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4 Back to School Tips for your gluten-free kids

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

School bus with kids
1. Stock Up-What are their favorite snacks? Here are a few of ours: cheese sticks, fruit, Utz chips, Snyder's gluten-free pretzels, Kind bars, popcorn, fruit snacks, trail mix, and Goody Girl cookies just to name a few. We find the best places to buy snacks near us are Wegmans, Target, Walmart, and Weis. Of course, this will vary depending on where you live.

2. Organization-Find a place in your closet for your kids' favorite snacks. When my kids were younger, I put individual snacks in zip-lock bags in a clear plastic container. This made it easier for them to open the closet and grab a quick snack to pack for their lunch. This also helps your child become more independent while snacking safely.

3. Planning-If you have young children you will have to think about all those classroom birthday parties. What does your child like to eat as a treat? When my daughter was little, we made homemade brownies with homemade cream cheese icing. I would make a bunch at the start of the school year and freeze them. I would then send five or six to school where they would be kept in the freezer. When someone had a birthday, it would be taken out of the freezer in the morning to thaw. Then I could replenish them throughout the year. This ensured she always had a treat to eat with her classmates!

4. Communication-It's important to speak to the school about your child's needs. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac at four years old so communication with the school has always been important. At the start of every year, I meet with the school to educate the staff about Celiac disease.

While your child is in elementary school communication is especially important as they do not always know what they can and cannot have. When my daughter was diagnosed, I started teaching her how to find the gluten-free label on snacks. I made it into a game of who could find the label first. However, as an elementary student, she still needed help. Which is why it was so important that her teachers were aware of her Celiac.

If there was going to be a party at school her teachers would contact me ahead of time so I could make sure she had some safe gluten-free snacks that she enjoyed. I also provided a list of safe gluten-free items so her teacher knew what kind of snacks/candy she could have. I also educated the staff on what her symptoms would be if she accidentally ingested gluten so they could notify me.

What do you do to prepare for your child's school year? Please share your ideas and tips. If you have questions, please message me!
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