Food allergies are rising in children

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Food Allergy Research and Education organization said that one in every 13 children have food allergies.

New studies show early consumption may prevent peanut allergy, Photo Date: 04/15/2013

A Hastings dietitian said that catching the allergens early could help them disappear.

"If they're diagnosed before the age of two, there's a better chance they could outgrow them. If they're diagnosed after the age of two, then that's something they may be allergic to for the rest of their life," said Shannon Frink, a dietician at Mary Lanning Healthcare.

Frink said the main allergens are peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, and soy. And though Hastings Public Schools may not be a peanut free campus, they do have a plan in place to keep your children safe.

"Any student who has a food allergy, their parent should meet with me before the school year, so prior to school starting, there is a form they should fill out, which is actually a plan that we put in place should they come in contact with their allergy," said Angela Consbruck, a school nurse at Hastings Middle School.

And that action plan doesn't only affect the nurse's station, but also those serving your children in the cafeteria.

"If you have a gluten allergy and you've completed the paperwork and you have an allergy to wheat, then we're maybe preparing a special entree just for you that we know that has not been cross contaminated. We're changing gloves, we're changing aprons, we're washing our hands," said Susan Gracey, an area director at Lunchtime Solutions.

Gracey said that they're not only preparing your child's meal, but also learning some valuable skills.

"Actually, we do a special training teaching them what we can and cannot do," said Gracey.

She said they focus on ways to prevent cross contamination from happening.

Read the original version of this article at www.nbcneb.com.