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“When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight.”

The Cooking Workshop harnesses the creative and intense sensory fun of making and eating foods to "taste and see" the Bible lesson.  Be sure to read "What is the Cooking Workshop?"  All our Bible Lesson Forums have Cooking Workshop topics full of ideas. Supporting Members should be sure to visit the Writing Team's exemplary and extra-creative Cooking Workshop lessons.

This topic was started by a member many years ago asking about how churches handle "Food Allergies".

Most of us are familiar with peanut allergies, and many are now aware that some children have, among other things, gluten, egg, and diary sensitivities.

The common thread in the following responses is collecting information.

Wormy also adds that teachers, especially Cooking Workshop teachers, need to be trained in IDENTIFYING THE SIGNS of an allergic reaction, and how best to respond.

When creating a Cooking Workshop, a standard piece of displayed information should be the "Signs of an Allergic Reaction" and what to do about it.

Read how Rotation Sunday Schools have tried to address this important need.

See this post in this thread for FREE POSTERS you can print and put in your Cooking Workshop.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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At the beginning of each year I have parents fill out an information form partly for just this reason. I know of a few kids that have particular food allergies and always avoid those foods. What I usually do is whenever we are going to cook I tell the parents what we will be cooking and ask if there are any restrictions. Usually the answer is no, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Sometimes it gets the parents' curiosity up and they come and see what we're cooking.
We have only done one cooking workshop but did have 2 kids with food allergies (1 eggs, 1 red dye) so we most definitely allowed the kids to be part of the cooking experience, and just provided those 2 kids with an alternative treat that day! We, too, have an enrollment card for every child and our age group shepherds are made aware of any food allergies.
Interesting. I know we also collect allergies on the form if the parent is willing to share it with you.

I had a child in 2nd grade refuse a balloon from me because she was allergic to the latex.

So allergies come into other workshops too.
I think food allergies are a fact of life in Sunday School and church in general. We absolutely avoid peanuts, other allergies we work around by providing alternate treats or recipes (rice flour rather than wheat flour?). The food workshops are so popular that I would recommend doing whatever you need to include some. Foods that might cause life-threatening allergies should be kept out of the church altogether anyways if there are people with allergies(ie nuts and seafood). There are always people with allergies around - we have a number of adults with serious food allergies, mushrooms, chocolate, dairy products. We still have potluck dinners, but always try to have an allergy-free choice.
We have a laminated sign that says something like, "Our snack today is [then a space in which teachers write the snack with a dry erase marker]. If your child has allergies, or you would prefer that your child not eat this snack, please let us know. Thank you!"

The sign has worked well; it informs parents immediately of what we will be eating and gives them the chance to tell us whether they want their children to eat the snack or not.

Large classroom posters can be printed from various Allergy websites.


You might also have your students make their own versions as an educational event.


Here are two.


Click to open them, and then right click to 'save as' to your computer.








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This is one of my biggest struggles with using rotation curriculum.  We are not a small church and we have more than 10 kids that are regular attenders that have life threatening allergies.  The "processed in a plant" can even pose problems for us.  I have implemented a sign off sheet for parents to approve the food being used during these weeks, but it is a struggle.  The parents of non allergy kids are irritated by it, and the parents of allergy kids are still nervous.  


I also deal with a large group of "natural food only" parents.  Any processed foods are not permitted for their children.  This in turn ends up being several kids in each class who are not able to participate, for one reason or the other.  Just not sure if it is worth all of the hassle!

We too have allergies that we have to constantly be aware of. It seems to be the way things are. Whether you use Rotation or not! I find that our kids are aware of what their own personal food issues are. (We do cooking with 1st - 6th graders). But we always ask!


Do your allergy kids carry epi pens? 


-- Carol

Hi Judy
If my church had your church's allergy and natural foodie issues, I wouldn't use the Cooking Workshop. Instead, I'd swap in something else. That's a strength of Rotation: selecting workshops that make sense for your situation.

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