Top Three Ways to Handle Snacks in Children’s Ministry

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What do we do with snacks in children’s ministry when there are so many food allergies with kids?

It’s a real issue and one we need to grapple with. I remember one of my fondest memories as a kid at church was eating an orange pushup at a VBS–regardless of the fact that we were standing on hot pavement for snack time. And now, it makes me sad in my 2-year-old class when little ones say to me “I hungy” and I have to say that we’re not allowed to give them snacks anymore. Is this what we’ve come to?

We asked children’s ministers on our poll at how they handle allergy policies. Here are the top three ways they do it:

1. We rely on parents to inform us if there are any allergies we need to know about (79%).

2. We provide food but post the ingredients and make sure parents alert us to allergies (16%).

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3. We don’t allow any food in our programs (5%).

The fourth option was “We allow kids to bring their own food, but don’t provide any.” (This is actually what our church does.)

So how does your church handle food allergies in your children’s ministry? Post to help us all grapple with this issue.


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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 28 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones


  1. Our church have an allergy list posted. We also ask new or visiting parents does your child have any allergies. So if they do then we ensure that they have to appropriate snack.

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