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March 2014
No Peanuts For Me! helps children deal with allergies
No Peanuts For Me!
No Peanuts For Me!
Last November we met Dr. Catherine Hagerman Pangan at a school conferences where we show our peanut-free SoyNut Butters and granola. During our conversation, she mentioned that she was putting the finishing touches on a children’s book about allergies. We meet our share of people who created allergy-friendly products, but what piqued our interest in her project was that she wrote the book with help from her three-year-old son and that she wanted to put a “positive perspective” on allergies.

When "No Peanuts for Me!" arrived at our door, we delved right in. The story is rather simple, focusing on what foods are safe for those with peanut allergies. It’s written in a rhyming verse that’s filled with so many healthy, peanut-free items that those diagnosed with the allergy will start seeing eating possibilities instead of only food restrictions. Ending each refrain is the gentle reminder that although these foods are OK, there are still “NO peanuts for Me!” We can see this book as a perfect gift for children who are first diagnosed with a peanut allergy.

We decided to let our own three-year-old be the critic. Judging on the times we have to read and re-read this delightful book, it must be a hit! She loved the rhyme scheme and Gracie Warf’s colorful illustrations. She giggled like mad at some of the sillier foods mentioned like pickled pigs feet, and after a few times, she started singing the common “No peanuts for me!” line. Best yet, it triggered a conversation about foods she can safely eat instead of just focusing on the foods she cannot eat.

On a personal note, our family has dealt with peanut allergies for the past 10 years. Our immediate reaction was to emphasize the loss of the foods we used to love and see the allergy as limiting our choices. I think if we had "No Peanuts for Me!", we could have expedited the mourning process by showing ourselves the wealth of eating opportunities still available to us. In fact the only negative we see in Catherine Hagerman Pangan’s book is that I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter was not specifically mentioned. Maybe in the sequel!