District 97 is committed to creating a positive learning environment for all students that is safe, equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. To that end, the number of children who have food allergies is increasing. Approximately 10% to 15% of our students have a food allergy. The most common allergen is nuts of any kind.
Every food-allergic reaction has the possibility of turning into a life-threatening reaction within minutes. With this in mind, we created a Food Allergy Management Program for the district that will help preserve and protect the health and safety of our students. This program includes the following guidelines/requirements.
- Nuts and nut products are not allowed in any classroom unless under specific principal direction. This includes products that are labeled “processed in a facility that shares equipment with nut products."
- Do not send nuts or nut products as a snack for your child to eat.
- We encourage nut-free products on field trips.
- There is NO food sharing between students at any time during school.
- There is NO eating or drinking on school buses.
- There is NO eating in outside play areas, if applicable.
Snacks and Field Trips
PLEASE NOTE: If a student in your child’s classroom is allergic to other food products that must be restricted, your child’s teacher will let you know what those products are and what steps, if any, need to be taken in conjunction with the district’s Food Allergy Management Program.
How to identify safer foods to send to school for snacks and on field trips:
- Please read all packaging to ensure the item is not produced on equipment shared with nuts.
- Consult the "Snack Safely" website for information about specific product brands and suggestions for safe food options.
- Below is a list of several potential safe food options. However, as stated above, please consult with your child’s classroom teacher to determine if classroom-specific restrictions apply to any of them.
|OPTIONS A||OPTIONS B|
|Fresh fruit||Fruit juice|
|Fresh vegetables||Dried fruits|
|Yogurt without granola topping||Lean meats|
Food Free in Three - Phase 2
During the 2019-20 school year, District 97 will be in Phase 2 of the "Food Free in Three" program. This means that school celebrations can only include food from the following four categories: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and packaged popcorn and pretzels that are nut safe.
Please note that any fresh fruit or fresh vegetables brought into our schools must either be pre-washed/pre-packaged from a store or prepared, cut, etc. after they arrive in our buildings. This will help minimize potential cross-contamination.
More information about the Food Free in Three program is available at https://www.op97.org/health-services/food-free-in-three
We appreciate your partnership in promoting the health and safety of our children. Please contact your child’s school nurse if you have questions or need more information.