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

The Harvest Pageant has been happening at our college 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 substances from the college 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 largely introduced our personal meals. We additionally sampled what Zax had made in school. I noticed some efforts to make the occasion allergy-friendly, however most fell in need of the mark. For instance, throughout Zax’s Kindergarten 12 months, there have been allergen playing cards by most 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 include any, or if the one that introduced the dish merely hadn’t stuffed it out. Plus, the entire occasion was ripe for cross contamination. The boys and I largely ate my very own soup and Zax’s class applesauce that night time. After which, the allergen playing cards have been fully passed by the following 12 months.

Getting concerned within the Harvest Pageant

It was our third 12 months, when Zax was in 2nd Grade and Kal in Kindergarten, that I received concerned. I couldn’t make the entire occasion allergy-friendly, after all, however I made it my pet challenge to host an allergy-friendly desk. I wished to convey collectively the meals that have been freed from the highest eight allergens, and ensure that folks with allergy symptoms 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 Pageant, along side our college’s Wellness Committee. I continue to learn issues yearly, discovering methods to enhance. My desk is normally populated by a mix of donations I safe from allergy-friendly firms, meals offered by allergy-aware school rooms, meals from different mother and father and, after all, the dish I convey.

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

Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse

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

Meals restrictions transcend meals allergy symptoms, after all, 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 at all times discovered their bread to be tasty and one thing I’m keen to eat, though I can eat wheat with no downside. Once I emailed them, Canyon Bakehouse generously donated 4 loaves of bread to our occasion. (Canyon bread will not be fully prime 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 attributable to my very own nut allergy.) I’ve tried, used, and baked with a number of dairy free milks for recipe improvement, 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 might donate, and so they despatched me coupons so I might 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 Pageant, 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 considered one of 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. Fortuitously, Take pleasure in Life has their tasty Lentil Chips, which went nicely with the Good Karma dip and classmade salsas! They offered us with a pleasant, large field of chips for the occasion.

Instructor Involvement on the Harvest Pageant

For the previous few years, I’ve despatched a variation of this letter to the academics at our college, every week or two previous to the occasion. This 12 months, our P.E. instructor (and head of our Wellness Committee) went a step additional and went to every instructor, 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 instructor use of the allergen card, which was great! Not all courses have college students with meals allergy symptoms, however I like ensuring that allergy symptoms are on their minds when getting ready meals.

Neighborhood Involvement

The food line for the Harvest Festival | Food Allergy Superheroes

Regardless that “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 allergy symptoms, don’t deliberately make one thing freed from all the prime eight allergens, in any case. And once they do it by chance, 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 remaining. Not every part 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 listing of substances for his or her meals as nicely!

Our P.E. instructor 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 received the meals organized, and likewise was the proper alternative to distribute the allergen playing cards. I’ve at all times 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 possibilities.

Taking a look at the way forward for the Harvest Pageant

We love the Harvest Pageant, and so I used to be just a little unhappy to appreciate that we don’t have a few years left. Our Elementary Faculty goes by sixth grade, however our district has an non-obligatory “Management” center college 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 Faculty. And which means 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 of 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 someone to move the torch of the Allergy Pleasant Desk to, as a result of I’d hate for it to vanish when my youngsters become 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 college 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