Nuts and seeds are great sources of energy, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids; all key components of a healthy balanced diet. They make great snacks for children, offering a healthy alternative to crisps, chocolate and sweets.
However nuts and some seeds are also common food allergens, so your school needs to plan carefully if you’re going to provide them safely.
Some schools choose to remove nuts from their menus altogether, and ask children not to bring them in at all. This approach is common in primary schools, as young pupils may not be mature enough to manage their condition by avoiding allergens.
However, there’s no guarantee a nut ban will ensure there are no nuts on school premises and this approach can also give a false sense of security to pupils with a nut allergy – as they’re not learning ways to avoid allergens.
Other schools work to teach everyone at school how to manage the risk of allergic reactions to nuts.
Useful resources to help you decide on the right approach for your school are available from:
- The Anaphylaxis Campaign
- The Health Education Trust
- The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)