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My dear readers, you have asked me many times to recommend the best children's books about food allergy. So I've created this blog post especially to help you guys out! I have included a number of books here that would suit different types of food allergy, so I hope you are able to find something that is relevant to your child.
Why does your child need a book about food allergies? Well firstly, sharing a book together can be a great way to teach your child about food allergies. It can help them to understand why they mustn't eat certain foods. Secondly, reading a book about food allergy can help to open up a conversation with your child and give them an opportunity to ask questions. And thirdly, these books can be brilliant for helping other children (e.g. siblings) to understand about food allergies too. Your child might also like to take one of these books to share with their preschool or school to help raise awareness among their friends and classmates.
Whenever possible, I've chosen children's books that are written and published in the UK so spelling and phrases should all be British English, to avoid any confusion. For each book I have indicated the age group it is suitable for and what type of allergy it covers. Please note that we have personally read most, but not all of these books - but I have looked carefully at online reviews of each one, and am recommending them in good faith.
Matilda Has An Allergy
- by Aimee Allen
- published 2020
- Age: 3 - 8 years
‘Matilda has an Allergy’ is a children’s book aimed at young children around 3-8 years to explain what an allergy is and what life is like . It’s told from Matilda’s point of view so children can identify with her and is beautifully illustrated.
It is inspired by my daughter who is now 7 . At the age of 3 after a frightening reaction to peanuts she was diagnosed with a peanut and Brazil nut allergy . Life changed overnight and this caused me to have a lot of anxiety . After having panic attacks and CBT I was inspired to write a book to explain allergies to children to raise awareness.
It was inspired by all the children who feature on my page - they along with my daughter are true stars . In my role as a primary teacher I am able to share the book with children and staff and raise awareness in education.
My daughter’s favourite part was the page showing foods that children are commonly allergic to - she was excited to see her allergens on there! And she also enjoyed the self-portraits of other children with allergies. It's a very sweet book and I think it would be perfect for gently introducing the idea of food allergies to young children, or for sharing with siblings, friends or at preschool and school.
You can order the book direct from the author, Aimee, via her Instagram account @allergystars. Just send her a DM to find out more.
Dairy Free and Happy
- by Michelle Diana Lowe
- published 2019
- age: 5 - 11 years
This is a Kindle ebook (read on any device with the Kindle app) with advice for children who are allergic to dairy products. I received a free copy to review and I enjoyed reading it with with my young daughter. It's very positive and led to some interesting discussions. My little girl certainly found it very reassuring, and was quite excited to see that there are other children with milk allergy. It's helped her to realise that she's not the only one affected. You can read my full review from my Instagram page below:
You, Me & Food Allergies
- by Emma Amoscato
- published 2020
- Age: 3 - 8 years
Written by bestselling author of Living with Allergies, You, Me & Food Allergies is Emma's first children's book about food allergies. This differs from other children's books available because it is a non-fiction book, presenting clear factual information. Emma says:
You, Me & Food Allergies is the book I wanted for my children, but couldn't find. It includes beautiful illustrations, practical exercises and will be clinically reviewed and endorsed by Allergy UK.
This is an excellent book to help your child answer all their questions about food allergies. Emma has handled difficult topics very sensitively, and I'm pleased to say it covers both IgE and non-IgE food allergies. I think this would be perfect if your child has a lot of anxiety about their allergies, or you want to develop their understanding as they start to get ready for nursery or school.
Luca The Lion Who Couldn't Eat Meat
- by Tersha Cutmore
- published 2020
- Age range: 3 - 8 years
Poor Luca is a lion who is allergic to meat and feeling very sorry for himself, as he has to watch his friends tucking into juicy steaks for school dinners each day. Until his friends and family cheer him up by showing him that he is not alone, and focusing on all the fun things he CAN do.
The rhyming text and colourful illustrations are ideal for young children, and this book would be suitable for any type of food allergy or intolerance. Plus this would also be a great book for children who don't have allergies, to help them understand what it feels like to always have to eat something different to everyone else.
- by Hailey Phillips
- published 2013
- Age range: 3 - 7 years
Graphic designer Hailey created these fun and eye-catching books after her niece was diagnosed with egg allergy at 8 months old. There is a different version of book for dairy, gluten, egg and nut allergies. She self-funded the project and has lots of great resources on her website, including a free schools workshop with video resources and classroom activities. Hailey says:
If you’ve not met the onion ringmaster or the beetroot monkey, then what are you waiting for?! Allergy Adventures’ storybooks take children on a magical adventure inside a lunchbox! The stories teach positive messages about living with food allergies, while reinforcing the importance of staying safe around food.
The books are a fantastic for reading at home, and can also be used to raise allergy awareness in schools and nurseries.
Tom's Secret Agents
- by Jamie Waggott
- published 2014
- age: 3 - 8 years
This book was written by Jamie, a young child with food allergies. After he developed a nut allergy, his parents started to teach him about food allergies. One bedtime, he had an idea that helped him to visualise what was going on inside his body:
He imagined that in his tongue were tiny Secret Agents that, on detecting even the smallest spec of nut, would send messages all around his body and trigger a huge fight. It was suggested Jamie illustrate his story and, with added graphic design skills and edits from mum, he found himself the proud author and illustrator of a great little book explaining a big issue to little people.
Food Allergies and Me
- by Juniper Skinner
- published 2010
- age: preschool/Key Stage 1
Juniper wrote this book to empower parents, caregivers and children, as a mother of an allergic child herself. It covers a range of scenarios that an allergic child might recognise, like taking your own food to birthday parties, washing hands after eating, and going to an allergy clinic. The child in the story has more than one allergy, but the focus is not specifically on those foods so it would be suitable for any child with an allergy.
Note: This is an American book and the language is American English.
Gluten Free is Part of Me
- by Laurie Oestreich
- published 2018
- age: 4 - 8 years
This sweet, rhyming book would be ideal for children following a gluten-free diet, whether due to allergies or coeliac disease. A positive and compassionate book, written by a child and family therapist after her granddaughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease:
If you're a kid who's gluten-free, Be all that you would like to be.
It's just a part of who you are, You're still a bright and shining star!
The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies
- by Amy Recob
- published 2009
- age: 4 - 8 years
This American story covers a range of food allergies, and each of the buggy friends talk about their food allergy. Written by an allergy mom, this book is great fun with colourful illustrations. While it doesn't go into too much depth, it could be a great first introduction to food allergies for a very young child.
Tom, Rosie, and the Battle of the Allergy
- by Anat Shabi
- published 2016
- age: Key Stage 2
This book explores why the main character Rosie has allergic reactions to peanuts. Part of the BodyWords4Kids series, Rosie and her friends go on an adventure to explore what happens inside the body to cause an allergic reaction.
Freddy the Mouse
- by Josie Warburton
- Age: 3 - 6 years
- Published: 2010
Freddie the Mouse features in a series of colourful picture books written especially for preschoolers by a mother of a severely allergic child. There are five adventures starring Freddie the Mouse, each covering a different allergy or topic. There is one for nut allergy, egg allergy, milk allergy and fish allergy, plus a special book about flying with a nut allergy.
Unfortunately these children's books seem to be out of print now, but you can still buy them second hand on Amazon.
What's your child's favourite book about food allergies? Are there any children's books about food allergies I've missed and readers should know about? Leave a comment below!