Parents, does your child ever come home and say they felt left out at his or her friend’s birthday party because they couldn’t have a slice of that yummy birthday cake, those rainbow sprinkles, or even the chocolate syrup that got all over your friend’s favorite table cloth? You might be wondering if your child is the only one who has to eat a bag of peanut-free cookies, or drink juice without artificial flavoring, or Red #40 in it.
With three million kids who have food allergies in the United States alone, there are lots of families and children navigating the world of birthday parties, school snacks and more. But sometimes it’s nice to read about other kids with food allergies in books! We’ve rounded up information and books to help you and your kiddo.
Here’s a list of a few allergies you might be familiar with:
- Peanuts and other nuts
- Artificial Flavoring, Artificial Coloring and Preservatives
- Food Dye
Kids today are taught about food nutrition from the classroom, at home, on the Internet, and learn about the importance of good eating habits and exercise on television cooking shows that entertain and teach all kinds of kitchen skills. You can even find fun food facts on the Disney Channel in a multicultural series called Pass the Plate hosted by Jessie and Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s Peyton List and Karan Brar. On Pass the Plate, kids learn all about healthy eating habits and discover new and exciting dishes they can make at home with their parents or friends.
Some fun books to read are:
- Dixie Wants and Allergy (Tori Corn)
- The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies (Amy Recob)
- The Peanut Free Café (Gloria Koster)
- A Day at the Playground: A Food Allergy Awareness Book for the Young (Tracie Schrand)
- What Causes Allergies (Rae Simons)
- Horace and Morris Say Cheese (Which Makes Dolores Sneeze) (James Howe)
Did you know that cookbooks for kids are trending in the book market? Cooking-related children’s books that serve-up a blend of fiction and food fun are a big hit! People are raving about the New York Times bestseller Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. The James Beard Award nominated cookbook might be popular because of the hip cover or, more likely, because the creators considered entertaining kids and adults when compiling this book. One of the top reviews online is by a 15-year old teenager! This book, written and illustrated by the critically acclaimed Nom Nom Paleo website creators Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, is sizzling with humor and is eager to keep you laughing while you cook-up some flavorful, healthy recipes.
Basic Question: What is a Food Allergy?
Like your doctor tells you: Your immune system is very important. It protects you from all kinds of nasty germs, viruses and diseases, and fights off bad bacteria. Your immune system is like an army fighting to make sure you’re healthy. Though, when you have a food allergy your immune system treats an ingredient like it’s the enemy and makes a mistake causing you to have a certain reaction. An allergic reaction could occur right away or a few hours. And it’s always important to take precautions, especially in an emergency situation.
A person with a food allergy could have a mild reaction like a rash or fatigue or it could be much more severe. Symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Tightness in the throat
- Sore, hoarse voice
- Mood Swings
- Stomach pain
A great, tech-fun, kid-friendly website to visit is kidshealth.org that gives you all kinds of information about allergies. Here you can find fun games, activities, movies and tips on staying healthy and living an allergy free life.
Do you know of a book character that has food allergies? We’d love to hear from you!
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