My food-allergic son is finishing up the 3rd grade soon. Sometimes it seems like a million years ago that he started school. Sometimes it seems like yesterday.
I can remember, though, in addition to all of my hopes for him -- that he would make caring friends, that he would like his teacher, that he would blossom in school -- my worries.
Although every child's experience is unique, I think that most parents of children living with food allergies face some degree of anxiety when their child is starting school. Will he be safe? Will other kids exclude him because of his differences? Will he be able to speak up for himself when necessary?
We have been extremely fortunate. Our school community has been very welcoming of my son. We have had bumps in the road as I wrote about here, and I think there is always work that could be done to make improvements as I wrote about here, but friends and parents have gone out of their way on a continual basis to keep my son happy and safe. I am eternally grateful for that.
Children who are going to enter the school environment for the first time next fall have a new tool to ease their transition. Sharon Chisvin has written a picture book illustrated by Carol Leszcz that simply and in child-friendly rhyme introduces the issue of food allergies to children.
It might help the other children in class to understand food allergies and become a little more compassionate if a teacher or parent reads The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter at the beginning of the school year. In a cheery way, it illustrates that children all have things that make them unique and that food allergy is just one of these qualities. Though upbeat, this book does not sugar-coat the risks that food allergies pose.
Would you like to win a copy of this picture book? Leave a comment for one entry. If you "like" Welcoming Kitchen on Facebook, leave that in another comment. If you follow Welcoming Kitchen (welcomekitchen) on Twitter, leave another comment. I will pick a comment using a random number generator on Friday, June 1.
Good luck! (By the way, this is my first giveaway.)
Find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.