How to Easily Manage Food Allergies in the School Cafeteria
Food allergies in children are on the rise, and there is no cure in sight. In fact, 30% of school-aged children are allergic to more than one type of food. Let’s take a look at the most common food-based allergies and find out how that impacts your school nutrition program.
The Food Allergy Heavy Hitters
There are over 170 types of highly-allergenic foods, but eight are the most common and account for 90% of all food allergies. These include:
- Tree nuts
Worse yet, symptoms range widely depending on the severity of the allergy, making them difficult to detect. Serving healthy meals to students becomes quite the task when there’s such a wide variety of food-based allergens.
Food Allergies and Schools
Managing food allergies is challenging, especially in the school cafeteria, but school nutrition directors and cafeteria management must make food allergies a priority more than ever before.
When leading cafeteria staff, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of reading food labels and following strict cleaning procedures while promoting food allergy awareness throughout the school community.
One way to keep staff, parents and students in-the-know is with effective school nutrition software.
A Helping Hand: School Nutrition Technology
Did you know that school nutrition technology plays a significant role in ensuring the safety and inclusion of students with food allergies? Here are a couple of ways this technology makes it easier than ever to serve allergy-suffering students.
POS and SIS Communication
Ensure the school’s SIS software delivers an updated list of students flagged with food allergies right into your POS software. An excellent POS software option alerts cashiers of students with allergies to specific foods and other limitations.
Food Allergens and Menu Planning Software
Dynamic menu planning software marks food allergens at the ingredient level, so it’s automatically tracked through the recipe, menu, and into the menu cycle. This puts the minds of the parents and students at ease knowing a safe meal is on the horizon.
Meals Plus Does All of That
Meals Plus safeguards students against exposure to food allergens and helps prevent allergic reactions in the cafeteria.
Our school menu planning software makes it easy to manage your students’ food allergies while quickly building cycle menus. It’s also fully integrated with the Meals Plus Inventory Management and Production Record that offers automated usage tracking.