Food Allergies & Your Child
Our cooks are happy to work with parents whose child may have food intolerance or a food allergy which has been diagnosed by a GP. If your child follows a special diet, we can cater specially made meals and your child will have a red place mat, clearly stating what the food intolerance is along with a red bowl. The cook will have a list in the kitchen of all children with food intolerance and all staff will be made aware of it. We advise that you talk to your child about their food allergy so you can help your child understand what it means and how to stay safe. This is a skill that will serve your child well in the future. Here are a few tips for how to talk to your child about a food allergy:
For young children, work on introducing a few easy concepts at a time, starting with the most important things they should know to keep them safe.
Explain that there are certain foods that can make them very sick so use simple terms like ‘safe food’ and ‘unsafe food’. Also tell them the names of unsafe foods that they cannot eat and what they look like.
Point out bottles of milk, cartons of eggs, or bags of peanuts in the supermarket. Show them the foods that are unsafe foods and explain that they will be sick if they eat them, you can use pictures as well if that helps.
Make sure that your child knows that they only eat foods that are given to them by their parents or another trusted adult such as a grandparent or their carers at the crèche.
Explain to your child that they should always tell an adult if they feel sick or need help.
Although it is important that your child understand that food allergies and intolerances are serious, it is equally important that you try to remain calm when discussing their allergies so you do not unnecessarily scare him or her.
When you have a positive tone about food allergies, they will also remain positive and they won’t be scared.
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