Updated: 4/18/11; 12/21/12; 1/7/13; 2/4/13; 10/21/13 Adopted: Jan.1, 2014 Amended: 9/16//15
GCCNS is a Nut-Avoidance School Peanut/Nut Avoidance Policy
Allergies to a variety of foods – most notably peanuts and nuts are becoming more common. Due to this increase, GCCNS has instituted a strict avoidance of peanut/nut products within our school. Strict avoidance is the best way to prevent a life threatening allergic reaction. The goal of this policy is to create an environment that will reduce the risks to children with peanut/nut allergies. To this end, we need everyone’s assistance.
If a susceptible student is exposed to peanuts/nut products through ingestion, skin exposure, airborne or cross-contamination, he/she may develop a life threatening allergic reaction that requires emergency medical treatment. Such reactions may include, but are not limited to anaphylactic shock e.g. difficulty breathing, itching, unconsciousness and possibly death.
As part of its Peanut/Nut Avoidance Policy, GCCNS will adhere to the following procedures:
- We ask that parents read food labels and do not knowingly send in any peanut, peanut oil or nut containing products for your child to eat during lunch or snack in any classroom. ANY exposure to peanuts or nuts through contact or ingestion can cause a severe/life threatening reaction.
- If your child has eaten peanut or nut products prior to coming to school, be sure your child’s hands and face have been thoroughly washed prior to entering the school grounds.
- The teachers will, on a daily basis, preview and monitor the children’s lunch products for peanut or nut products because there are many items that include peanut or nut products, but do not present as a nut product.
- If your child brings peanut or nut items to school, school staff will immediately remove and discard the item. Your child will be offered a healthy alternative and you will be notified.
- The school will not serve or provide food to children if that food has been made in a factory that processes peanuts, nut products, or states that the product may contain nuts or nut products.
If you are snack parent, please consult the list of “approved” snacks provided by GCCNS.
~We thank you for your cooperation.
Approved Snack List*
Snack is served every day. Snack time provides an opportunity for each child to develop their conversation skills, good manners and nutrition awareness. With regard to nutrition, we consistently talk about food, healthy choices and encourage such. Beginning exposure to healthy foods and good nutrition at an early age can have an influence on a lifetime of comprehensive dietary habits.
The key thing to remember is small portions, as this is only a snack.
Base Snack List+ (peanut, dairy and egg free)
Fresh Fruit (no grapes) ~ prepared at school by the snack parent
Fresh Vegetables ~ prepared at school by the snack parent
Applesauce Cups / Squeeze pouches Fruit Cups
+Fresh Fruits and Fresh Vegetables are the preferred snack choice
Add-Ons/Expanded List+ (to be used on a class-by-class basis based on allergies in the room)
Pretzels, Rold Gold® String Cheese
Babybel Cheese Rounds
+Fresh Fruits and Fresh Vegetables are the preferred snack choice
Fresh Fruits or Fresh Vegetables
100% juice frozen juice bars (single stick)
100% juice Fruit Snacks (JR & SR classrooms only) Teddy Grahams
Ice Cream cups
*If your child has a documented food allergy or dietary restriction, complete the appropriate forms and discuss this with your child’s teachers so an individualized plan can be created.
**Gluten allergy accommodations/adjustments will be made on an individual class basis year to year.
DCFS requires that all food served in school be packaged goods (no home baked items), and that all food preparation (fresh fruits and veggies) take place in the classroom. If you are sending a snack that needs preparation, please make arrangements with your child’s teachers.
DO NOT SEND PEANUTS/TREENUTS OR ANY PRODUCT CONTAINING PEANUT/TREENUT TRACES OR PEANUT/NUT OILS
FOOD ALLERGIES AND DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
GCCNS has been faced with a growing population of children with allergies and/or medical conditions requiring special care and attention. Because parents are ultimately responsible for monitoring the food their children eat when the results could be serious, parents must complete the forms appropriate for their child’s situation. We all understand the importance of teaching children to manage dietary restrictions outside of the home. However, we are deeply concerned about teachers and other parents taking on this responsibility when the consequences could be serious or fatal.
