For some children, having a food allergy can be extremely anxiety-provoking. Thankfully, there are several children’s books designed to educate kids about anxiety, and give them tools for managing worry. Books are also excellent conversation facilitators and may help some children open up about their anxious thoughts and feelings.
Here are six illustrated stories that other families with anxious kids have found helpful.
The Bouncing Worry Ball and Mighty Mitt, by Leslie Brody, PhD. This book should appeal to kids with food allergy fears because the main character, Suzie, has food allergies. The story helps children understand and manage anxiety by using simple cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness techniques. There are pages for kids to write their own thoughts, draw, color, and it includes resources for parents.
What To Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide To Overcoming Anxiety, by Dawn Huebner, PhD. This interactive self-help book educates about anxiety using kid-friendly concepts such as Worry Time, and Worry Bully. The story empowers anxious children to fight back their fears using cognitive-behavioral techniques.
Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story, by Lori Lite. Sea Otter Cove introduces children to deep-breathing for the reduction of stress. Kids learn to belly breath with the help of a sea child and some playful sea otters. Belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is a proven way to calm anxiety and can help children (and adults) more easily fall asleep.
Is A Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz. Children in this interestingly illustrated book have worries that are personified by a blue monster who bothers them. The things worried about in the story are purposefully silly, but the book’s message is to handle worry by creative problem solving, ignoring it, or not allowing it in.
David and the Worry Beast, by Anne Marie Guanci. This tale depicts anxiety as something that grows the more we worry about a problem, but diminishes when we talk to trusted people about our fears. It also reassures anxious kids they are normal and not alone since all children have worries.
Don’t Panic, Annika, by Juliet Clare Bell. Annika panics when she can’t find a favorite toy, or when her coat zipper gets stuck. Her parents teach how to remain calm and think through her problems. Will Annika be able to use what she learned when she gets locked out of the house? You’ll have to read the book to find out.