The week of May 14th-20th marks the 20th Food Allergy Awareness Week started by Food Allergy Research Education (FARE). To raise awareness of the growing issue of food allergy developments, especially in young children, the list of books below offers delicious, allergy-free recipes and fun, relatable stories that teach kids and adults alike how to safely offer an inclusive food environment at schools, parties, and community gatherings. Between gluten, dairy, nut, soy, and many other food allergies, kids can find it difficult and frustrating to live with such restrictions on their diets. Thankfully, awareness of these allergies is growing and more companies and restaurants are creating products, cookbooks, and meals that help accommodate all diets. Whether you have a child with a food allergy or you’re simply hoping to learn more about them, the list of books below will help educate and hopefully inspire you to raise awareness and make the culinary world a more inclusive place for everyone.
Dixie Wants an Allergy. 2014.
On Dixie’s first day of school, she learns about her fellow classmate’s various food allergies. One classmate gets to order special meals at restaurants due to her wheat allergy. Another student talks about his trip to the emergency room when he accidentally ingested dairy. Dixie becomes jealous of the special treatment these students receive and wishes she could have a food allergy, too, but she soon learns that food allergies certainly aren’t always fun to live with.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. C8143di]
A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! 2013.
A birthday party isn’t complete without cake, but what happens when the birthday girl is allergic to gluten? The birthday girl and her mother don’t see this as a problem at all and make a delicious gluten-free chocolate cookie-crumble cake that can be enjoyed by everyone.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. F643g]
The Forest Feast for Kids: Colorful Vegetarian Recipes that are Simple to Make. 2016.
Written by best-selling author Erin Gleeson, this gorgeously illustrated cookbook offers simple and delicious vegetarian recipes for kids. Complete with beautiful watercolors hand painted by the author and recipes based on a wholesome, plant-based diet, this cookbook is sure to please any vegetarian chef.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.641.5636 G479f]
Gordon, Sherri Mabry.
Peanut Butter, Milk, and Other Deadly Threats: What You Should Know About Food Allergies. 2006.
This book offers explanations and first-person accounts of common food allergies that affect more than 11 million people in the United States. From peanut to milk to wheat allergies, the book offers helpful advice, warnings, and support for those afflicted by or parents of children afflicted by a food allergy.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.616.975 G658p]
Horace and Morris Say Cheese (Which Makes Dolores Sneeze!). 2009.
Dolores and her friends enjoy spending time doing what they love most: eating cheese! But one day, Dolores has an allergic reaction and discovers that she can no longer eat cheese. Deeply upset, Dolores struggles to find new foods that can replace the cheese she so dearly loves. She soon discovers a knack for creating new, cheese-less recipes that teach her to enjoy eating again.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. H838hor]
The Peanut-Free Café. 2006.
For Simon and most of the students at Nutley School, peanut butter is a staple during lunchtime. But when new student Grant shows up to Nutley and explains his peanut allergy, problems arise. The students decide to open a “Peanut-Free Café” to include Grant during lunchtime and learn that there’s more to life than peanut butter.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. K8481p]
Kruszka, Bonnie J.
Eating Gluten-Free with Emily: A Story for Children with Celiac Disease. 2004.
Emily, a five-year-old girl, starts feeling pain and discomfort whenever she eats, but she can’t understand why. She is soon diagnosed with Celiac Disease and learns what living a “gluten-free lifestyle” means. Though she finds the new diet challenging at times, Emily learns how to enjoy gluten-free food, how to express her frustrations with her parents, and how to continue enjoying her life as a fun-loving girl who just happens to have some dietary restrictions.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. K946e]
The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids! 2006.
With a charming monster as its main character, this book helps teach kids the importance of eating healthy and staying active. By explaining the food pyramid, healthy alternatives to junk food, common food allergies, and healthy body image, this book is the perfect guide to help kids adopt a healthy lifestyle.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.613.7 M613m]
Venola the Vegetarian. 2008.
Seventh grader Venola is already starting her year with some big changes: her mom is pregnant, her role model is sick, and a particularly eye-opening science class inspires her to become a vegetarian. Venola navigates middle school as best as she can and teaches herself how to prepare healthy, delicious vegetarian meals for herself and her growing family.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. W22v]
No Nuts for Me. 1995.
Follow young Noah around during a typical week of school, shopping with mom, and attending a friend’s birthday party. As you learn about his life, you’ll also learn about his nut allergy. Noah explains to readers that he has to be very careful about the food he eats and he always carries his EpiPen with him. His assures the reader that his allergy doesn’t stop him from having fun, though!
[SSHEL S-Collection S.616.975 Z61N]