Summary: Learn how to help using successful social, emotional, and practical guidance from those experienced in dealing with food allergies in young children. You will refer to this guide again and again.
You will discover how easy it is to:
- Find emotional support through reading parents' stories, including a father's viewpoint. Receive emotional tips from a therapist.
- Get professional perspectives from pediatricians and allergists including a naturopath.
- Learn how to handle social situations at birthday parties or play dates and find food-free activities for young children.
- Make educated choices about pre-school options and kindergarten.
- Get practical guidance about diet, allergen ingredients and travel.
- Consider world-wide research on pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, ADHD, autism, asthma and the possible links to food allergies. -- Papoose Publishing
As a mother of a young child with severe food allergies, I thought FLOURISHING WITH FOOD ALLERGIES: SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN by A. Anderson would be a very useful book. Many of you probably already know that my five year old son has life threatening food allergies to dairy and tree nuts. He is also extremely allergic to peanuts, eggs, and shellfish; however, we don't know what his reaction is to these items because he hasn't had direct contact with any of them. I consider myself a pretty educated mother on the topic of food allergies, but I'm always looking for new-to-me information about how best to handle this issue.
I admit that this book has been sitting on my shelves for some time because when I skimmed through the book, I discovered that it really wasn't what I was expecting. It wasn't until the publisher asked me to either write a review of the book or send it back (a first for me) that I actually sat down and read it in its entirety. This book does have its share of helpful information, but I think it is geared more to parents who have just discovered that their kid has food allergies. I didn't really learn a lot of new things specifically about food allergies and how to best handle them with my son.
Initially, I was drawn to the idea that this book discussed the "social, emotional, and practical guidance" aspect of having a child with food allergies. I was hoping that this book would help me help my child deal with his allergies. I wanted "advice" on how to teach him and his friends about his allergies. In addition, I wanted assistance in explaining to him why he can't eat what other kids are eating and how not to make him feel left out. (I would have loved a listing of educational books or DVDs that deal with food allergies.) There were some helpful hints about how to handle parties and school and ingredient listings, but the book was still lacking for me -- maybe it's because I have thoroughly researched food allergies on my own over the past five years.
I found that the author tended to write about her personal experiences a little too much for me rather than focusing on the general. She was probably trying to show the reader that others are experiencing the same situation, but it just didn't appeal to me. Much of the book's audience might like this aspect of the book; however, I often times had issues with her basic philosophies about food, allergies, and child-rearing. For example, there is a section of the book devoted to why the author chose not to send her boys to preschool as well as another section explaining how to prepare them for kindergarten. I don't want to make it sound like the author judged parents who make different decisions the she did -- because she didn't. I just don't think details on how to educationally prepare your child for kindergarten is relevant in a book about food allergies.
Another thing that I found confusing about this book were the sections devoted to other parents talking about their experiences with their children's food allergies. I can pretty much guarantee that some of the testimonials will ring true, but I found myself getting very overwhelmed with all the different information that was thrown out. I had a similar reaction to the sections of the book where professionals discussed their opinions about food allergies. One thing's for sure, there is definitely not any agreement as to what causes food allergies or what to do about them. Later in the book, the author mentions that she was deliberating showing all of the differences to highlight that a great deal of research still needs to be conducted.
And ultimately, that's where I found myself agreeing most with the book. There are lots of children and families whose lives are deeply affected by severe food allergies; and there doesn't seem to be a general consensus about how to best handle them. I commend the author for tackling a lot of these issues even though I didn't always agree with her. I liked that the author provided a sample letter in the back of the book to write to your elected representatives requesting more money and research for food allergies. I think it's something that every parent of children with food allergies should send.
The author of this book is a mother of two sons with food allergies. It is apparent that she has researched the topic a great deal and feels very passionately about it. You can read more about FLOURISHING WITH FOOD ALLERGIES at the book's website. While you are there, you can see the book's table of contents and even read some sample chapters. In addition, you can also check out the author's blog.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.
Note: The publisher has since contacted me with an apology. She has also left a comment below explaining their position.