Food allergy books for kids has become a popular reading category, for which the nut-allergic community can be thankful. Reading to food-allergic children from a selection of food allergy storybooks offers an approachable and relatable bedtime story on an otherwise sensitive topic. Children learn through modeling. As their favorite characters learn to navigate their own food allergy, your child will learn to navigate theirs. As they form a relationship with the storybook characters, they’ll begin developing some of the daily coping skills required by severe food allergies.
Children’s allergy storybooks are a great way to explain to children what it means when someone says they have a food allergy. They’re particularly helpful for introducing a newly diagnosed child to their allergen and to an adapted routine. Children will begin to ask themselves what their favorite character would do, i.e., “What would Peter do in this situation?”, (Peter Can’t Eat Peanuts). Sometimes you’ll want to find a food allergy book that will be straight-forward and educational— i.e. to help your child understand what they can and can’t eat. Other times, you’ll want to find a food allergy book that has a storyline focused on social inclusivity. School anxiety can be a big topic for food allergic children with severe life threatening allergies. Learning how their favorite nut allergic character adapted at school will help them be brave in their own adaptations.
And we also hope these food allergy books for kids will help your child feel less alone. It’s about knowing their own allergy story isn’t all that different or unusual. It’s actually really similar to another person’s story. If they happen to be the only child in their classroom with a nut allergy, it does not mean they are alone in having a nut allergy! Learning it through storybooks may help your child understand they have a whole nut free community to lean on for support. Nut allergic parents do too!
There are all kinds of children’s food allergy books, even pertaining to different allergens! Would your child relate more to a cartoon animal as a protagonist, or to a princess? Maybe they’ll relate more to Jack (Food Allergies and Me), or maybe they’ll relate more to DJ (DJ’s Allergies)? As your child follows along with the newly diagnosed children Jack and DJ from the storybooks, they’ll go on their own journey of self discovery too.
If interested, take a look at the various food allergy books below. We hope you find the right fit for your family, friend, or food-allergic child.
1. Daniel Has an Allergy - (Good Food Allergy Book for: Fun Introduction to Food Allergies. Newly Diagnosed)
Daniel Has an Allergy, both the TV version and the book version (Amazon, multiple bindings available), would be a great option for a newly diagnosed child. Because of its rich storyline and corresponding TV episode, Daniel Has an Allergy tops the list of these food allergy books for kids.
Synopsis of TV Version
The food allergy book Daniel Has an Allergy is a spin-off from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which originally aired on PBS KIDS. The television show was produced by The Fred Rogers Company, also known as Fred Rogers Productions, or the same company that produced Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.
The food allergy book is based on the TV episode “Daniel’s Allergy”. It’s the 303rd episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the first of two episodes which address food allergies. The first episode, “Daniel’s Allergy” is also referred to as episode 303a. The second episode, “Allergies At School”, is also referred to as episode 303b. In this episode Daniel learns how to navigate his newly diagnosed allergy at school.
Visit PBS to watch a cute snippet of the TV episode the book was based (for free).
If you’re looking for more PBS shows related to food allergies, PBS actually released a DVD featuring these two episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, along with other food allergy TV episodes, namely: “Arthur: Binky Goes Nuts, Peg + Cat: The Allergy Problem, and WordWorld: Achoo!”. The PBS KIDS: All About Allergies DVD (Amazon) is a food allergy collection set of children’s cartoons that will entertain and educate your child on their allergy, at the same time.
Synopsis of Book Version
The food allergy book version is written by Angela C. Santomero and illustrated by Jason Fruchter. The story stars Daniel and his tiger family as they discover his first food allergy. Daniel eats peaches for the first time at breakfast with his family, and then later develops a rash.
He first noticed something unfamiliar when he experienced a painful stomach ache. Then, his mom noticed he had some red bumps on his face. Given the usual symptoms, his family decided it would be a good idea for Daniel to visit the town doctor so that he could get his symptoms checked. So, Daniel and his father decide to make an appointment. Once they arrive in town, their doctor asks Daniel a few questions. She listens to Daniel’s story and discovers his symptoms started shortly after he tried peaches for the first time.
She diagnoses Daniel with a food allergy to peaches. She explains to Daniel what having a food allergy means, and how going forward he can take care of himself and his food allergy by avoiding peaches. Then, she gives him three important rules to follow in a digestible way for kids, and that will be applicable to all food allergic children.
2. Peter Can’t Eat Peanuts - (Good Food Allergy Book for: Understanding Food Allergies, Allergy Acceptance)
Peter Can’t Eat Peanuts (Amazon) is a great food allergy book for kids that have a food allergy to peanuts, or, for children that have friends with an allergy to peanuts. The book is written by Nadine O’Reilly, and illustrated by Joelle Geisler.
