The outcry over the steep increase in price for the EpiPen illustrates just how many Americans have serious allergies – including food allergies. Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies. The numbers are even more dramatic in children: 1 in every 13 children under 18 years of age in the U.S. has a food allergy. That translates to two children in every classroom across the country.
Food allergies in the classroom can make lunch and snack time at schools tricky. However, in addition to factoring in allergies, many parents struggle with accommodating additional dietary restrictions. It can be tough to figure out kids’ eating habits at the best of times, but once you add in other factors such as religion, ethics and morality, and concerns about obesity and cholesterol, it’s even more complicated. Fortunately, organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free foods are a bit easier to find than in years past, but you do pay a premium for them at the register. It raises the question: if you have to pay out of pocket to keep you or your child healthy, can you claim a tax benefit?