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Flourishing with Food Allergies

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Updated October 21, 2008

Flourishing with Food Allergies

Flourishing with Food Allergies is a personal and wide-ranging resource for families.

Photo © A. Anderson

The Bottom Line

A. Anderson's Flourishing with Food Allergies is a unique resource. Combining perspectives from the author's own family, stories from families around the world with food allergies and other related conditions, advice from allergists and complementary health practitioners, and chapters on lifestyle and health, the book aims to be a broad-based resource for families -- especially those with very young children -- with a range of food allergies.

Pros

  • Covers a broad range of allergies, not only the "big eight."
  • Sympathetically discusses the emotions mothers and fathers feel at kids' diagnosis.
  • Includes less-covered topics that parents will find useful.

Cons

  • Would love to have seen more content on diet and cooking.
  • Lifestyle section very informative but a little disorganized.

Description

Guide Review - Flourishing with Food Allergies

A. Anderson's two sons are both allergic to eggs and dairy, and she discusses her family's journey from diagnosis to acceptance in the first part of Flourishing with Food Allergies. Her voice is appealing, and one thing that will draw parents in is that she admits to mistakes, talking frankly about her difficulties in coming to terms with the need to strictly avoid dairy in her older son's diet. Her vivid descriptions may help parents take a child's food allergy seriously right from the start.

A broad range of perspectives makes Flourishing with Food Allergies unique. Interviewees include parents worldwide with allergic kids -- some with one or two "big eight" allergies, some with allergies to a long list of foods plus conditions like ADHD or autism that have been positively affected by dietary changes, and everything in between.

The lifestyle section shows the author's experience as an allergy parent. A chapter on birthday parties, for example, offers suggestions for alternative treats. There's a focus on the social aspects of raising an allergic preschool-aged child. This section may be most useful for someone with an allergic baby getting ready to navigate the preschool years.

One aspect of the book that readers may have mixed feelings about is Anderson's treatment of alternative therapies; some may object to any consideration of these ideas and some will wish for more. Most of the book is written from a Western medical perspective; Anderson also interviews a naturopath and discusses a few controversial topics (like toxic load theory). The book is, however, clear on the need to avoid allergens strictly and on mainstream treatments for anaphylaxis. There is enough information on complementary therapies for those who are interested to seek out further reading but not so much that those who find the subject objectionable will be turned off.

  1. About.com
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  6. Flourishing With Food Allergies - Flourishing With Food Allergies Book Review

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