It’s a good food allergy book choice for a child struggling to embrace their food allergy, and the life restrictions an allergy can sometimes require. It would also be helpful for children wanting to learn self advocacy. As your child follows Peter throughout his journey, they’ll learn with Peter. The challenges Peter navigates through will be similar to their own challenges. And as they follow Peter and learn how he can take care of his food allergy, they’ll also be learning how they can take care of their own..
In the food allergy book Peter Can’t Eat Peanuts, the main character Peter, experiences an allergic reaction to his allergen, peanuts, and it results in him having an anaphylaxis attack. Because nut allergies can be life threatening, it’s critical for nut allergic children to understand how to spot the warning signs themselves. The earlier the allergic reaction is caught and identified, the better. Nut allergic children need to know how to respond at the beginning stages of their allergic reaction or anaphylaxis attack, as early in life as possible. Knowing what signs to look for is important, and treatment efficacy is time sensitive.
The story goes on to feature Peter learning more about his allergen after his anaphylaxis attack. He learns about the seriousness of his food allergy and how to protect himself going forward. He learns how to cope, and how to focus on what’s inside his control to prevent possible future allergic reactions from occurring. Peter gets a medical ID bracelet, learns about Epi-Pens, then learns how to communicate his food allergy to others. Peter develops a plan on how to react to certain situations in the best way, and how to avoid his allergen.
3. Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel (Ages 3-8 years) - (Good Food Allergy Book for: Social Anxiety, Allergy Avoidance)
Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel is another children’s book specific to nut allergies. I love that the animal with a nut allergy is a squirrel, an animal we typically think of as a nut-lover! The book, written by Stephanie Sorkin, donates all book proceeds to FARE, which stands for Food Allergy Research & Education.
Tip: If you’re new to the nut free community, please do yourself a favor and give FARE a visit! FARE is an excellent resource for food-allergic families and they provide information regarding the latest research on food allergies, laws regarding allergen advocacy, and research on allergic reaction prevention methods.
Sorkin, the author of Nutley, is a mother to a child with multiple food allergies. She wrote Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel to help explain food allergies to children in a fun way, easy to understand way. Her book was designed for kids in the age range of 3-8. You can keep in touch with her, and as well as FARE, on Instagram. Stephanie’s IG handle is @StephSorkin, and FARE’s IG handle is @foodallergy.
In the book, Nutley learns how he can avoid his allergen. It has a nice focus on developing social coping skills too. The book is about forming a community, not being embarrassed about your allergy, and about abolishing any social shame around allergies.
The story features other animals with differing allergies and it reaffirms that it’s okay to have a food allergy. It also reaffirms that the people (or animals) who love you will want to help you be successful in avoiding your allergen, too. At the back of the book, Sorkin includes a nut-free banana bread recipe you can test out with your family.
4. The BugaBees: Friends With Food Allergies (Ages 4-8 years) (Good Food Allergy Book for: Social Coping, Allergy Acceptance)
If your child feels alone in having a severe food allergy, The BugaBees: Friends With Food Allergies (Amazon) will help them become aware of other common food allergies. Chances are that many people they know and love have a food allergy or food sensitive of some sort. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy.
The author, Amy Recob, is the mother of a daughter with a life threatening food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. In her author bio, she states her daughter as the inspiration behind The BugaBees storybook. In the tale, eight insect friends each have a different food allergy. They all learn how to say “no thank you” to their offending allergen when offered a piece of food they’re allergic to.
The illustrations inside this book are really pretty. It also follows a fun rhyming scheme.
Cricket is allergic to peanuts, Beetle is allergic to milk, Ladybug is allergic to fish, Caterpillar is allergic to wheat, Butterfly is allergic to shellfish, Bumblebee is allergic to eggs, Firefly is allergic to tree-nuts, and Dragonfly is allergic to soy.
5. No Peanuts for Pete (Ages 4+ years) (Good Food Allergy Book for: Learning How To Talk To Your Friends About Allergies)
No Peanuts for Pete (Amazon) is written by Christina Roderick and illustrated by Anne Zimanski. The book introduces Pete, a child with a severe food allergy to peanuts. Halloween is just around the corner and he’s really excited about his friend Libby’s costume party. He gets dressed up and goes to Libby’s house, only to discover all the party’s Halloween candy is filled with nuts! Pete panics, gets scared, and locks himself in the laundry room. The story instills nut allergic children with the courage to have uncomfortable conversations surrounding their allergies. It teaches kids how important it is for them to talk openly to their friends about their allergies, so that their friends can understand how they can show love and support to you.
