Special Diets: Food Allergies
Contact the Disabled Student Center to see if the school is able to assist with accommodations. Some schools offer private rooms or apartments with cooking appliances and refrigerators to avoid cross contamination for life threatening and severe allergies. You should provide a copy of your emergency treatment plan to the Food Services Director, Health Care Manager, food and kitchen staff and your resident advisor. It’s also a good idea to post your ETP in a central location in your dorm room or apartment so it is readily accessible
There are many different medical alert bracelets and necklaces available for students to wear. Some of the newer ones are made of silicon (https://www.americanmedical-id.com/extra/all-medical-id-bracelets.html) and they are more comfortable and can be worn 24/7.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (www.asthmaandallergies.org/food-allergies/going-to-college-with-food-allergies/) offers some great tips and brochures for dealing with allergies while at college.
If private rooms are not available at your school ask about keeping a micro refrigerator and pantry in your dorm room to have safe snacks available at all times. Be sure no one else has access to your food. You may want to consider getting a few locks, just to be on the safe side. One curious or hungry dorm mate might jeopardize your health or your life, without even realizing it.
DON’T GET CARELESS
NEVER become complacent or careless about what you consume or touch. Don’t be afraid to ask to see labels, and read them carefully. Don’t trust any food you haven’t prepared yourself, unless you’re 100% sure that it is safe. Others don’t necessarily understand your allergies; they may be unaware that they used a certain type of oil, or used something that has a component of milk in it. What they don’t know could hurt you.
If a specialized diet or food allergies are important considerations for you and your child when deciding on which college to attend, you should become aware of and informed on the school’s ability to meet your child’s special dietary requirements (www.foodallergy.org/resources/college-students).
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet : A Step-by- Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
For More Information Check Out These Sites:
Many colleges and universities are making changes to assist students who have special dietary needs. The following sites will give you an idea of what to look for at the schools you’re investigating:
William & Mary
University of California, San Diego
To avoid certain allergens at college here are some helpful sites: