I downloaded Feeding Eden:The Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family
(Sterling, 2012) by Susan Weissman after meeting her at a food allergy bloggers conference. While my family's food restrictions developed much later in life, I often meet young families with allergic children through my work. I thought Weissman's book would be a good resource for them. What I didn't expect was for Feeding Eden
to be such a gripping story, one that I couldn't put down.
Any mother, and especially those with medically fragile children, will relate to and learn from Weissman's emotional journey. I found myself returning to the early years of raising my first son, born three months early, and reliving all the self-doubt, fear and exhaustion. Nothing is more therapeutic than discovering someone else feels the same way you do.
For parents of food-allergic children, Feeding Eden
is a must-read. Through an entertaining and often humorous narrative, Weissmann portrays the challenges of daily life with a child who has multiple life-threatening allergies including the impact on siblings and relationships. Well-researched and easy-to-understand medical information, such as theories on why food allergies are on the rise, how the body reacts to an allergen, and studies on possible cures, is woven unobstrusively into the story. While Weissman shares her approach to medical care, including both Western and Eastern medicine, she stresses that every parent must find their own path. To help parents, resources are provided in the back of the book.
The book title may make potential readers think Feeding Eden
is a how-to-book: how and what to feed an allergic child. Of course, food and eating are essential to Eden's story, but the narrative itself is more of a love story--a timeless classic of a mother overcoming overwhelming obstacles to keep her child safe. It's a story for every parent. And once they've finished reading, they should pass their copy to any caregivers of an allergic child--grandparents, teachers, camp counselors, healthcare providers, babysitters and others.