Back to School with Food Allergies Checklist

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It’s back-to-school time again! If your kiddo has food allergies, you know that getting ready for the new school year involves more than just shopping for school supplies and new clothes. There are lots of moving parts when it comes to ensuring your child has a safe, happy, and inclusive school year.

To keep myself on track and to make sure that nothing slip through the cracks, I like to make a list of things I need to do to prepare for the upcoming school year. 

Here is my checklist for heading back to school with food allergies:

  1. Make sure your school has an up-to-date food allergy emergency plan. I usually meet with our allergist during the summer to update our allergy and asthma management plans and to get any prescriptions refilled for the upcoming school year. This is also the time to make sure that all of the paperwork is completed and signed.
  2. Schedule a time to go over your child’s emergency plan and/or 504 plan. Before school starts, schedule a time to go over your child’s food allergy management, allergy emergency plan, and their 504 plan. This is a chance to make sure everyone is on the same page before any issues arise.
  3. Create allergy emergency medical kits for each child. Be sure that you and the school have all the necessary medications needed to treat your child in the event of an emergency. When you pick up medications from the pharmacy, be sure to check expiration dates. Ask the pharmacy to make sure your child’s medications are good for at least one full year.
  4. Introduce yourself and your child to your allies before school starts. Many schools allow “walk-throughs” before school starts so that children can familiarize themselves with their new environment. Be sure your child knows who all of her allies are, including the school nurse, nurse’s aid,  bus driver, guidance counselor, etc. This will help her feel more comfortable asking for assistance, should she need it, and gives staff the opportunity to learn about your child.
  5. Talk your teacher about treats and rewards. The procedure for handling food in the classroom should be discussed in your child’s 504 plan, however, you definitely want to talk one-on-one to your child’s teacher about this and keep the line of communication open throughout the school year. Some schools only allow non-food treats for birthdays, but still might give out food at other times. Make sure your child’s teacher truly understands what is safe and appropriate for your child and help her choose rewards that are inclusive. If you choose to supply your own treats and rewards, make sure she has them before school starts so that there is always something on hand.

There is always much to do at the beginning of the school year, but this checklist touches on five of the points that most folks will benefit from. Feel free to share some of your checklist in the comments below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Great list and I especially like that you mention finding allies for your child and speaking with them before an emergency may happen.

    • Tiffany deSilva says:

      Thanks Deborah! I think it’s very important for kids to know who their allies are and for us, as parents, to remember that they are our alles, too!

  2. Awesome post and so important Tiffany to make sure everyone knows the plan!

  3. We have our meeting next week with the new staff. Great tips Tiffany!

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