Books & Magazines
Allergy Companions is a review site for anyone suffering with food allergies, intolerances or coeliac disease, here to make eating out with allergies easier and to give the free from and allergic community a voice.
A list of adult and children’s books associated with allergy and anaphylaxis, to help you navigate the allergy and gluten free world. Please get in touch if we should be featuring a book that has enlightened you or your loved ones.
My Family & Food Allergies, The All You Need to Know Guide: by Alexa Baracaia
For Alexa Baracaia, Mother’s Day started with a relaxing breakfast of scrambled eggs – and ended in the Emergency Department with her distressed five month-old baby. Following the acquisition of numerous EpiPens and a large dose of anxiety, she sought the help and advice of others going through the same struggles, as she took to social media and began a blog charting her family’s food allergy journey. Ten years on, she is co-founder of the hugely popular Twitter support forum @allergyhour, and is a food allergy speaker, campaigner, writer and consultant for organisations including the School Food Plan team, the Institute of Hospitality, the Food Standards Agency, Leon restaurants and more. She is also our Free From Hero 2022. With her non-allergy hat she is a freelance journalist and former newspaper arts editor. This is the book she wishes she had to hand when her son was diagnosed.
Free From Living
Free From Living is the only mainstream magazine for people living with allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease. It’s compiled by a panel of experts and shares free from recipes, interviews, reviews, substitution ideas and more. Available at WH Smith, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, independent retailers and subscriptions are available at www.freefromliving.com
Anaphylaxis has the potential to hijack your everyday life but it is possible to create a positive path forward. Anaphylaxis can be terrifying. It can make people severely ill and in rare cases it can be fatal. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing and swallowing, rashes, vomiting, collapse and loss of consciousness. Every person’s allergic reaction is different and the symptoms can also be different depending on which allergen they come into contact with. They might only suffer a mild reaction at first, but the reactions may become severe over time.
Ruth Holroyd, who is severely allergic to nuts, dairy and other foods, has a lifetime of experience of anaphylaxis. Through research and her first-hand experience she has compiled a self-help guide for people living with the condition, their family and their friends.
The Shape of Skin: by Ruth Holroyd
Slightly quirky, definitely a bit weird. These poems came from a life of trying to make sense of a limiting skin condition. They cover childhood eczema, the pain and discomfort, learning to accept your skin and work out how to heal. I take my inspiration from lived experiences, nature, landscapes and the everyday challenges of living with eczema and topical steroid withdrawal. Writing these poems made me itchy and comes with a serious scratch warning!
Matilda has an Allergy: by Aimee Victoria Allen (author) & Jasmin Murrock
‘Matilda has an allergy’ is a children’s book that seeks to explain what an allergy is to young children in a simple and inclusive way. ‘Matilda has an allergy’ is inspired by my daughter and her journey into the allergy world. It explains in a child friendly way what an allergy is and how it is managed. It is an ideal resource for children who have allergies or been recently diagnosed with allergies. It also promotes understanding and awareness of food allergies and is a great book for pre-schools and schools.
The cookie – a story of friendship and food allergy: by Kath Grimshaw
Laurie and Lewis are best friends. They share everything. Then one day, Lewis shares his cookie and Laurie has an allergic reaction. Will their friendship ever be the same? This story helps children understand allergies and learn how to keep themselves and their friends safe.
Luca, the Lion Who Couldn’t Eat Meat: by Tersha Kate Cutmore (Author) & Victoria Ward-Fowler
Luca the Lion is 5 and has allergies. When he starts school he begins to really struggle with his feelings and emotions as he watches his friends eat and drink things that he can’t. His friends help him see he is not the only one and encourage him to focus on the positives and look on the bright side of life. This rhyming, witty and at times touching story is Tersha Cutmore’s debut children’s book and the beautiful illustrations have been drawn by school mum friend Victoria Ward-Fowler. Inspired by Tersha’s son Luca, his allergies and their experiences as a family this book is not only for allergy sufferers but for any child who feels different, whatever the reason. Recommended for age 3+ it’s a must have in any therapeutic/paediatric setting and school or home library.
Nutty the Squirrel: by Maini Singh & Michelle Eshkeri
Poor little Nutty just wants to do what all his brothers and sisters do – work in the family nut factory. But that’s just not possible. One day, his Grandad comes up with a bright idea and Nutty finds a way to fit in. Dare to Be Different is a series of stories aimed at helping children understand that it’s OK to be an individual. This is a rhyming book and is a fun and easy read for both children and parents, but deals with nut allergy in a fun but realistic way. It helps children with Nut allergy realise that they can be involved and don’t have to worry, while educating all children on the issues that others face.
Children’s Allergy Awareness Activity Booklet: by Tee Houghton
An educational and activity-filled allergy awareness booklet for kids aged 6-11, tailored for both EpiPen and Jext users. Clinically reviewed by paediatric allergy specialist, Dr. Costa MD FRCPCH. The pocket sized, A5 booklet may contain (mind the pun):
10 + activities — Information to support learning — Competitions — Recipe Free From Top 14 allergens
Allergico magazine and blog was set up by Sophie in their final year of university to give people with allergies a place to safely embrace their inner foodie. Since launching three years ago, they’ve brought a selection of interviews, recipes and handy tips all about enjoying food whilst taking care of allergies. Having dealt with allergies theirself, Sophie is a massive foodie so they want to bring the same joy they’ve been fortunate to experience to the rest of the allergy-friendly (or “allergico”) community!