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Food Allergies - Schools & Restaurants
Hi all -
Not sure if this question belongs here or somewhere else so apologies if I am posting in the wrong place.
My daughter has a severe peanut and egg allergy and we are looking to move to Algarve and I want to make sure to do my homework on what her life will be like with food allergies in Portugal.
Does anyone know how schools handle food allergies? Here in the US, we can talk to the schools/chef and find safe lunch menus for her to eat when she wants at school that do not have any peanuts or egg. I am hoping we can do the same in Portugal. Also the teachers are trained in how to use an epipen and there is a nurse onsite at the schools.
Also eating out, we have found some safe options for her (not every restaurant) where we can safely order her food.
Any insight into this from this group will be very helpful. Thank you!
@ana in Australia, food allergies are common for kids too. Kids take their own lunches to school and some schools ban all kids from taking certain foods, others try to limit what kids take.
In Portugal, from my experience, the schools serve a 3-course lunch in a cafeteria-style area, but snacks for morning lunch and afternoons need to be taken by the kids themselves.
When my girls first started school here I asked the teachers if there were restrictions on what I could pack for the girls' snacks, there were no limitations. Seems food allergies here in Portugal almost don't exist, or very low. I have always been baffled and questioned why it isn't a big problem here like in some other countries.
Anyhow, my girls go to a private Portuguese school and each week they publish a "menu" where kids can choose what they will have for the following week. If your chosen school does the same, then you can perhaps choose the best meal for your daughter in advance.
Eating the school's meals aren't compulsory - some kids do take meals from home to eat. This could be another option if you are concerned.
About knowing how to use an EpiPen, I am not 100% sure. From my experience, the nurses in the school are great and I am sure they would do everything they can to help you and your daughter.
Eating out - you will find restaurants who can help you without a doubt. We have (English) friends here with a son with gluten/celiac issues and he is usually okay in finding a meal. I think it would also be based on where you choose to live. Living in a bigger city or town you would more choices. Living rurally you may have more difficulties.
@astridff Thanks so much! Do you think your friends would eventually be comfortable exchanging email with me about being in Portugal with food allergic kiddos/schools/field trips/doctors/epipen/etc? 🙂
@astridff one more question on this topic - maybe your friend could mention how it is finding allergists/epipens there too? and how things work with kids on field trips with food allergies (do the schools do field trips I assume)? or even camps/school activities/birthdays/etc?
@anahawkins Hi Ana, sorry if I wasn't clear. My friend and her family live in London but travel to Portugal every holiday. They have a holiday home here. So they don't actually have experience with schools here. Sorry.