6. Eppie the Elephant (Who Was Allergic to Peanuts) (Ages 6-8) (Good Food Allergy Book for: Social Anxiety, School Anxiety, Uncomfortable Conversations With Friends)
I thought this story was really cute and would be a nice choice for children with a severe nut allergy and that will need to sit at a designated nut-free lunch table. It can be really difficult for children to feel so isolated from their friends. On top of all the other social pressures non-food allergic children have when making friends at the start of the school year, nut-allergic children have to do all that while sitting at a lonely lunch table. This book is an excellent reminder on how your friends will want to adapt their lunches if it means getting to include you in their social group. If you have it in your 504 plan that a friend of your child’s can eat lunch with them at the nut free table (provided their lunch is also nut free), lunch time doesn’t have to feel so isolating. There’s nothing to feel shame around!
Eppie knows she’s allergic to peanuts. And she knows just what to say when offered food she can’t have. But, soon she will start school for the first time, and she’s nervous about how her classmates will react to her peanut allergy. She’s wondering how she’ll explain a nut allergy to her classmates, and how she’ll make new friends.
On the first day, Eppie makes her way through her class schedule. She becomes fast friends with Allie the alligator and Pearl the squirrel. But, just as she makes friends, lunch begins and Allie and Pearl open their lunchbox to peanut filled snacks! Eppie is escorted away from her new friends and towards a nut-free table, and a peanut free zone. While Allie eats a PB&J sandwich and Pearl eats a bag of peanuts, Eppie eats alone.
Eppie returned to class after lunch. But, she still felt sad. Eppie felt shame around her allergy after lunch, and she couldn’t hide it. She didn’t know how to re-approach her new friends. She started thinking of all the fun her new friends would have while eating their lunch at the nut table. All without her! Because she’s allergic to their food choices, she would always have to eat her lunch in the nut free zone, alone. When the school day ended, Eppie felt so much shame around her allergy she couldn’t even say goodbye to her new friends.
The next day at school, to Eppie’s surprise, her new friends joined her at the nut-free lunch table! This time they ate tuna sandwiches and brought nut free foods just so they could sit next to her and spend lunchtime with their new school friend! After Eppie came home from school, Eppie’s parents talked to her friends’ parents over the phone and Allie and Pearl learned how they could also eat lunches that were completely nut free.
7. The Princess and the Peanut: A Royally Allergic Tale (Good Food Allergy Book for: Allergy Acceptance)
The Princess and the Peanut: A Royally Allergic Tale (Amazon) is written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and illustrated by Micah Chambers-Goldberg. It reads like a normal fairytale until you find out the princess has a peanut allergy! It’s spin-off from the story of The Princess and the Pea, with an added nut allergy twist. In the story of The Princess and the Pea, a tiny pea placed underneath a pile of mattresses makes a princess feel unwell.
In the story of The Princess and the Peanut even the tiniest bit of a peanut can make a nut allergic princess feel unwell.
The queen mother knows about the pea test but runs out of peas so she uses a peanut under the princess’s mattress instead. Once the prince finds out about the princess’s nut allergy the prince has to choose between the love he has for the princess and the love he has for peanut butter.
Pretty silly, but actually cute!
It’s a fantastical way of introducing nut allergies to kids. Because who doesn’t want to be compared to royalty? Ha!
8. The Princess and the Peanut Allergy (Good Food Allergy Book for: Social Acceptance, Uncomfortable Conversations With Friends)
It’s a good option to keep in rotation for kids that need help with getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes you need to be able to speak up about your allergy openly, given the costly miscommunications that can arise from food allergy complications. Birthday parties can be a big area of concern for nut-allergic families and nut-allergic children. The social anxiety can be really stressful! Nut allergic children don’t want to feel like their nut allergy is preventing their friends from having their favorite birthday cake. But, often times, like in the case of the book The Princess and the Peanut Allergy, non allergic folks choose nut options because they often don’t understand the nuances of food allergies if they don’t have one themselves. Even when they’re your friend! That’s why it’s important to talk to them about your allergy. Because when they do understand, like Regina understands after Paula explains the severity of her allergy, it’s likely your friend will be more than happy to make cake arrangements that are nut free and inclusive. After all, parties are more about the company than the cake!
Paula’s friend Regina is planning a birthday party. But, the birthday cake will be nutty fudge brownies and peanut butter candies. Regina doesn’t understand why her friend can’t just take the nuts out of her cake and eat it like the rest of her friends. Paula and Regina have a misunderstanding and get in a fight. Then, Paula explains the severity of her nut allergy to Regina. Regina changes her birthday cake plans to include a cake without nuts so her friend Paula can eat the birthday cake with her.
