It’s great to find a book that takes a complete look at food allergies in children – from understanding the nature of allergies and diagnostics to the importance of comprehensive food labelling, psychological considerations and allergy prevention.
Anybody with a child who suffers from food allergies will know how debilitating the condition can be and how difficult it can make the lives of every member of the family. Authors Alison Orman and Dr Preeti Joshi are both mothers of children with food allergies, so they know, first-hand, what it means and how to deal with the condition.
Parents will find sound and practical advice, in fact, common-sense parenting is at the heart of this book – allergies or no allergies. Writer Orman and Dr Joshi, who is a specialist paediatrician in allergy and immunology, have taken up the task of translating medical jargon into plain English, explaining what happens at food allergy tests and how to deal with anaphylaxis. They walk readers through the different stages of their child’s life, from infancy through pre-school, school and teenage years. And they’re not forgetting events like birthdays and other celebrations that are notoriously difficult for children who can’t eat what everybody else is enjoying.
A fat chapter lists the common food allergens in detail. The authors state that “in Australia, eight foods are responsible for more than 90 per cent of food allergies: cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. More recently, sesame has also joined the list of most common allergens.” This, by the way, is true for New Zealand, too. These allergens, as well as some others, are described with possible clinical cross-reactions, and an outlook on outgrowing the particular allergy is also given.
We’ve all heard talk about wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, wheat intolerance and coeliac disease – but do we know the difference? How can parents find out what foods are safe for their children? What should they ask the staff of a restaurant if they want to eat out with a child? Where can they find special foods?
Although this book is aimed at Australian readers it provides answers and a plethora of advice useful for parents anywhere.
The comprehensive end notes give reassurance of the authors’ competency; bibliography, index and a list of allergy-friendly cookbooks, as well as a positive outlook on living with food allergies make this book a well-rounded guide for parents.
Managing your Child’s Food Allergies
By Alison Orman with Dr Preeti Joshi
Harper Collins, $35