As we promote food allergy awareness in May, don't forget to dress in teal! While you're at it, check out this list of 7 Educational Food Allergy Books for beginning a dialogue with our children about food allergies and other food restrictions.
From offering cute illustrations to showing how to navigate food allergy and other restrictions, these picture books have been wonderful resources for my family. I hope they are for yours too!
7 Educational Food Allergy Books
Nutley the Nut-Free Squirrel, Stephanie Sorkin
Nutley is an adorable squirrel who is allergic to nuts. Engaging illustrations and catchy rhymes show us how Nutley discovers his food allergy and how he learns how to stay safe with the help of his friends. Nutley's story shows us why awareness, education and inclusion are so important for children with food allergies and those who care for them.
The Peanut Pickle, Jessica Jacobs
This is a must-read for children with a peanut allergy and their friends and family members. Ben, a six-year-old boy, is allergic to peanuts. He shows us the very real scenarios in which children may encounter their food allergens, and how they can stay safe through avoidance and effective communication. Jacobs does a wonderful job explaining what having a food allergy means on a daily basis.
The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies, Amy Recob
Join the friendly BugaBees, who each are allergic to one of the “Top 8” allergens–milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Adorably cute illustrations, along with activities and talking points, show us what children with food allergies need to avoid and the many safe alternatives!
Cody the Allergic Cow: A Children's Story of Milk Allergies, Nicole Smith
Nut allergies aren't the only life-threatening food allergies. This is a story about Cody, a cow with a milk allergy. Cody's story lays a wonderful foundation for initiating a dialogue about recognizing and understanding allergic reactions.
The Princess and the Peanut Allergy, Wendy McClure
Regina is going to have a princess birthday party with a huge castle cake made with peanut butter candy. But when Regina finds out her best friend Paula is allergic to peanuts, the birthday girl plans ahead to make a special peanut-free princess cake so Paula can join in the fun!
Mangos for Max, Jessica St. Louis
Max is a silly, playful and super cool monkey who also happens to be allergic to bananas. At snack time, his classmates wash their hands and he eats mangos instead. He avoids his allergen and all is well.
Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions: A Tale of Being True to Your Tummy, Claudine Crangle
Food intolerance is very different from having a food allergy, which is life-threatening. But this book does a wonderful job of addressing the emotions behind feeling different and having food restrictions. Woolfred is a sheep with an intolerance to dandelions. No matter how many different ways he tries to eat them, they leave him with a terribly upset tummy. He eventually realizes that all of his friends are different and special in their own way and that he should focus on the positives–like playing and having fun with them!
With more and more children being diagnosed with food allergies, awareness and education are extremely important–especially for the youngest members of our community. Let's help spread the word!
There are plenty of other great children's books about food allergies. What are your favorites?