It’s hard to believe, but we’re in our third week of school here (already!). The kids were excited to get back into the classroom and embark on a new school year. This fresh start means so much — a more normal school environment filled with learning and joy. It also means a lot more homework than either had in the latter part of last year.
For me, sending the kids back this year was hard. There’s a big degree of emotion that comes with all the firsts after a trauma like the one we experienced. But while I would love to keep the kids home forever, protecting them from all the what-ifs, that’s not healthy. And it’s not good for them. So I walk them to the bus stop with a big smile and send them off to school day after day. The rest will come.
This year, Will has changed schools again — back to the one where he attended kindergarten and first grade. It’s a nut-free school, which means that everything from peanut butter to many granolas to pesto is off-limits. Considering that the majority of his school days have been in nut-free classrooms, I’m pretty well prepared for the challenges of packing nut-free lunches and snacks.
Is your school nut-free? Your classroom? While Will’s school is completely nut-free, Paige’s school has individual classrooms that are nut-free (her classroom isn’t one of them). Before Will started preschool in 2008, I had no idea that some schools had banned peanuts and tree nuts from classrooms — and/or the whole school. And, honestly, coming from a family without allergies, I didn’t understand what the fuss was all about. These allergies were a nonissue when I was in school. But times have changed, and nut allergies really are a big deal. Fortunately, I educated myself through writing to learn about why peanut and tree-nut allergies can be so devastating. After learning about how severe allergies can be, and also getting to know a family whose son has a nut allergy, it completely changed my thinking. These days, I am extremely careful — and don’t even send items manufactured in facilities that handle nuts to school. That’s how important being nut-free is.
Need some help choosing nut-free snacks for your child’s school?
Grab and Go Nut-Free Snacks
Send a Little Love to School
Easy Nut-Free School Snack Ideas
Need more ideas? Check out my article No Nuts, No Problem! 8 Easy Nut-Free Snacks to Go on iVillage for some really easy and family-friendly nut-free snack ideas.