Westside School District 66 in Omaha is implementing a new food policy this year. Students can no longer bring homemade foods to share with their fellow classmates. District spokesperson Brandi Petersen says they put a lot of thought into developing the new Safer and Healthier Food Policy for safety reasons.
Petersen says, “I believe there are 150 different food allergens that could cause kids and people some serious health consequences if they come in contact with. The top eight are peanuts and tree nuts and those kinds of things. As a school district we really wanted to reevaluate are we doing all we can to make sure our students are as safe as they can be.”
Petersen says birthday treats to be shared with the class are welcome but they must be commercially prepared and packaged. That means no more homemade cookies or cupcakes. At the elementary level they developed an approved snack list that can be shared on those special occasions. It includes several gluten free options.
Children can still bring a homemade lunch, even peanut butter sandwiches if they like but those foods cannot be shared with other students.