kidswithfoodallergies.org: Non-food Rewards for Children with Food Allergies

Non-food Rewards

for Children with Food Allergies

Written in collaboration with Gina M. Lee, M.Ed.

 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.  Below is a list of low cost or no cost rewards that can be used instead of food.

 

No Cost Rewards

 

 Allow extra time for reading, computer, art, games

 Enjoy class lesson or reading time outside

 Allow child to choose class activity or game

 Give a “no homework pass or no homework for the class

 Present certificate of achievement

 Give free time at the end of the day

 Have a class sing-along

 Create class coupons with special privileges

 Allow child to choose music to play for the class

 Child or teacher can read a favorite book to the class

 Allow child to wear something fun to school according to a theme:

pajama day, hat day, sports day, color day, pattern day (for class or grade)

 Allow child to earn prizes or gift certificates donated by local businesses

 Have a reading party (children bring blankets to sit on and read favorite books)

 Allow child to choose a poem, short story, or joke to read to the class

 Create a class story (go around the room and each child contributes a line to the story)

 Allow child to use a camera or iPad to create a class or personal picture collage of school activities

 

Low Cost Rewards

Verify that these items do not contain allergens for any of the students. For example, some of these items are made of latex and should not be offered to a student with a latex allergy.

 Awards or medals

 Books, bookmarks

 Bracelets

 Bubbles

 Class craft

 Crayons

 Finger puppets

 Glow sticks

 Grab bag

 Necklaces

 Notepads

 Pencils

 Pencil cases, grips, sharpeners, toppers, erasers

 Playing cards

 Ribbons

 Rings

 Rubber balls

 Stickers

 Sticky notes

 Stress balls

 Tote bags

 Trinkets/toys: slinkies, small figurines, spinning tops, yo-yos

 

 

 

 

“The best reward we can give our children is our time and attention.

-Gina M. Lee, M.Ed.

 

Rewards from the Heart

 

 Give the child extra attention: ask about outside interests, smile, or give a pat on the back

 Give verbal praise that is specific

 Allow child to sit by a friend

 Attend an after-school activity of the childs to show you care

 Allow child to share a special item or talent with the class

 Make child the “Student of the Day, “Super Kid,“Line Leader, or “Star of the Day”

 Allow child to sit in a special seat

 Allow child to write or draw on the board

 Allow child to do class (or school) morning announcements

 Recognize child/class achievements during morning announcements, in a school newsletter, on a school (or class) bulletin board or on the school website

 Allow child to help out with a lesson or be a teachers helper

(hand out papers, put away supplies, etc.)

 Give child an important responsibility

 Have each classmate write a compliment about the child, create compliment book for the child to bring home (index cards on a ring work well)

 Allow child to read or help out in another class or a younger class

 Choose an incentive based on interest (i.e. allow a child that likes to draw to create a class or school sign/poster)

 Write a positive note directly to the child or send a positive note home to childs parents

 Allow child to eat lunch with a favorite teacher, principal or other staff member

 Allow child to invite a special guest to the classroom

(as a guest reader or to play a game with the class)

 Donate the childs favorite game or book to the class

 Have classmates sign a t-shirt, Frisbee, or ball for the child

 

Active Rewards

 

 Allow child to pick a song for a class dance break”

 Allow class to perform a skit

 Allow child to make deliveries to office or other rooms

 Pick class game to play outside: kick ball, whiffle ball, capture the flag, basketball

 Play inside class games: 7-up, charades

 Allow time for fun outside activities:

Frisbee, hula-hoop, jump rope, Chinese jump rope

 Create an obstacle course

 Allow child to lead Simon Says

 Have a class scavenger hunt based on a curriculum topic

 Create a walking club during recess

 Allow child to play a game during recess with a staff member

 Allow extra recess

 Host a day of educational activities, games and experiments

 Play curriculum hopscotch (Instead of throwing a rock before you jump, the child must correctly answer a math fact or other fact from a lesson before moving)

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Non-Food Rewards. Retrieved online October 5, 2014 from www.healthiergeneration.org/_asset/tljc7f/12-5933_NonFoodRewards.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014. Adolescent and School Health: Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved online October 5, 2014 from www.cdc.gov/ healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014. Adolescent and School Health: Physical Activity Facts. Retrieved online October 5, 2014 from www.cdc.gov/ healthyyouth/physicalactivity/facts.htm

www.cspinet.org/schoolfood/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs. Retrieved online October 5, 2014 from www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/pdf/13_243135_A_ Food_Allergy_Web_508.pdf

Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Retrieved online October 5, 2014 from www.yaleruddcenter.org.