Allergies are serious business in kids ministry. And if you’re the parent of a child with serious or life-threatening allergies, nothing is more terrifying than entrusting your child to teachers you don’t know in a room full of children you also don’t know. That’s why it’s important to take every precaution to ensure that children are safe while in our care. We don’t want something as simple as snack options to get in the way of our ability to reach a child and a family with the gospel! Now is a good time to evaluate your game plan for handling allergies. Here are some great ideas to incorporate:
- Ask for allergy information as part of VBS registration.
- Prominently post each day’s snack (and ingredients) for parents to see.
- Keep food labels in case parents have questions.
- Use special wristbands to clearly identify children with allergies.
- Enlist a nurse to be onsite and on-call during VBS.
- Offer alternative snacks for children with allergies.
- Choose snacks that are allergen-free.
Gluten-free options are clearly marked in the VBS 2017 Snack Rotation Recipe Cards. Our snack recipes also offer alternative ingredients for many common allergens such as peanuts. But this year one church took it a step further and adapted 5 of our snack recipes to be Top 8 Allergen Free! (The top 8 allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.) A big shout out goes to Julie Parmer, Director of Preschool Ministries at FBC Prattville, AL, for sharing these awesome recipes with us!