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Have you ever ever encountered a potluck occasion that turned out to be allergy-friendly? Nicely, that’s precisely what I did with our elementary faculty Harvest Competition!

The Harvest Competition has been happening at our faculty since a number of years earlier than Zax began Kindergarten. (He’s in fifth grade now!!!) It’s a celebration of wholesome meals, native meals, and constructing group. Every class creates a dish, normally incorporating components from the varsity backyard. Households are additionally invited to convey a soup, salad, or bread to share. Then there’s music and pumpkin adorning and crafts and enjoyable actions for everybody. It’s such a enjoyable, school-wide exercise!

For the primary two years, we attended however principally introduced our personal meals. We additionally sampled what Zax had made at school. I noticed some efforts to make the occasion allergy-friendly, however most fell wanting the mark. For instance, throughout Zax’s Kindergarten 12 months, there have been allergen playing cards by lots of the dishes, however most of them weren’t stuffed out. I bear in mind these, questioning whether or not a card with no allergens circled meant it didn’t comprise any, or if the one who introduced the dish merely hadn’t stuffed it out. Plus, the entire occasion was ripe for cross contamination. The boys and I principally ate my very own soup and Zax’s class applesauce that night time. After which, the allergen playing cards had been utterly passed by the subsequent 12 months.

Getting concerned within the Harvest Competition

It was our third 12 months, when Zax was in 2nd Grade and Kal in Kindergarten, that I obtained concerned. I couldn’t make the entire occasion allergy-friendly, in fact, however I made it my pet undertaking to host an allergy-friendly desk. I needed to convey collectively the meals that had been freed from the highest eight allergens, and ensure that folks with allergic reactions knew the place to go. And that’s what I did!

Allergy Friendly Table for the Harvest Fest | Full of donations and safe home/classmade foods | Food Allergy Superheroes

For 4 years in a row now, I’ve hosted my allergy-friendly desk on the Harvest Competition, along side our faculty’s Wellness Committee. I continue learning issues yearly, discovering methods to enhance. My desk is normally populated by a mixture of donations I safe from allergy-friendly corporations, meals offered by allergy-aware school rooms, meals from different mother and father and, in fact, the dish I convey.

I wish to take a second to thank the businesses who donated to our occasion this 12 months. I’ve obtained no cash from them, however they every generously donated product for our occasion, and we admire them!

Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse

Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse made a generous donation to our event | Food Allergy Superheroes

Meals restrictions transcend meals allergic reactions, in fact, and so a gluten-free bread was a should for my desk. Canyon Bakehouse is a Colorado firm, which makes them native to us. I’ve all the time discovered their bread to be tasty and one thing I’m keen to eat, though I can eat wheat with out a drawback. Once I emailed them, Canyon Bakehouse generously donated 4 loaves of bread to our occasion. (Canyon bread is just not utterly high eight free, so egg was the one allergen at my desk, within the bread. I made a giant signal, so folks would know.)

Good Karma Meals

Good Karma Flaxmilk made a generous donation to our event | Food Allergy Superheroes

Good Karma Flaxmilk is the one dairy-free milk that has succeeded in impressing me, as a milk drinker. (Keep in mind that I can’t have nut milks on account of my very own nut allergy.) I’ve tried, used, and baked with a number of dairy free milks for recipe growth, and Good Karma is the one dairy-free milk that I’d drink, simply because. It’s good, and it’s creamy! I requested them if they’d donate, and so they despatched me coupons so I may choose up some merchandise regionally. I nabbed three milks and a French Onion dip, which was a brand new product I didn’t know that they had.

Along with bringing the flaxmilk to the Harvest Competition, I additionally used a number of cups of it in my Pumpkin Soup.

Take pleasure in Life Meals

Enjoy Life Foods made a generous donation to our event | Food Allergy Superheroes

Take pleasure in Life is one among our favourite allergy-friendly manufacturers. Most of their meals are candy although, and I couldn’t ask for a donation of cookies or chocolate for an occasion the place we discourage desserts. Luckily, Take pleasure in Life has their tasty Lentil Chips, which went effectively with the Good Karma dip and classmade salsas! They offered us with a pleasant, huge field of chips for the occasion.

Trainer Involvement on the Harvest Competition

For the previous few years, I’ve despatched a variation of this letter to the lecturers at our faculty, per week or two previous to the occasion. This 12 months, our P.E. trainer (and head of our Wellness Committee) went a step additional and went to every trainer, discussing their recipe and filling out the recipe card collectively.

Letter and Allergen Card to teachers for Harvest Festival | Food Allergy Superheroes

This dramatically elevated trainer use of the allergen card, which was great! Not all courses have college students with meals allergic reactions, however I like ensuring that allergic reactions are on their minds when getting ready meals.

Group Involvement

The food line for the Harvest Festival | Food Allergy Superheroes

Though “Allergy-Pleasant Meals” are a class on the occasion sign-up, I haven’t had very many households convey a dish by my desk. Most individuals, even folks with meals allergic reactions, don’t deliberately make one thing freed from the entire high eight allergens, in spite of everything. And after they do it accidentally, they don’t give it some thought.

This 12 months although, a Vegan household introduced a number of dishes over to me, and I used to be joyful to incorporate their meals with the remainder. Not all the pieces there was good for them (meat-based broths and such,) however they nonetheless appreciated utilizing our desk as a place to begin. I used to be very impressed that they introduced a full checklist of components for his or her meals as effectively!

Our P.E. trainer did a pleasant job of organizing volunteers this 12 months, too. She had a number of volunteers on the door, accepting dishes as folks arrived. This obtained the meals organized, and likewise was the right alternative to distribute the allergen playing cards. I’ve all the time offered allergen playing cards, and compliance was at its finest this 12 months!

The allergen cards for contributors to fill out | Food Allergy Superheroes
The allergen playing cards for contributors to fill out, marking which main allergens are of their dish. Choices for “Not one of the above” so there are not any clean playing cards, and “I don’t bear in mind,” as a result of it’s higher to know that than take probabilities.

Taking a look at the way forward for the Harvest Competition

We love the Harvest Competition, and so I used to be a bit of unhappy to understand that we don’t have a few years left. Our Elementary College goes by sixth grade, however our district has an non-obligatory “Management” center faculty that begins in sixth. I don’t know what my youngsters wish to do for sixth grade but (however we’re clearly figuring that out for Zax quickly.) Relying on what Kal chooses to do, we solely have two or three years left in Elementary College. And meaning we solely have two or three Harvest Festivals left, too.

A hungry crowd gathered for the festival | Food Allergy Superheroes
The entrance to our school, decked out for the festival | Food Allergy Superheroes

I’m hoping that I’ll be capable to discover one other meals allergy mother within the subsequent 12 months or two. Ideally a kindergarten or first grade mother, so she’ll be round for some time. (Or a dad, that might work too!) I’d like any person to go the torch of the Allergy Pleasant Desk to, as a result of I’d hate for it to vanish when my youngsters grow old.

However for now, I’ll take pleasure in stuffing myself foolish on allergy-friendly dishes and donations. This is without doubt one of the finest extra-curriculars our faculty has, and I like being a part of it!

Eileen with our Allergy Friendly Harvest Festival Table | Food Allergy Superheroes
Our school's Harvest Festival | an Allergy-Friendly Potluck | Allergy-Friendly table courtesy of Allergy Superheroes