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Healthy & Fun Lunch Ideas for Kids

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I have never experienced such strictness from a school. Everyone likes to enjoy a treat once in a while Report
thanks for sharing Report
Awesome...thanks!! Report
MUSICNUT
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
EVIE4NOW
Help them to do it and it will mean more to them. Report
Good article. Report
Great job Report
All very good ideas. Allowing them to help/handle the food makes more memories for them to eat/choose better. Report
My kids' school has a peanut allergy table that kids can choose to sit at. Other than that, there are no restrictions as to what they can bring (with the exception of no food/baked goods to share for birthdays, etc). I can't believe how strict some of these schools are! People have all kinds of dietary differences, so I understand the struggle. However, if there are reasonable accommodations (e.g. a peanut allergy table) for major allergy concerns, the other kids should not have to change their eating habits.

My kids always bring their lunch because they only get 20 minutes. The line to buy lunch takes about 10-15 minutes. So kids get 5 minutes to inhale their lunch? Plus it teaches kids to eat super fast...which we all know is not ideal (until you're a mom with a baby & have no choice Haha!). Report
ELYSIAN_DREAMS
If a kid can't survive public school b/c of food allergies, they shouldn't be there. Period. Sign them up with K12, and dictate the environment they should be in. Trying to tell public schools what kids can and can't bring for lunch is never going to be successful. (And let's be honest, in the "real world," you're not going to be able tell your coworkers what they can and can't bring to work b/c you're "allergic.")
Do you really want to raise your kids in a bubble? Don't get me wrong, it's been done before, but is that going to help them as a long-term solution? You can't make the whole school the bubble. Your home, maybe, but not everything outside it. Report
ETHELMERZ
No wonder so many people home school, it's impossible to always be safe with what you pack for lunch, can't expect every one to get it right and children to police themselves 100%, teachers should not have that burden. Keep deathly allergic kids at home. Report
There's a child in my child's fourth grade class this year with many allergies. Her parents have requested that all food brought to school, either to be shared or in a lunchbox, be prepackaged and clearly labeled. I'm fine with only sending food in a package if it's to be shared, but I think the insistence on pre-packaged foods in my son's lunchbox is going too far. I prefer he have fresh foods that I prepare. I'll do my best to avoid the foods that cause her the most serious harm, but the list of things she has issues with is over 2 pages long. Many other parents and the principal agreed with me. I can sympathize with another mother who just wants to keep her child safe, but expecting that kind of constant vigilance from 23 other parents whose children whose diets are not so sensitive can be a recipe for disaster. Report
HILDEJEN
YogaGeek-

I am a school nurse and yes kids do have allergies that could be life threatening. Unfortunately kids now have allergies to about everything. Beef, cinnamon, metal, strawberries, etc. I would have to agree with RENEETC1, where does it stop. One of my favorite classes in college was Sociology. The teacher said something one day that really made me think- "for every law put into place is another right taken away". I want to advocate for all of the kids, not just kids that have health issues. We had a parent that wanted all of the kids on a school bus to not have anything that her child was allergic to (many things) when traveling to an extra curricular function. The school turned this request down. When the mom said something to me, while I understand her concern, I also want to think about all the other students. I think it is responsible to do everything we can to avoid exposure as long as it doesn't infringe upon others. We need to try and meet in the middle. Report
RENEETC1: You do realise how serious nut and peanut allergies can be, right? We're not talking the gut discomfort that arises in a lactose-intolerant person consuming dairy (which, unpleasant though it is, is unlikely to cause serious damage in a one-off situation). People with nut allergies can get anaphylaxia which, if not promptly treated, restricts the airways and leads to asphyxiation.

Yes, schools can be overzealous (many people with nut/peanut allergies only have issues if they actually ingest the food, yet the entire school is prohibited from bringing PB&J sandwiches on their behalf), but we are talking about a potentially fatal reaction here. It's comparing two unlike things to suggest that banning a fatal allergen leads to banning a non-fatal intolerance/sensitivity. Report
I think that the school systems are overdoing it with foods that can't be brought to school. A lot of school do not allow nuts of any kind. What's next, no milk or milk products because some children are lactose intolerant? No breads because some children have a problem with gluten? What about children who are allergic to strawberries or other fruits and veggies?
If a child has food allergies they know it, and know they are not supposed to eat it. Type 1 diabetics have certain foods they can't eat. Education begins in the home, not with the government trying to regulate every part of our lives. Report

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