Schools work extra hard to keep up with food allergies - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Schools work extra hard to keep up with food allergies

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

As more and more kids develop food allergies, school kitchens have to stay on top of things.

Peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, and fish are some of the most common food allergies. If exposed, some might even go into anaphalactic shock.

But broccoli and cauliflower are not always as common, but all of these foods have something in common: there is a child that is allergic to at least one of them at Madison Elementary in Quincy.

Sometimes keeping on top of these allergies while planning a nutritious menu can be a challenge.

But Quincy Public Schools Food Service Director Jean Kinder says food service companies are becoming more allergy-friendly, something that makes it easier for schools to keep track of what's on your kid's tray, "Very few things have peanuts and tree nuts in them. So very rarely will we need to prepare something special for a student. It's more about just keeping an eye on the ingredients of the products that we're using."

Kinder says that every child is different, and that most everyone is allergic to something. She also says that every food allergy is different. That, is something she says, each school looks at on an individual basis, "We have plans and processes in place to recognize those symptoms in the students, especially the little students that may not recognize their own symptoms and to provide a treatment plan for them."

"The nurse is very aware of who has what type of allergy and also the cooks are aware so we just communicate with families and they communicate with us as well as their physician so that we know what the child can have."

Kinder says the schools are careful to use products that most students are not allergic to and she says the cooks rarely have to prepare special meals for anyone.

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