Allergy Aware Because We Care
While on the road out West launching the new Spring Menu and hosting “From Kidco’s Kitchen” talks, I received many questions about allergy and food restriction policies at Kids & Company… and rightfully so! According to Health Canada, approximately six percent of Canadian children are affected by a food allergy. As many as 1.2 million Canadians may be affected by a life-threatening food allergy. We understand that as parents, you want to know that your child is safe while in childcare, even if they have severe food allergies. We take our allergy and food restriction policies very seriously at Kids & Company and in the Kidco Kitchens.
I develop all the Kidco Kitchen recipes and execute all menu planning with input from our culinary team. I personally review each child’s food restrictions and/or allergies and make accommodations as necessary with parental consent. To ensure the highest standards of children’s safety, any outside food is permitted on site based on my discretion after discussions with the family. Tree nuts and peanuts are not permitted at any of the Kids & Company sites. This is due to the high number of children with allergic reactions to these substances. Written information regarding your child’s food restrictions and/or allergies must be given to the Site Director.
In the Kidco Kitchens, all chefs are aware of the different food allergies and restrictions at the sites. As mentioned in previous blogs, we use from-scratch cooking. This gives our chefs the ability to control exactly what goes into the food we are serving your children. We make sure that all of our ingredients are made in safe facilities ensuring the food’s integrity.
The most common allergies and intolerances we see at Kids & Company are to eggs, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds and gluten. Posted in each classroom and kitchen is a summary of the children with diet restrictions and less severe allergies and intolerances. For every child with an anaphylactic allergy, their picture and allergy is posted in each classroom and kitchen with an epi-pen on site.
http://www.babycenter.ca/ is a great Canadian website that provides information about food allergies in babies and small children. It talks about common food allergies, signs to look for and living with a food allergy. It’s a great resource if you are looking for more information on your child’s allergy, or perhaps just wondering how you should go about testing different foods with your child. It also has great background information on nutrition for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Take a look!
As always, feel free to contact me with any food questions or concerns – email@example.com.
Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador
Kids & Company