The CDC’s Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs recommends the “use of non-food incentives for prizes, gifts, and awards.” This practice is also recommended by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Other well-respected health organizations and institutions recommend this approach as well.
While a shift to non-food incentives may require slight changes to school traditions, there are potential benefits. This practice can help ease anxiety surrounding the serving of food at school and the subsequent chance of accidental exposure to allergens for children with food allergies.
This new handout is a useful compilation of no cost and low cost rewards. It also includes "rewards from the heart" and activity-based rewards. This resource was written in collaboration with Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed., education consultant.