BOOK REVIEW OF “THE FOOD ALLERGY EXPERIENCE” BY Ruchi Gupta M.D. and Denise Bunning
“The Food Allergy Experience” is one of the best books I have read lately on the subject of living with food allergies. After reading numerous excellent reviews on it, I picked up a copy off of Amazon and devoured it in less than 24 hours! The authors are both parents of food allergic children of different ages, and Dr. Gupta is also a food allergy researcher and practicing pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Denise Bunning is co-founder of MOCHA(Mothers of Children Having Allergies), which is an allergy support group for food-allergic families in the Chicago suburbs.
The book is arranged in four parts: THE BEGINNING, RELATIONSHIPS, SOCIAL WORLD, and EVERYDAY. Each part has several smaller chapters that are arranged into practical, easy to read and digest tips from parents and doctors who live with allergies every day. My husband can tell that the book is relevant and useful by the number of page tabs and hi-lights I put in the book as I read it. Even though I’ve been dealing with my daughter’s food allergies for over 6 years now, I learned so much and connected with so much in this book. There are many wonderful reminders, new ways to approach things like talking to parents and caregivers, and how to help your children learn to manage their allergies.
The end of the book has a wonderful section of sixteen glorious pages full of resources for things such as national and international organizations, 504 plans, support groups, magazines, books, summer camps, travel resources, and related disease information. It also contains sample letters to family and friends to help explain your child’s allergies, sample letters that school principals and teachers can use, and FARE’S Emergency Action Plan along with their website info (www.foodallergy.org). I am co-founding a local allergy support group this fall, and this is the first book I plan to recommend to anyone who lives with food allergies or loves anyone with food allergies!