Sending kids away, whether to camp or school for the first time, is a sad and nervous time for most parents. Add food allergies into the mix, and it can become downright scary. Will they be teased or harassed? Will they be able to eat safely? Will they make the right choices?
Fortunately, food allergy moms aren’t as alone as they might think. Thanks to media, whether in print or online, many have been able to share their experiences to make the food allergy journey easier for both parent and child.
Below are some incredible resources that I highly recommend you look into for handling the social toll of back to school and beyond with food allergies. They cover both sides of the spectrum, concerned moms AND kids just wanting to be normal, and were created by two of the most vocal and caring people in the food allergy community …
This is the first book of its kind written by a “child” with food allergies. Sloane Miller is a grown woman now, still with severe food allergies, but she gives you the side of the story that you seldom hear. Filled with advice, stories, and personal experiences from the one living with food allergies, Sloane doesn’t candy coat anything. She brazenly discusses the challenges, but also shares how she has learned to successfully cope over the years and even thrive into a safe and healthy adulthood.
Sloane Miller works as a consultant, helping restaurants and other venues better service food allergies. She has been severely allergic to tree-nuts and salmon for most of her life, and also lives with gluten and lactose intolerances. She blogs about food allergies at Please Don’t Pass the Nuts, addressing everything from allergy-friendly foods to product recalls, events, and restaurants experiences.
This is a must have for preparing both mother and child emotionally for what lies ahead. It isn’t an in-depth instructional book, but rather a picture book to read with your child and help to keep both of you focused in a positive direction. Go Dairy Free reviewer Sarah (whose oldest child has a severe milk allergy) said, “More than any other allergy book we have read, this book prompted discussions about the emotions that go along with being a child with a food allergy.”
Gina Clowes is the author of One of the Gang, and the founder of AllergyMoms. Beyond her book, she is also well known for her article, “10 Things Children with Food Allergies Want You to Know.” She also offers an ebook based on the original “10 things’ list at www.allergymoms.com/10things.html.
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