It is important to clarify with your school's principal whether the allergy is a nut allergy or a nut and seed allergy.
When a school declares itself a "nut free school" it is a little bit more complex than you might think. I always assumed that it simply meant that children could not take nuts or obvious nut-filled products such as nut butters in their lunch boxes. As it turns out there are a whole host of food items that contain nuts and it is very important to educate yourself on what they are.
When someone at your child's school has a nut-allergy it must be taken very seriously. In many cases nut allergies can lead to anaphylaxis and fatality if it is not managed correctly. This is a terrifying thought for any parent. For this reason we must appreciate the level of trust that these parents are placing on other parents to keep their child safe and healthy.
It's Not Just Nuts
It is important to clarify with your school's principal whether the allergy is a nut allergy or a nut and seed allergy. In many cases they go hand in hand or there may be one student (or more) with a nut allergy and a different student with a seed allergy. In fact, there are all sorts of allergies which can occur such as Kiwi which is prohibited in a local school near me. Ask the principal to clarify and they will be happy to share this very important information with you.
Which Food Items Contain Nuts?
Aside from actual nuts of all types and nut butters, there are a number of food items that contain traces of nuts. Pesto is one such example. Your child may enjoy pasta with pesto for their lunch but the pesto may contain cashew nuts or pine nuts.
Certain snacks and chocolate bars may contain traces of nuts also. The same can be said for Granola. An innocent granola bar could have disastrous affects in a school where a nut allergy is present. Many people make their own granola and it is possible to do so without using any form of nuts.
If you are using dinner leftovers to fill lunch-boxes it is important to consider whether a nut oil was used in the cooking process as well as ensuring that all sauces and dressings are nut free before sending your child to school with them.
Crackers are a common lunch box filler but some brands do contain traces of nuts (and/or seeds). Always read the label before putting them in your child's lunch box.
Many schools allow for a small treat on a Friday. If that treat is a cookie or some sort of baked goods you must ensure that it contains no traces of nuts. This includes Nutella which is made from Hazelnuts.
Communicate With Your Child
Your child's favourite snack or lunch items may contain nuts. This could cause upset as it is no longer acceptable for them to take due to a nut allergy at the school. It may help to explain to your child that a student in their school has an allergy to those foods and if anyone takes them to the school they could become very seriously ill. It is important for us all to be kind and keep our friends safe.