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Food Allergies in Children: Why Childcare Centre Caterers should Never Take for Granted

May 11th, 2017

Young children are suffering from food allergies at an alarming rate today. In fact, one out of every 20 kids has an allergy to food and their reactions range from being slightly sensitive to certain foods to deadly allergic to others. Top triggers are tree nuts, peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, sesame, seafood, wheat, soy, and fish and other seafood. For these reasons, a child care caterer needs to be ever alert to the foods that it includes in its meals for delivery to day-care centres. The caterer should collaborate with each centre to understand which kids require special allergen meals.

What Is an Allergic Reaction

The definition of an allergic reaction is when the body’s immune system negatively responds to various triggers ranging from certain foods to bee stings. A reaction of this nature can range in severity from a bit of abdominal pain to anaphylaxis shock, which can be life threatening without immediate treatment.

Signs of a Food Allergy

Food allergy signs vary in severity from child to child. All day-care workers need to understand how to spot these signs and child care caterers need to realise that their meals need to be safe to eat for all children. Read the following to learn additional facts about these signs:

1. Mild to moderate signs are such reactions as:

• Abdominal pain
• Welts or hives on the body
• Facial, eye or lip swelling

2. Symptoms of severe allergic reactions:

• Gasping for breathing
• Rattling when breathing
• Throat or tongue swelling
• Hoarse voice
• Hard to talk
• Dizziness and/or fainting
• Persistent cough or wheezing
• Floppy and pale, especially in young kids

Child Care Caterers and Centres Should Never Underestimate Food Allergies

Whether you run a day-care centre or cater food to one, you should not underestimate how serious food allergies can be in young children. Children die each year from eating peanuts or other foods that they have a severe allergy to, and it does not always need to be a large portion. Peanut oil in packaged foods also can be an issue even in minute quantities.

Our staff here at Hearty Health takes the fact that children can suffer from food allergies seriously. As a result, we do not include nuts in our meals and also provide specific allergen meals to day-care centres to ensure that each child can eat safely each day. We help the centres design menus to fit the needs of their kids and prepare the meals fresh each day.

Hearty Health
P:  1300 728 762
E:  info@heartyhealth.com.au

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