. I dont think hers that bad.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

The school is under no obligation to provide her with a special lunch. You'll need to provide her lunch or teach her what items are safe for her to select and eat.

Also, you need to start reading labels and finding all the words that are used for these items. They can be sneaky...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

What does the allergist recommend?
Avoidance can make some allergies worse.
There's a wide range of reactions from mild irritation to drop dead can't breathe reactions (and you certainly HAVE to avoid allergens if the latter is the case and have an epi pen handy all the time)).
I'd follow the allergists recommendations.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Baton Rouge on

With that many allergies, I would say pack her lunch and tell her not to trade food with anyone. .
The school cafeteria staff can't be expected to keep track of every ingredient in every dish and ensure that your kid wion't get someothing she's allergic to.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Of course you have to pack her lunch. The school can't be responsible for cooking to her specifications. You also need to teach your daughter what foods may contain what she is allergic to so she doesn't swap with a friend

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i plan to pack my kids lunches. allergies or not. ds used to have bad diaper rashes when he ate pears, and with dd its green grapes
dh has numerous food allergies and we eat better than what the school would offer so i am packing my kids lunches and telling them not to share it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

While I'd probably pack a lunch, I'm really interested in recommending that whatever you choose to do , that you provide the school with documentation and have a 504 meeting with the school nurse. It's not just lunches , but shared snacks, parties and school projects that need attention. All my best.


While I'd probably pack a lunch, I'm really interested in recommending that whatever you choose to do , that you provide the school with documentation and have a 504 meeting with the school nurse. It's not just lunches , but shared snacks, parties and school projects that need attention. All my best.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I think it depends on the school. She's 8 so she's been going already. What have you done for lunches so far? If you've ordered, have you noticed options that don't contain x,y or z? We have a food service that allows us to order one of many selections each day and some are noted as nut, dairy, wheat free etc. So if you haven't been ordering, find out what your school offers. If you have been ordering, you should be able to login and look. And if you've been packing lunches, why change now? Our school could never keep track of kids' allergies and be responsible. They have a nut free table but that's it. Or is this a new school so you don't know the lunch program?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

IMO, pack her lunch and make sure the school knows that she has these allergies. If she has been prescribed an Epi Pen, you'll need that and the note for the nurse. I pack my DD's lunch to avoid problems with apples (in juices, fruit snacks, fruit cups, applesauce...meh). If she has not be prescribed an Epi Pen, you'll at least want Benadryl on hand at the school and a note from your child's doctor about that. Most districts have a form for the doctor's office to sign.

Mabel's Labels has allergy alert labels. You can customize them for any allergy. You might get them and put them on her lunchbox and drink container. Also talk to the teachers and let them know what she's allergic to in case any foods they serve for class projects or holidays. The most likely one she'd run into in class is bananas and nuts. Get specifics on the nuts.

I used them in part because nobody sells Apple allergy labels, but Mabel let me customize.

I also agree to educate your child and teach her to NOT SHARE. Not sharing was rule #1 at lunch when DD was in K, but they expect older kids to know better. I still ask DD not to eat things we don't know 100% about.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My sons allergy test came back with a whole long list of his supposed allergies as well...did you make sure to talk the results over with your doctor? Just because they show up on the test doesn't mean she has to stay away from all those things.

Unless you were given and instructed on how to use an epi-pen at the result appointment I doubt it's that serious at all.

If you are worried about it, yes, pack her lunch. The school can not & is not responsible to adjust for every child's dietary needs!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

We packed lunch when my son had food allergies (he has since outgrown them). Even if she picked lunch items that didn't contain those allergens, cross contamination is still an issue, especially since some of those food items are common in school cafeterias.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My school district was able to send me the ingredients for every item served in the school lunches throughout the year (one big excel spreadsheet). It allowed me to know which days were and were not safe for him to purchase his lunch. I would not recommend having her buy her lunch with the expectation that the school know each day what she can and cannot eat. You need to be the one monitoring that, as the school won't know every single ingredient offhand and won't have time to check into it with all the students lined up. You may find that she's able to buy lunch some days but not others.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

My son has Celiac--gluten allergy. I am sure I can get the school to provide a suitable lunch, but I would not take the chance. I will pack his lunch everyday (he's going into kinder). His older brothers are going into 2nd and 5th and I have always packed their lunch. There is too much risk for cross-contamination, in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I would say that you should speak to the principal and the cafeteria manager. Find out how they are able to accommodate those allergies. It may be that some items would be ok but not all which may mean you pack lunch every day (just to be sure) or maybe send some things to supplement what she can't eat and make sure she knows what is ok and what isn't. Since you don't mention a severe reaction (like swelling or breathing issues), it may be some trial and error and she'll figure it out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am with In My 30's on this one. According to the skin prick test, I am allergic to all trees, all grasses, all flowers, almonds, chocolate, soy and cherries. Unable to avoid the environmental allergens, I eliminated the food ones I reacted to. Didn't make the slightest jot of difference for me.

Speak with the doctor and see if food avoidance helps, but before you revamp her menu, and seating arrangement, see if there is a measurable difference for all the effort.

F. B.

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answers from Houston on

Yes, I would most definitely pack her lunch. I would want no one in charge of that other than myself. That way you know for sure what she is eating. No one cares about your child like you do.

School cannot accommodate everyone's special dietary needs. I would also let the teacher and school know about her allergies. In addition, I would make sure that an epi-pen is left with the school in case of emergency.

My good friend has two kids allergic to nuts. My daughter is BFF with her daughter (the lesser allergic to nuts kid) I always made sure that we had nothing with nuts or cooked in peanut oil. She also carried an epi-pen with her. She can be around nuts she just can't eat them. Her brother, can't be around nuts at all.

Its a lifestyle change. Please be sure to read all your food labels.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

You can do both. If your school provides a menu check to see what they are having each day. If they are having something is allergic to pack a lunch. I have to do this with my daughter because she doesn't like a lot of food that is served for lunch. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How old is she? Maybe I missed that in your post.

I don't have a child with allergies, thank God. I am however a long time substitute teacher, 15 years, and at our school it is imperative that the Childs home room teacher and nurse are aware of allergies. We have lists in the classroom and grade levels if allergies so we know what's going on and with whom.

The nurse has any prescribed RX and if needed to be on the safe side due to the severity of allergies, an Epi-Pen in in the classroom as well.

We also help children with allergies and encourage parental help in educating them on food choices, what their allergies are , etc so they are knowledgable, aware and know what's going on in their bodies if they happen to ingest something that someone might have missed along the way. It's so important for your child to be a proactive part of this process so she/he has control vs everyone micromanaging what he or she is eating.

We have 100+ children per grade level in K-5. We can't manage what each kid eats 100% if the time but we do have a "watch list" we follow.

Our cafeteria has a couple of tables set aside for allergy tables.. No nuts, etc.

Most children with allergies do bring lunch and sit at the special tables with a friend. The cafeteria also posts all ingredients online.

On days when parents bring in treats for birthdays.... We do not give anything to any child that has a label or that we are unsure of. Each teacher has a stash of " approved" foods from parents that are special treats on those days.

Hope this helps!! It has helped a lot in our schools. Empower the child with knowledge to take charge for themselves.

1 mom found this helpful
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