As the mom of a kid with food allergies, I know how stressful a food allergy diagnosis can be, for both parents and kids.
These books can make it easier, though. Kids will identify with the characters, who, like them, have to be cautious at school, friends’ houses, birthday parties, and everywhere else. Parents will welcome the chance to spark conversations about safety, the importance of being assertive, and more.
Written by Jessica Jacobs
Illustrated by Jacquelyn Roslyn
Age range 4-8
“The Peanut Pickle” features our sweet yet assertive protagonist, six-year-old Ben, who has a peanut allergy so severe he can’t even be in the same room as a peanut without getting sick. Ben is quick to admit that he is sometimes nervous about speaking up about his allergies, but that he always feels better once he does. In this story, Ben confronts a number of situations where he has to advocate for himself. He consistently makes his needs known in a way that is both clear and kind. Most of the time, his friends and family are happy to accommodate him. Even when his grandmother forgets about his peanut allergy, Ben doesn’t take it personally. In one instance, he has to leave a pool party because there are just too many peanuts around.
This book is chock-full of realistic scenarios, conversation starters, and it even has reference sheets at the back, including rules for parents and children (e.g., always carry your epinepherine injector, always check food labels), a note on peanut allergy statistics, and a list of safety guidelines for parents and caregivers.