Recently I picked up two children's books for Georgia having to do with food allergies. She's certainly too young to be expected to manage her allergies by herself, (duh), seeing as how she's under 2 and can hardly even pronounce the word allergy, much less fully understand it. However, I do think that it's important to start taking baby steps towards getting her to understand and pay attention to her allergies. I mean, I hope that by age 3 or 4 she knows that she can't just eat everything put in front of her at a birthday party or handed to her by an adult or a friend.
So, I decided to order these two books from Amazon:
Each is designed for an audience slightly older than Georgia, but she enjoys them both, and I think she's taking something valuable away from them, albeit in tiny morsels of knowledge that may take months or years to really sink in. Let's put it this way, after just 1 reading of Allie the Allergic Elephant, Georgia was parroting back to me, "No thank you peanuts." Not a bad start!
The second book, Mommy, Is this Safe to Eat?, is filled with actual photographs of children rather than drawings, so it really captured her attention.
I was worried that these books might scare Georgia, what with the talk of hives, and swollen lips, coughing, and carrying medicines, but to my pleasant surprise, neither of these books freaked her out at all. They must've been focus-grouped on a bunch of small children, because the message is serious but not intended to be frightening. To the contrary, these books attempt to reinforce the message that a kid with a food allergy is just a regular kid.
I'd highly recommend either of these books. They'd be great even for children without food allergies who might need to better understand what a neighbor or classmate's food allergy really means.
I will have to keep my eye out for other age-appropriate books that are broader in scope, because these two books only address peanut and tree nut allergies, which unfortunately won't cut in our house. (In fact, I'm hoping that those topics become obsolete for us once Georgia's old enough to do a food challenge for nuts -- but that's a post for a different day!)