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Gina Clowes

Prepare to Meet the School on Allergy Needs – In 10 Easy Steps

By Gina Clowes

Before a school meeting on allergy accommodations, do your research — and plan how you’ll win them over. Have you ever watched Food Network chefs and wondered why it seems so easy and fun when they’re preparing a complex dish? The reason is that you are only seeing the very last step of the process: the actual cooking. We don’t see all the …

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Gina Clowes

Exclude the Treats, Not the Allergic Child at School

By Gina Clowes

Birthday cupcakes, pizza parties, candy rewards and holiday celebrations. Not a week goes by without some kind of edible treat in the classroom. For some, the solution is the “safe snack box”, a stash of safe snacks that parents of an allergic child will provide for times when unsafe food is served in the classroom. I’ve never been a fan. At my house, if we have …

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Gina Clowes

Help the School ‘Get’ Food Allergies

By Gina Clowes

Sometimes we hear of community resistance to food allergy accommodations. For instance, back in 2011, parents at one Florida school went so far as to hold protests  over the accommodations requested for a first grader with a peanut allergy. That uproar resonated with me because of a similar controversy in my district several years ago …

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Laurie Harada

Tips For Talking to School Officials

By Laurie Harada

Food, the very sustenance of life, is present as we celebrate both life and death, mark rites of passage, and proudly offer others a glimpse into our unique cultures with special dishes. But our relationship with food – when, where, how, and even why we eat – has changed significantly over the years. There is …

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Gina Clowes

7 Tips to Help You Let Go of Food Allergy Fears & Anxiety

By Gina Clowes

It’s time to warm up to the idea of experiencing life with food allergies. My friend Melanie* was traumatized by her son Nick’s reaction to a peanut butter cookie at 18 months. Although the allergist never recommended it, they completely avoided activities like birthday parties, football games and visiting relatives. Melanie even hired a sitter when she went to the grocery store …

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Gina Clowes

Advice on Attending Summer Camps with Food Allergies

By Gina Clowes

Follow these tips to suss out safe adventures for your allergic child. From daytime activities to sleepaway journeys, summer camp can create lifelong memories and give parents a brief respite. Of course, adequate planning is essential when food allergies are on the table, but sometimes simple observation and a mother’s intuition play an even bigger part in assessing the safety of a situation. …

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