« Reaction to the New York Times story "Mom takes on Big Food over kids’ food allergies" | Main | Pencil grams for school Valentine's Day celebrations »

February 5, 2008

Valentine's Day Tips

While browsing the web for kids with food allergies, I found a well-written to do list for your child's school Valentine's Day party. In a nut shell, it recommends that you attend the party, bring your child's treat, communicate with the teacher and even other parents about the food allergy and afterwards, make sure you thank those who helped keep your child safe.

As my kids get older, I don't feel the need to attend every school party anymore. I of course still plan ahead and take all the same precautions. I like to foster my child's independence in a relatively controlled environment; that is, with a teacher who is very aware of the allergies and has been managing them at school all year. I figure as my kids get older and go off to junior high and high school, they will need to know how to handle their own allergies. So practicing in elementary school makes sense.

For my second grader with food allergies, I send in a treat bag with popular but safe Valentine's Day candy (so she feels like she can eat the same candies as the other kids). I also find out what the main treat will be (usually a cookie or cupcake), and I send in something similar. If the kids will be doing their own decorating, I send my daughter in with frosting (and a plastic knife or spoon to spread it with), sprinkles and candies of her own. She knows not to eat anything else at the party, and when she gets home, we go through the candy and treats together. I usually have a small stash of treats she really likes, so I have something to give her when she trades in unsafe candy.

As for my sixth grader, she is totally independent at school now. I usually make her favorite treat (brownies) for her to bring to school. For Valentine's Day, I also give her some candy hearts since that's a popular candy. Then she makes her own decisions at the party. If there is a treat that has ingredients, she'll read them and determine if it's safe to eat. She never eats homemade or bakery treats because that's been drilled into her head since before she could talk!

This works well for our family and we no longer feel stressed out when it is party time at school!

Posted by Ann Marie at February 5, 2008 9:21 AM


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?