Helping Kids Understand Food Allergies

Caroline Brown is an author and publisher who has written a book to help children understand more about food allergies.

Nutti the Squirrel Who Couldn’t Eat Nuts is an illustrated story about a young squirrel who becomes sick after eating a meal with his family and is told by Dr. Owl that he is allergic to nuts. The news is a huge shock to Nutti who worries he will never be a real squirrel like his family and friends.

Caroline Brown was inspired to write this story and raise awareness of nut allergies after a frightening incident on a family holiday in 2010. One of her two children, Callum, was eating an ice-cream when he suddenly went into anaphylactic shock. He was rushed to hospital where he was administered a dose of adrenalin, underwent a number of tests and was diagnosed with a tree nut and peanut allergy (so he was unable to eat not only peanuts but also lentils and peas).

Initially, Caroline found it difficult to explain to her son that he couldn’t eat all the things his friends ate, or share sweets and snacks. She realised that it wasn’t just parents and carers that needed to understand about food allergies, but also the children themselves and their friends. And so the idea for Nutti the Squirrel Who Couldn’t Eat Nuts was born – a story for children to help promote understanding and acceptance.

Nutti the Squirrel Who Couldn’t Eat Nuts has been endorsed by the charity Allergy UK and is a fun, informative storybook for primary school teachers and parents to read with young children. The book is available for sale in good book shops and online at Waterstones, Foyles and Amazon.