Now that it’s August 1, our back to school countdown has officially begun. We have 24 days to get ready. Going back to school is exciting, even more so with food allergies.
This school year we are promoting a more positive and proactive nut-free lifestyle. We have done this by empowering Chloe to make smart, independent decisions for meals and activities. This will help her when she is faced with different choices at school.

Is it OK for me to share a lunch with my friend?
Is it OK to just sample this cookie?
Is it OK for me not to wash my hands this ONE time before lunch?
Is it OK for me to accept a birthday brownie from my friend on her birthday?

The answer to all of these questions is no.
These are just a few of the scenarios we are preparing Chloe for as she begins a new school year.
In order to ensure a nut-free school day, we have worked as a family to include a few simple things in Chloe’s day.

  1. A new backpack that has a special pouch for epi-pen to access easily.
  2. An Aller-mates purse/Fanny pack to always carry at school to her computer lab, art class, gym, etc.
  3. A custom treat box. This box comes as a HUGE lesson learned from last year (thank you, Stacy for the idea). We will always, 100% of the time, use this treat box to minimize any uncertainty of labels, etc. for snacks at school.
  4. Bento box from last year with nut-allergic stickers on it.
  5. Aller-mates bracelet to wear on her wrist and attach to backpack. We just ordered these from Amazon.

Some things that I have done as a parent to help her prepare for a new school:

  • Speak with the school administration and know the nut policy of the school.
  • Discuss an action plan and have it on file with the school and nurse.
  • Speak with her teachers directly.
  • Talk with the school bus company (if applicable).
  • Learn where school epi-pen are kept.
  • Learn the lunch process and how they minimize cross contamination risks.
  • Be available and offer my time and information.

With all of these preparations under way, I’m confident we are going to have a wonderful year at a fantastic new school. Enjoy the remainder of summer. t his is a very bitter sweet summer as it is the last “free” summer before both kids are in school and we have busier schedules.