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Treats and Food Allergies in Church

July 25, 2012

In church, I teach the six-year-olds in primary. Two weeks ago, we had a visitor with Celiac Disease. The mother wanted to let me know in case I had any treats, which I thankfully didn’t. I don’t bring food into class, since these kids are old enough to wait to eat until they get home.

However, this week’s lesson, which was on sharing, suggested bringing in treats so the kids could talk about sharing the food with one another. I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if that visitor had come this week instead. I decided that I would just have to run home quick and grab one of Joseph’s snacks so that she could participate too. Although, that would just be luck that she ended up in a class where the teacher had something gluten-free at home that she could bring. Would the mother have brought something in her bag just in case for the daughter? By that age, she really shouldn’t have to. If she didn’t, is it fair to take the food away from all the kids, or just exclude the one? Teaching about the need to share is really tricky when people have a need to say “no thank you.”

In that way, its nice that we expect Joseph to have a snack in his classes in nursery, since he’s so young. We provide a bag of crackers and a rice cake each week for him, though it always comes back half full. Thankfully, since I last talked with the primary presidency, my husband provided the nursery with shoestring potatoes for the entire nursery to share, and I’m sure that’s what the majority of Joseph’s snack is. He loves those potatoes.

Have you handled anything like this? How do you teach about sharing when you have to deal with food allergies?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2012 9:32 am

    It wasn’t allergies, exactly…but it’s allergy-free…

    Once upon a time, I taught the 5-year-olds. They kept asking for snacks. Sarcastically, I asked, “What, do you want me to bring carrots?”

    To which the kiddos replied, “Yes, thank-you, that would be great.”

    So, I brought in baby carrots every week, and we usually started class by singing “Once there was a snowman” with carrots on our noses. It actually seemed to help the kids to focus, and I liked that we were eating something healthy, instead of hyping them up on sugar right before dinner time. I was surprised they were just as happy to get carrots as sweets. We had an odd time for church, and they were just hungry.

    For a “special treat” when we talked about the land of fruit and honey, I brought in apple slices and honey…that was hugely popular.

    • July 25, 2012 9:39 am

      That’s a great treat to have. And I can understand how cranky five-year-olds get in the afternoon. Right now, we have the 9-12 slot, and the kids are fine with me not bringing a snack except on rare occasions.

  2. Laura permalink
    December 30, 2016 7:12 am

    Yeah… just bring in a non-allergen snack no matter what. Fruits and veg are healthier and the children do actually like them. Well, actually I guess there are people with allergies to citrus and berries. Just bring some grapes, dried fruit, carrots (as above), apple slices, banana and a plastic knife.

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