In the US, 5.9 million children under the age of 18 have some sort of food allergy. That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. As these numbers continue to climb, there are steps we can all take to ensure our students stay safe. Read on to see the steps and protocols that Red Rabbit follows to ensure your students are safe and how you can continue to protect your students.
We understand that at a young age, children are navigating their developing palettes while also discovering intolerances and allergies. Our goal is to foster curiosity with new foods while giving children meals that nourish their growing bodies and minds. With a mission to provide all kids with access to good food - the gravity of this responsibility is what drives us daily.
What Makes Us Different?
Our entire kitchen is nut, seed, shellfish, and pork free. For our eaters with other intolerances, allergies, or restrictions, we offer three substitute meals. These encompass common allergens to ensure that every kid has the opportunity to safely build healthy relationships with good food.
We are proud to offer three different types of substitute meals for our partners:
- Vegetarian meals: Meatless meals made to please the kids' taste buds. We use veggie alternatives in place of any meat based proteins such as Buffalo Chickpea Wrap instead of Buffalo Chicken Wraps or Black Bean Balls with our Homemade Tomato Sauce.
- Soy, Gluten and Tomato Free meals: Meals completely free of all Soy, Gluten, and Tomato product. Think Gluten Free with your favorite classic sandwiches and delicious Pepper Sauce rather than Tomato Sauce.
- Egg and Dairy Free meals: All the flavor and quality but without the Egg & Dairy. We sub in dairy alternatives, including soy cheese from Daiya, in items like our Cauliflower Mac & Cheese or Eggplant Parmesan. We also supply Soy Milk as an alternative to accompany any of your meals.
Creating our Substitute Meals
Each substitute meal starts with whole foods selected for each meal type. Our allergy team cooks the substitute meals in a separate section of our Harlem kitchen to avoid cross-contamination. Airborne exposure can still occur, so if there is a child with an extremely severe allergy, we recommend contacting us to get more information. Then, each meal is individually packaged and labeled so that they are easy to identify and serve to our children with their specific dietary preferences. The meals are tasty substitutes to many Red Rabbit classics, so that even though they have different ingredients, they are still eating yummy whole foods! The substitute meals that the children are receiving will mirror the food that kids are getting in their Classic menus so that those with allergies do not feel isolated or left out.
We ask that our partners inform us of any allergy or intolerances that their children have. If you suspect that your child or student is experiencing an allergy or intolerance, seek emergency medical assistance.
For more facts on food allergies in the US, check out the Food Allergy and Education Center.
If you have any questions regarding your meals or are interested in seeing some of our sample allergy meals, please remember that our Customer Experience team is here to help - give us a call at 866.697.3372 x 1.