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Allergen-Safe School Environment


Communities working together to protect our children

Many children have allergies. Some allergic reactions can be life threatening. This medical condition is called anaphylaxis. Some children, for example, are severely allergic to nut products, including peanut butter. Even a tiny bit can be fatal within minutes.

Rainbow District School Board promotes peanut-safe schools. However, we cannot guarantee a nut-free environment.

We caution parents/guardians of an anaphylactic child that traces of nut products can be hidden. Students can fail to recognize they have nut products in their lunches, and/or students may not admit that they have nut products.

If you are a parent/guardian of a child with a life-threatening allergy, we need your cooperation in providing the school with current medical information and in developing a plan with your child’s Principal to protect your child from danger. Please contact your School Principal as soon as possible.

Please also contact the Sudbury Student Services Consortium at 705.521.1234 and alert your child’’s bus driver of your child’’s condition.

Avoiding Peanuts in Schools

We encourage all parents/guardians to send foods to school without nuts or nut products.

Tips for Packing Peanut-safe lunches and snacks

READ all ingredient lists very carefully. Although some food product labels note “may contain traces of peanuts”, this information is not consistently provided by all manufacturers.

RE-CHECK the list each time you buy a product to make sure that the ingredients have not changed. If you have questions about the product, contact the manufacturer directly. If you cannot contact the manufacturer, do not purchase the product.

AVOID any products that do not carry a complete list of ingredients (e.g. on-site bakery and bulk food products). As well, there is a much greater risk for cross-contamination with bulk food products. “Safe foods” become “unsafe” through contact with peanuts or peanut products. Keep this in mind when buying foods from bulk bins.

PREPARE FOOD SAFELY. Wash hands thoroughly and make sure that all cutting boards, food preparation utensils, counter tops and containers are clean and sanitized. Peanut residue can easily be passed on to other foods during preparation (e.g. don’t dip the knife used to spread peanut butter in the jelly jar).

TEACH children to wash their hands and faces well with soap and water before and after eating meals, both at home and at school. Remind them not to share their lunch and snack foods, utensils or food containers with classmates.

WORK with your school community to create a peanut-safe environment.

School Lunch and Snack Ideas

A well-balanced lunch should contain at least three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Snacks should contain at least two of the four food groups. Mix and match from each column to plan a nutritious lunch or snack.


Plain cooked rice, couscous, pasta, breads, bagels, rolls and buns, pita bread, flour tortilla, crackers, melba toast, pizza crust, flatbread, breadsticks, english muffins, breakfast cereal, muffins.


Fresh fruit and fruit salads, canned fruit in juice, fruit juices and fruit blends, dried fruits, raw, cooked and canned vegetables, vegetable-based salads (e.g. tossed, coleslaw, potato salad), vegetable or tomato juice, vegetable-based soups, salsa.


Milk (skim, 1%, 2%), soy/rice beverages, yogurt, yogurt tubes, block cheese, cottage cheese, cheese strings, milk-based cream soups, milk pudding, custard, processed cheese slices.

Meat and Alternatives

Hard boiled eggs, cold meats (e.g. chicken, roast beef, ham, turkey), deli meats (e.g. roast beef, ham, turkey, pastrami), leftover meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, chili, cooked lentils, chickpeas, beans, water-packed tuna or salmon, back bacon, ground beef, turkey, chicken, canned baked beans.

Always read ingredient lists very carefully.

Pack food safely! Using a wide-mouth thermos, add piping hot foods and close the lid tightly. A small freezer pack or frozen juice box will help keep cold lunch and snack items safe inside an insulated lunch bag.

This fact sheet is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you have questions about a child’s allergy, please speak to the child’s physician. 

This information was produced by the Dieticians/Nutritionists of the Sudbury & District Health Unit.