Podcast Episode 091: Food Allergies at School – Sherry Coleman Collins

May 23, 2018

“Food allergies are serious and can be life-threatening. However, sometimes fear and anxiety are driven by myths and misunderstandings. Focusing on food bans can create a false sense of security and put the emphasis on enforcement rather than education. A comprehensive approach which focuses on caution and preparedness is key.” – Sherry Coleman Collins

Last week was Food Allergy Awareness week, so I asked my friend and food allergy expert, Sherry Coleman Collins, to come back on the show to discuss food allergies in the school environment. Sherry is a registered dietitian nutritionist and consultant for the National Peanut Board. In addition to being an expert in food allergies, she’s a passionate cook, and devoted boymom. And she recently launched her new podcast Southern Fried Girlfriends with her co-host Dee Wilson! 

Sherry and her family.

Understanding food allergies can be the difference between life and death in our schools – and that’s not just limited to those affected by peanut allergies. Sherry has first-hand experience of the school food nutrition environment, carefully navigating the 6% to 8% of children affected to avoid unpredictable anaphylaxis caused by some foods you might never have thought of as allergens.

Protecting those with food allergies is an important public health concern. This can be accomplished while still allowing those without allergies to eat the foods that they love. The two are not mutually exclusive. ~ Sherry Coleman Collins

Tune in and discover what schools are implementing to address food allergies, what they could be doing better, and what you can do to encourage change. It’s possible for parents to have no idea that their children are affected until they have a reaction to food at school, so a comprehensive approach is necessary and can save lives. Sherry has committed herself in the hope of alleviating the pressure on schools and children by promoting awareness, education and best practices.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why hand sanitizer is no replacement for hand-washing.
  • How life-threatening anaphylaxis can occur with any food.
  • The big eight food allergens.
  • Why non-student specific epinephrine saves lives.
  • The differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance.
  • Why every allergic reaction must be dealt with seriously.
  • The misunderstandings around airborne exposure to allergens.
  • What schools are doing to protect children.
  • Why banning certain foods in schools is not addressing the entire problem.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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Music by Dave Birk

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