A challenging aspect of this issue is to include the child with food restrictions to the greatest extent possible. It is reasonable for parents to expect their child can participate in snacks, cooking projects, holiday party celebrations (ie Halloween, Valentine’s Day), and other classroom activities that involve food. Because the parent has indicated that this is a serious health issue for their child, we cannot safely rely on other parents to take responsibility for specialized birthday treats or holiday party contributions. We all understand it is safer and more appropriate for parents of children with food restrictions (rather than teachers or other parents) to read food labels and evaluate the appropriateness of food for their children.
- If the parent does not return a Food Allergy Action Plan completed correctly and signed by a doctor, the child will not be allowed in school.
- When the parent returns a Food Allergy Action Plan completed correctly and signed by a doctor, the school acknowledges that the allergy/medical condition is life threatening or could result in serious illness, unless the doctor indicates otherwise. If the doctor indicates the allergy/medical condition is life threatening or could result in serious illness:
- The parent must provide or approve (in writing) all food/snacks, from the GCCNS approved snack list, to be served to the child at school.
- If the doctor has indicated that the allergic reaction can result from contact or proximity, the class will not have the allergen in the room.
- If the doctor indicates that the allergic reaction is only a result of ingestion, the parent will provide substitute snacks to be kept in the classroom in the event the allergen is present in the class snack.
- The parent is responsible for communicating with the teacher regarding food the child can have during class parties where food is served.
CLASS PROJECTS: (teacher or parent-led) If the project involves a child with an allergy or medical condition, the child may not be excluded from the project. Therefore, the teacher or parent leading the project must talk with the parent of the child with an allergy or medical condition and come up with a mutually acceptable plan so that the child is not excluded from the activity.
BIRTHDAYS: The focus of a birthday celebration is the child having a birthday. Therefore, the birthday treat is limited to Fresh Fruits & Veggies, 100% juice Popsicle, Popsicle® brand, 100% juice Fruit Snacks (JR & SR classrooms only), Teddy Grahams, Nabisco® brand (OMO classrooms only)
SCHOOL EVENTS: If food is served or present (i.e. Fun Run, Family Fest, etc.), it is the responsibility of the parent of the child with the allergy or medical condition to monitor their child’s food consumption in order to ensure the child’s safety.
Bake Sales are not permitted at any GCCNS event.
OPTIONAL LUNCH PROGRAMS: Lunch is an optional extra activity that is not considered to be part of the GCCNS educational program by DCFS. Because children’s lunches come from home, we cannot guarantee they are free of allergens; therefore, it is up to the discretion of the child’s parents whether or not to have the child attend the lunch/enrichment program. Peanut/Tree Nuts are not permitted in lunches.
☑Inform teachers of children in their class with allergies/medical conditions.
☑Provide a copy of all forms to teachers.
☑Inform parents of classmates of the presence of an allergy in the classroom.
☑Have an emergency action plan in place in which the child’s teachers and the office staff know where the child’s medication is stored and how it is to be administered.
☑Be sure several staff members are trained in CPR and be prepared to call upon them as needed.
☑Enforce a “no trading food” rule at snack and lunch.
☑Include children with allergies/medical conditions in all regular classroom activities, making reasonable accommodations to ensure their safety.
☑Post a list of all children with allergies.
☑Eliminate the allergen from the classroom in the case of serious/life-threatening airborne or contact allergies.
☑Collect and keep alternative snacks from the parent of the child with an allergy.
☑Never serve a school provided snack food (including cooking projects) to a child with a serious/life-threatening allergy unless the parent has reviewed the ingredients and/or the food is on their parent- approved list.
☑Inform the school of their child’s allergy/medical condition in the child’s history form and during the pre- visit or Parent-Talk.
☑Complete required forms specifying allergy/medical information and action:
Emergency Release Form – must be completed for all children at GCCNS
Medical Consent Form – must be completed for every child who may need medication administered at school
Food Allergy Action Plan – must be completed by child’s physician for every child who has a serious/life-threatening allergy or medical condition.
☑Review school snacks and provide teachers with a written list of snacks from the GCCNS approved snack list, that may be served to their child if the child has serious/life-threatening allergies (Emergency Health Care Plan on file).
☑Inform GCCNS of any changes.