Good idea for teaching children to avoid food allergens

Posted on: Fri, 05/25/2007 - 7:51am
lakeswimr's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

I have been role playing various scenarios with DS once in a while and will continue to do so all summer in preparation for the start of kindergarten. Some scenarios I have practiced are...

what would you do if your friend is eating plain Lays potato chips and offers you some (or Oreos, or Skittles or whatever? I first do both roles and pretend to be the person with the chips and then pretend to be my son. I say, "here, have some chips." And I pretend to be reaching into the bag, eating them. Then I say, "no, thank you. I only eat food from home." And then I reinforce it. I ask my son what he will get when he comes home and he says, "allergy-free chips from mom." I talk about whether he will feel sad or not and he says he won't because he knows he will get a treat when he gets home. (I also mention that the other child won't get the treat at home like he will and he likes that. lol)

Other scenarios--it is a birthday party and another mother has brought cupcakes and offers one to my son. "Here you go--here is a cupcake for you."

Or, "Here you go--I made this one allergy-free just for you."

In both cases we practice saying, "No thank you. I only eat food from home."

We practiced what to do if someone were teasing him. We practiced what to do if he felt he was having a reaction.

Maybe others can think of other good scenarios to practice.

Anyway, I think this is the most effective method of getting DS to follow what I want him to do as talking alone doesn't get the message accross well enough.


Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2007 - 10:12am
alliedhealth's picture
Joined: 06/10/2006 - 09:00

we are in the same boat- here is another one- here"this is from your mom" or your"mom said it was fine"- and we only eat from home/ and out of our own lunch bag. Another one- "I have x brand- you eat these at home - have one." Same response.
The peanut allergy pickle book (amazon) has been a new addition to our house- teaches how to say no and my 5 yo son loves it.

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2007 - 10:25am
SallyL's picture
Joined: 02/20/2006 - 09:00

Thanks for the ideas and the link to that book. It has great reviews! I'd never heard of it before, but we definately need to be reading it in this house - DD always accepts food from others. (where is that buggy eyed face when I need it??) This will be great for getting her ready for school!

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2007 - 10:56am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Your ideas are great and roleplay is a wonderful tool.
In addition to roleplay, I found helpful, another idea I found at this site, is to help small children make a book of pictures of things with nuts. Just use cut up mags to create scrapbook. We called it the NutBook and dd only did it for a while, but it helped to show a picture of the nut itself or a nut laden recipe (pecan pie or a cut in half Snickers). An interesting recent study showed that lots of kids allergic to nuts did not even know what they looked like.
And yes I know that they may not be visable and the small one need to still have their rules and the older ones to question or skip, so the roleplay thing is powerful
Imagine, in a few years you may be saying, what if you want to kiss this girl and you don't know if she just ate nuts...
[This message has been edited by Chicago (edited May 29, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 07/28/2007 - 4:27pm
momasita's picture
Joined: 12/05/2004 - 09:00

As I grocery shopped I would show my dd what nuts looked like so she would know.
When she was in Kindergarten I bought the school a copy of 'Alexander the elephant who was allergic to nuts' from FAAN. The nurse showed it to her class to give classmates an understanding. In 5 years we never had a problem at school. Kids are great once they understand. Good Luck! momasita

Posted on: Sun, 07/29/2007 - 2:42am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

My son has done really well with the role playing and I had a few people "test" him recently...people he trusted. BUT he did eat something at school that was not from me. It came from the garden. I can see how he didn't make the association...I mean really - food comes from shelves and boxes right? Not the Earth. [img][/img] . He knew as he was telling me that it was a mistake...I could see the "lightbulb" go on in his head. Anyway.... not sure if your school has a garden...but it's something else to cover if it does.

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...