Managing Food Allergies During the School Day

Get information and materials to manage students’ food allergies throughout the school day and school year.

Teachers must take care to protect students with food allergies in the classroom—but that is only the beginning.

These resources take a deeper dive into how your staff can manage food allergies throughout the school day and school year.

Important Documents

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan

This document should be on file for every student with food allergies. Signed by the child’s physician, it outlines symptoms of an allergic reaction and recommended treatment. It also includes emergency contact numbers.

USDA Special Meal Request Form
Learn how food service staff can accommodate children with special dietary needs via the U.S. school nutrition programs. Parents of students with food allergies can use the forms on pages 34 and 35 to submit the required information.

Tips and Checklists

Recommended Practices for Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Food Allergens and Responding to Food Allergies

Recommended practices and accommodations for the classroom, cafeteria, transportation, school events, and physical education and recess. 

FARE Classroom Toolkit
Resources to help teachers and other educators create and maintain a safe and healthy classroom environment.

Tips for Managing Food Allergies in the Classroom
Follow these recommendations to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion or exposure to food allergens in the classroom.

Tips for Managing Food Allergies in the Cafeteria
Hidden ingredients, cross-contact between foods and allergens left on lunch tables are just some of the challenges that school cafeterias can pose for students with food allergies. Food service staff members can follow these tips to reduce these risks and prevent allergic reactions in the cafeteria.

Tips for Managing Students with Food Allergies During a Shelter-in-Place Emergency
Many schools and districts have emergency plans for when children and staff must shelter in place. (These rare events are also sometimes called “lockdowns.”) Such plans must account for the special needs of children with food allergies—especially when putting together an emergency food supply.

Tips for Field Trips
Field trips are a highlight of the school year, but chaperones must take extra precautions to keep children with food allergies safe. Follow these tips for a successful event.

Cleaning Methods
Cleaning tables and other surfaces to remove food allergens can make homes, schools and cafeterias safer for children with food allergies. Learn more about these sanitation methods.

Ideas for Non-Food Treats and Rewards
Food treats are an easy and convenient reward for good performance or behavior, but they can be a problem for children with food allergies. Choose nonfood items instead to help create a healthy, safe and inclusive environment.

How a Child Might Describe a Reaction
Children have unique ways of describing their experiences and perceptions, and allergic reactions are no exception. Learn what signs to look for in children, especially very young ones.

Materials for the Classroom

Be a PAL Program
The Protect A Life™ From Food Allergies education program helps kids learn how to be a good friend to those with food allergies. Download free materials in English or Spanish.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis Poster
Help staff remember how to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis, a life-threating allergic reaction. Hang this poster in the nurse’s office and in classrooms with children who have known food allergies.

Handwashing Poster
You can display this poster to remind children to wash their hands before and after touching food.

Bullying Prevention Resources

Talking to Children About Their Food Allergies

You can help students with food allergy understand what it means to have the condition and how to stay safe. This is a skill that will serve him or her well in the future—including standing up to bullies.

Addressing Food Allergy Bullying
About one-third of kids with food allergies report that they have been bullied because of their allergies. This is especially serious because food allergies can be life-threatening. FARE's "It's Not a Joke" campaign can complement your school’s existing anti-bullying program.

More Useful Information About Food Allergies