Allergy-Free Snacks for Sunday School

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If you serve snacks for Sunday school food allergy is a big concern. It's hard for little ones to regulate their own diets, and parents aren't always present when we're passing out the cookies. Many Sunday school and children's programs are eliminating snack times to avoid aggravating allergies.

Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, MI compiled two handy lists of snacks that are safe for their children's programs. Download them here and if you haven't already, consider creating a list of safe foods based on the allergies and food sensitivities of children, teens, and adults in your congregation.

Kids with severe allergies may wear wristbands or other identifiers to let adults know that they aren't allowed to eat certain foods. Let volunteers know that it's important to look for these wristbands, and to avoid bringing their own snacks to class unless they check with all the parents first.

One more tip--if there is a coffee hour that includes snacks at your church, send this link to the person who coordinates it. All your efforts to protect kids from allergic reactions will be undone if the coffee table is set with unsafe snacks within reach of young children. 

Do you have kids in your program with food allergies? What have you done to make Sunday school and church life safe for them?

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One of my grandchildren has mastocytosis. My daughter-in-law needs to keep some safe food in case a sundyschool teacher tries to give children some food.  What a hassle! It is much safer and better to leave giving food for the parents. His siblings are from Uganda and his parents have to often stop them from eating, not because of allergies.

I am sure that sunday school stories can be told without having to provide candies or other things to eat. Have you ever seen ministers distributing peppermints before each sermon or even afterward? What is the theology?

I think that most of the time when a teacher brings a snack, it is just meant to be a nice treat for the kids.  Plus, at least at our church, children's church happens right at my kids normal morning snack time so we do really appreciate that they are getting a small bit of something so they aren't so whiny after church.  I would recommend just telling teachers that the church will provide the snacks so that there is no confusion on what is allowed.

Our church provides nut free snacks for children during the service. This allows us to be in control of allergy allerts. When there is a special occasion when a cake is brought in for the congregation, we ask the bakery to bake it in a nut free zone.