• Health and Wellness

    Fox Meadow Food (Allergy) Guidelines

    Updated: August, 2023

    The Fox Meadow food and allergy guidelines have been established to ensure a safe, nurturing environment while remaining sensitive to needs of our students. Our guidelines have been developed in accordance with District recommendations and best practices as identified by experts in the field of food allergies. Fox Meadow is dedicated to promoting health and wellness in every aspect of school life.

    At any given time,  we have around 70 children at Fox Meadow with food allergies or intolerances.  Of this population, approximately 30-40 of these students have allergies that are life threatening. As you may know, food allergies are a major problem in this country with national statistics showing that 1 in 13 children has a food allergy. It is important to note that nation-wide, 25% of the severe and potentially life-threatening reactions reported in schools happened in cases in which children had no previous diagnosis of an allergy. A major health issue such as this one needs to be taken very seriously and it has always been our mission to make the safety and well-being of all our students our top priority.

    Some students have such a high sensitivity to the peanut/tree nut protein that even a trace amount of the allergen can result in an anaphylactic reaction. The most serious reaction being respiratory difficulties, such as blockage of the airways, which, if not treated, can lead to death.  Tree nuts include almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans and walnuts. At Fox Meadow, we also have children highly allergic to dairy, sesame and shellfish.

    Our goal is to reduce the risk of exposure to peanuts and tree nuts in the school building. Peanuts are the most common allergen associated with accidental exposure in part due to the stickiness of peanut butter. Nuts are full of natural oils that leave residues. While these residues can be removed with cleaning, it can be difficult to clean tables in the middle of lunch, for example, or for cleaning staff to clean oils off of tainted walls or doorknobs during the day. Therefore, the following guidelines have been put in place:

    • Fox Meadow is a nut aware school. We actively discourage you from sending your child in with any product containing peanuts, tree nuts or Nutella to lunch. We continuously audit the lunchrooms to monitor a safe environment for all children. 

    • Our classrooms are nut controlled and we are most grateful for your cooperation in this matter. We understand that nuts and nut products can be a source of high nutritional value for your child but we ask that you give your child these products at home. This measure helps enormously in keeping the nut allergic children safe. We continue to ask you not to send any projects into the classroom that contain peanut butter or nut products (like bird feeders).

    • The Fox Meadow School Garden program offers an opportunity to taste some of the produce we grow. Parents will be notified of ingredients prior to the tastings.

    • In some instances, preparing and cooking healthy foods will be included as part of curricular activities. Families will be notified of all ingredients. *Food related activities will be approved by the building principal and school nurse.
    • All of our teachers celebrate birthdays in ways that do not involve baked goods. This policy is in place as much for the general health of our children as for safety purposes. Our teachers are creative and fun in the ways they celebrate birthdays. Please save any birthday treats for home.

    • There will be no baked goods (store bought or homemade) at end of year parties or special celebrations. Any items brought in error such as doughnuts, munchkins, cookies or cupcakes will not be accepted.

    • PTA events will adhere to these guidelines, unless otherwise communicated.

    • Halloween, Valentine’s Day and other holidays are celebrated without candy, sweets or baked goods. This is for the general health and wellness of all our students.

    • Our “No food sharing” practice during snack and lunch is another established way that ensures safety in the school. Please remind your children about this policy.

    We trust that you understand how deeply important it is to respect and adhere to these guidelines. Please ensure that whoever packs your child’s food is aware of our guidelines. We realize this request may require added planning and effort on your part when packing your child’s lunch and snacks and we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your support and cooperation. If throughout the course of the year you have any questions or concerns about food allergies, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse at ccronin@scarsdaleschools.org. 

    We wish you and your family a safe and healthy school year.

    Melissa Feinberg, Principal

    Trish Iasiello, Assistant Principal

    Cliona Cronin, School Nurse