Edit 6/12/2016: Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations Renee!

If you are still looking for a good book to give a child for Christmas (or Birthday) – keep reading because I’ve got a great book review for you today!  There is also a chance to win a copy (details below).  The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies (written by Amy Recob), delivers the messages you need kids to know about allergies in an informative and memorable manner.

Cookies and crackers and foods made with soy,

could make our dear Dragonfly one very sick boy.

So he always checks labels on foods that he eats,

And fresh fruits and veggies are his favourite safe treats!

“No thank you,” he says. “It’s really okay.

I can still have lots of fun without soy anyway.”

We loved joining in the food adventures of 8 little bugs living happily with food allergies. The book talks about different symptoms, checking labels and knowing what to say / ask if foods don’t make you feel good. This is such an important concept for children to understand. They need to know what allergies are and that they can be very serious for their friends. Yet, they also need to know that there are steps we all need to take to make sure our friends are safe and still have fun.

I love how bright the illustrations are and the way the little bugs use rhyme and repitition to help bring home the message in a fun tone for the kids. The talking point section at the back of the book was immensley interesting for my girls.  Especially where they matched the allergy with the safe and non-safe foods. The parent notes make sure you know the answers too so you don’t get tripped up! My oldest daughter is off to “Big School” next year, and now having these conversations with her, I know she is understanding what the most common allergies are, what sorts of foods contain them and that symptoms for allergies present differently. We especially focused on going to get a grown-up immediately if her or her friends start to feel funny after trying a food. I can’t tell you how valuable these conversations have been over the past few weeks (and keep on being – my girls refer to the book constantly).

If you have a child off to school or pre-school next year, this book will be great for them to deliver understanding to this topic in a way that does not confuse, brush over or heighten food anxiety. To be honest, I get excited about books that deliver the right sort of messages about food (because so, so, so many don’t).  Food does not mix well with anxiety, pressure or misinformation.

So, in summary we are loving The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies by Amy Recob!

This book is sold online by Mem and Maeve. I had the pleasure of meeting Anna and Renee from Mem and Maeve last week for my signature play date.

“The inspiration behind our store is our own children. Over the years we have found it difficult to source hypoallergenic products for our girls that were both affordable and fashionable. We want to provide our customers with products that are allergy friendly while still appealing to a modern aesthetic.”  – Anna and Renee

Not only do Mem and Maeve stock this book, they stock a range of beautiful clothing, swaddles, sleeping bags, skin care and MyMediBag insulated medication carriers. You can connect with them on social media too here on Facebook AND here on Instagram. I encourage you to support these awesome biz mums with some social media love.

Book Review: BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies | Play with Food

And just to again show how awesome they are, we have an extra copy of The BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies to give away. And to sweeten the deal, I am including a hard copy of my book Afternoon Tea: The Next Most Important Meal of the Day.

To be in the running, leave a comment on this blog post with your answer to the following “fill in the blank”. (Hint: name a common food allergen).

No thank you. It’s really OK. I can still have fun without _____ anyway.

Only comments (AKA entries) on this blog post will count. Entries close Sunday 4 December, 9pm, Sydney time. The winner will be drawn at random from all correct entries. Entries are open to Australian postal addresses only. Simone will contact you to arrange sending the parcel to you, if you are the lucky winner.

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book to keep by Mem and Maeve. The thoughts and opinions about the BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies expressed in this article are my own.

Tell me, what experiences have your children had with allergies? Do they have friends with allergies? You may be surprised to know that I’ve had children as young as 3 falsley express to me that they can’t touch a certain food because they are “allergic”? (Don’t worry! I always verify allergies and sensitivies with parents beforehand.) However, this reiterates to me that the conversation about food allergies needs to start early (even with children that have no known allergies)!

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