9. Food Allergies and Me: A Children’s Book (Good Food Allergy Book for: Creating Routine, Allergy Acceptance)
Food Allergies and Me: A Children’s Book is written by Juniper Skinner, the mom of a child with multiple food allergies. She wrote it to empower children and food allergic families of the next generation in social settings. The book highlights Jack’s journey as he makes his way through a typical day in the life of a nut allergic child. The child navigates his way through school and the playground. The book helps create a picture of what day-to-day safety precautions look like when keeping a safe distance from an offending allergen. Certain procedures are encouraged, like frequently washing your hands at school and after visiting the playground. It’s also about how to communicate your needs to your friends, how to ask if there are peanuts in the food you eat before you eat it, and how to make sure the adults in your life are aware of your food allergy. It’s about how your friends and the parents of your friends can help be your allergy advocate too!
It’s good for helping to dismantle the shame and mystery surrounding nut allergies. It replaces it with practical self care tips.
Jack is a “food detective” to ensure he’s able to properly avoid contamination and exposure to his allergen. He takes pride in taking care of himself. He brings a safe nut free cupcake to a friend’s birthday as an alternative to eating the cake that includes nut ingredients. He learns how to avoid his allergen through self care and self advocacy.
10. The Day I Met The Nuts (Good Food Allergy Book for: Creating Routine, Allergy Acceptance, Newly Diagnosed)
The Day I Met the Nuts is another good book for anyone coping with a new diagnosis. It follows the main character through his own diagnosis, learning process, and coping process.
A boy discovers he’s allergic to nuts after attending his friend’s birthday party. He has an allergic reaction and has to visit the doctor for an epi-shot. The rest of the book follows him learning about his nut allergy and his new food allergy diagnosis. He learns how important it is to read labels in order to stop consuming nuts. In the process of reading all his food’s labels, he realizes many treats contain nuts! He learned that nuts are in a lot of foods as an added ingredient. He learns that it’s important for him to avoid the nuts themselves, but to also avoid any food containing nut ingredients.
After learning about what foods he can and can’t eat he begins to learn about the new accommodations he’ll need to ask for at school, like a nut free table. He goes through an emotional coping process, feeling angry, frustrated, and sad about never being able to eat nuts. In the end, he comes to the conclusion that it’s okay to have an allergy, and that there are still a lot of really great tasting foods that he can have. He learns that he doesn’t need any nuts to live a fun, happy, adventurous life.
Plus, a Handful of Runners-Up!
These titles are definitely worth checking out too!
Cody the Allergic Cow - Great Food Allergy Book for Kids With Milk Allergies
DJ’s Allergies - Great Food Allergy Book for Toddlers
This book is about 3 year old DJ learning about his allergy. He familiarizes himself with what the symptoms of an allergic reaction look like and feel like, learns he should carry an EpiPen, learns what is safe to eat and what isn’t safe to eat, and learns why he should never share food! He also learns about what will happen if he doesn’t avoid his allergen. He learns that his food allergy is so severe, that it is life-threatening and if he consumes peanuts he could be rushed to the hospital.
***Important note for parents: it has an ambulance page.*** Parent’s opinions differ on whether or not it’s a pro or a con to include an ambulance page in food allergy books. Some parents don’t want to scare young children, but others want to prepare their children for scary situations in advance so they know what to expect in the case of a severe allergic reaction. It’s totally up to you! It depends on the age of your child, their personality, and what you believe they’re ready to learn about.
Taking Food Allergies to School - Great Food Allergy Book for Children With a Wheat or Milk Allergy
***Note for parents: he grows out of his allergy.*** We suggest you skip this page if your child has a severe allergic reaction to wheat or milk.
Available at: Amazon
No More Peanuts for Ellie the Elephant: Kid Safety on Peanut Allergies - Great Food Allergy Book for Friends
Allergic Like Me - Great Food Allergy Book for Building Confidence in Kids With Allergies and for Food Allergy Acceptance
The catch-phrase of this food allergy book is that “it’s ok to be allergic like me”. As this phrase repeats, it helps food allergic children take in the phrase “like me”, so they feel less alone in their allergy. It helps children accept their food allergy, and to accept that having food allergies is more common than they might think! It helps ease children into the challenges a food allergy presents, without getting too serious.
Summary for These Food Allergy Books for Kids
Each book offers a different angle on food allergies. The subjects range from social inclusivity to practical allergy advice. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what age group you’re looking to entertain. All of the food allergy books we’ve listed in this article keep the nut free community in mind, but we do encourage you to look into other food allergy books if your child’s offending allergen differs from peanuts and tree-nuts. Or, if your child has multiple allergies.