How about organizing an Allergy~Friendly Bake Sale at your local school! I have already begun getting all in order for our '2nd Annual Allergy~Friendly Bake Sale'.
I am a strong promoter of educating students at preschool and early elementary ages about food allergies. Children are so much smarter and accepting than most adults give them credit. For those of us who have children with food allergies, their peers become their strongest allies and supporters.
The 'Allergy~Friendly' Bake Sale is not an event so that those with food allergies can try different foods. It is an event where those with food allergies - those who often can't participate in the regular school activities such as hot lunch, bake sales and classroom celebrations - to 'showcase' their favorite desserts, snacks or baked goods.
The money raised from this can be used to purchase books, videos or any educational items thought needed for the school library and classrooms. Imagine, being able to have educational materials in every single classroom?
With a bit of support, it is the kids with food allergies who put this event together. They work the tables, collect money and have a great time watching their favorite snacks fly off the tables! The look of pride on their faces is priceless!!
Here's what you need to do:
- Get approval from your Home and School Association and the Principal
- Find families you trust to bake for you; We had those who managed and didn't manage food allergies bake
- Absolutely NO NUT products are allowed
- You can sell items during recesses and lunch
- The kids with food allergies man the tables; I was able to have the older kids help and supervise the younger ones (this is also a great mentoring opportunity for the older kids!)
- We had parent volunteers throughout the entire process
- Contact local businesses such as: CO-OPs, pizza shops offering gluten-free doughs/sauces, gluten-free bakeries
- Ask the local businesses to : A) donate products OR B) offer gift certificates/coupons; You man be surprised how many local businesses will get involved!!
- Make it FUN! Have some contests to win prizes donated and announce the winners at the end of lunch or over the loud speaker at the end of the day!!
So, get out there and start planning!! Watch your kids smile as they get to be involved and show how good eating with different ingredients can really be!
Let's do our part in raising allergy awareness in our communities!! I would love to hear that there is one individual in every state organizing their very own 'Allergy~Friendly Bake Sale'!