When my son was first diagnosed with food allergies, I felt completely overwhelmed. Suddenly all of our favorite foods seemed suspect and scary. I worried so much more when he was out of my sight. What if some well-meaning grownup tried to give him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Or a brownie with nuts? What would happen on a playdate? Because he was only four at the time, I didn’t know how to explain his allergy to him in a way he would understand.
Whenever I have a problem, I always turn to my local library for help in figuring it out. I’ve been known to stand in the corresponding section with the hope of absorbing the solution by osmosis.
It turns out there are lots of books and DVDs to help explain it all.
Here are some of my favorite children’s resources for food allergies:
My son and I love the Arthur series. It turns out Binky is allergic to peanuts. This episode follows Binky’s anaphylactic reaction, his anger and attempts to ignore the problem, his mom’s panic (sounds familiar), and finally his acceptance. This episode really clicked with my son and I don’t even think he heard me sobbing quietly in the back of the living room.
This is a basic book for younger children that identifies the eight most common food allergies and how to avoid them. Repetition is key, so we read this book a number of times.
This sweet story is told from the friend’s perspective, so it may be a good choice to help an allergy-free child understand why his or her friend can’t eat everything she can.
This book does a nice job of explaining why Emily can’t eat certain foods, and how she handles everyday situations like school, camp and birthday parties by bringing her own gluten-free snacks.
There are lots of books out there, some are good and some are not. What are your family’s favorite choices?