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Beaver Creek Tackles Treats, Food Allergies

The school's nutrition department will provide birthday treats this year to help avoid problems with children's food allergies.

Food allergies are a common issue for schools and parents, so Beaver Creek Elementary School in Johnston has begun providing treats for celebrations to simplify the matter.

Principal Eric Toot told the Des Moines Register restrictions were not consistent among classrooms, so kids in some rooms could bring treats while it was not allowed in other rooms because of food allergies.

“As we were looking at a way that’s safe and fair for everyone and acknowledges birthdays, we settled on celebrating a monthly birthday,” Toot told the Register. “We’ll provide the treats from the nutrition department, which we know are safe.”

On days when the treats are handed out, Toot has asked teachers to stop class for a few minutes, play a game and acknowledge the birthdays that took place during the month.

“Every day we announce birthdays, I deliver a pencil to a student who has a birthday and a lot of teachers give them a sticker or they wear a special crown,” the principal said in the newspaper story. “We still make the actual day a special day. And then we acknowledge them again on the monthly birthday day.”

The principal has fielded a few phone calls since from disappointed parents, he told the newspaper.

Toot said last school year three children had an allergic reaction to food, one of which was from a birthday cupcake brought into a class. Two of the incidents could have been prevented if the school had its current treat policies in place.

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