Will Canadian schools allow students to eat nuts?

Will Canadian schools allow students to eat nuts?

There is a trend to bring nuts back into children's diets.

The École Émilie Tremblay school in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, has embarked on a nutritional revolution that has left the established traditions of Canadian educational institutions in the past. Jars of nuts, a previously banned product, have appeared on the desks of high school students.

The changes are based on the school's policy, which was approved after detailed consultations with staff and parents, including families with allergic children. However, as Principal Marie-Hélène Gagné emphasized, the restrictions remain the same in the lower grades, where students with allergies attend.

Nuts in Canadian schools

For years, peanuts and tree nuts were excluded from school menus to keep allergy sufferers safe. However, new research has raised doubts about the effectiveness of comprehensive bans.

Prior to the implementation of the new policy on January 8, all school staff attended a food allergy course where they reviewed allergy relief procedures and the use of epinephrine injectors. They discussed methods to prevent allergic reactions among students: hand washing, avoiding communal meals, and cleaning up after meals.

"Children that have allergies are already educated [about] that: they know how to behave to protect themselves. So now we're trying to educate the rest of the population.... Education rather than prohibition," Gagné said, noting that allergies can be triggered not only by nuts but also by other foods such as fish, seafood and exotic fruits.

Expert opinion

Allergist and clinical immunologist Dr. Susan Waserman stressed that schools should follow best practices, including regular training on anaphylaxis and having epinephrine injectors in the nursing rooms. Waserman anticipates possible resistance to the changes, but emphasized that everyone involved in the educational process must work together to ensure the safety of children with food allergies.

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  • #Tagged Canadian school nutrition
  • #school nutrition policy in Canada
  • #allergy safety at school
  • #nuts on school menus
  • #Food Allergy Canada
  • #Yukon educational institutions
  • #Whitehorse
  • #inclusive school nutrition policy
  • #food restrictions in Canadian schools