This is a letter that I formulated some years ago when my son entered preschool and elementary school. It can be tweaked to meet your child's specific needs. If your child's teacher or principal is willing, this can be distributed in weekly folders the first week of school. Your child's name does not have to be identified.
One of the students in your child's class this year has a life-threatening allergy to nuts and peanuts. This means that nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, etc.) and peanuts, peanut butter or foods with even the slightest trace of nuts and peanuts or peanut oil may cause a severe reaction that could cause death.
For this reason, we are asking that you not send any food containing nuts or peanuts to school with your child this year. This includes foods and snacks for field trips; foods for potlucks/picnics, holiday parties or birthday celebrations. Please check the ingredients of foods your children bring to school, and be aware that even things such as plain M&Ms, plain chocolate bars and cookies, unless homemade by you, often contain trace elements of nuts that can be problematic to children with allergies. (Coconut is not a nut and does not pose any risk.)
Thanks for your consideration in helping to ensure the safety of all of our children.
(The teacher, caregiver or administrator. There is no need to specifically identify your child unless you desire to)
Some foods that often contain "hidden" nuts:
Chocolate, even "plain" chocolate, which is often manufactured on equipment that processes nuts and peanuts.
Sunflower seeds (many brands are produced on equipment shared with nuts)
Pesto/sauce/pasta (Pesto is almost always made from pine nuts)
Health food and granola bars
Ice Cream (butter pecan, pistachio, etc.)
Cookies (labels should indicate whether they have been processed with nuts)
Asian foods (especially pad thai and satays, which is made with peanut butter)
Cakes and pastries with unknown ingredients (especially carrot cake, pumpkin cake or pie)