The Bottom Line
Consisting of 36 ring-bound flashcards depicting common situations and basic information for living with life-threatening food allergies, Beyond a Peanut flashcards would be appropriate for home, classroom, or small group use. The name is intended to reflect the fact that successfully managing a peanut allergy means going beyond simply avoiding peanuts: It means learning to read labels, avoid cross-contamination, and ask the right questions.
- User-friendly format helps introduce numerous common situations to kids, parents, and caregivers.
- Many cards can be used interactively to help kids learn which situations are most likely unsafe.
- Includes useful information for parents, teachers, and caregivers.
- Many cards stress what kids with nut and peanut allergies can do, not just what they can't.
- Ring-bound, thick cards should be durable and long-lasting.
- Most (but not all) information is very specific to peanut and tree nut allergies.
- Clearer information about how to talk to waitstaff or air travel personnel would be useful.
- Kids aren't advised to tell adults if they're having signs of an allergic reaction.
Yellow cards will be especially welcome those new to food allergies; they include many often-overlooked sources of allergens.
Red and green cards are intended to be used interactively with kids by asking "Is this safe?"
Among the kid-friendly foods presented are pizza, yogurt, ice cream, chips, meats and cheese, Asian foods, and hamburgers.
Cards have been used in classrooms with four-year-olds and up, and may be useful with kids as young as three.
Guide Review - Beyond a Peanut Flashcards
Beyond a Peanut flashcards were created by Dina Clifford, in connection with the nonprofit Food Allergy Initiative, to educate children, teachers, and caregivers affected by nut and peanut allergies. Clifford's stake in these allergies is personal; she's the mom of two peanut-allergic children, and the genesis of these cards is her own research into the steps she had to take to keep her own family safe.
The cards are divided into four groups, which are color-coded for at-a-glance reference. Blue cards are basic information about peanut and tree nut allergies, and many of these cards would be useful for anyone living with a food allergy. These cards provide such information as how to effectively use a medic alert bracelet, where to find medical information in your library and online, and basic principles for avoiding allergic reactions.
Red and green cards present examples of common situations and foods and can be used as a teaching tool for kids. Items on green cards are often safe, though all of them include precautionary measures. Red cards are more likely to cause reactions, and they include safe ways for kids to enjoy most of the foods presented (like cookies, ice cream, and chocolate candy) or precautions to take around people who may be eating patently unsafe foods.
Overall, these cards are a novel way of presenting a great deal of information. They don't cover every possible food and situation in which peanut and tree nut contamination can occur. But because they so strongly emphasize the principles of cross-contamination and always asking before eating, they're applicable to situations beyond the ones presented. And the price is right too: At $13.99 a set, these are an excellent value for any family just beginning to deal with peanut or nut allergies.