Allergy Safe Family Food, by Suzanna Paxton

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Food allergies, particularly in children can present a nightmare for parents. Given what seems to be an increasing number of children and adults that have allergies these days, it is good to see a book that has recipes clearly labelled for people with allergies that is easy to use.

The book is divided into Starters, Soups and Salads, then Main Meal. Deserts, Cakes and Treats follow before going on to Snacks and Lunchbox Ideas, Allergy Management, Shopping Guide etc. An important feature of the book is that ingredients are readily available at supermarkets, so it doesn’t require special trips to health food shops which can be more expensive.

In the shopping list I did wonder though how Kellogg’s cornflake crumbs are listed as WF and GF (wheat and gluten free) when Kellogg’s Cornflakes are not listed among the Cereals. Readers will find this a useful guide though Suzanna Paxton does stress to always check the labels as ingredients change. I found this. When the packaging of cranberry, raspberry and strawberry tea changed, so did the ingredients. What had previously been wheat free, suddenly included wheat which meant it went off my shopping list.

This book is also useful in that it has quick dishes to prepare like Honey Baked Chicken as well as those like Lamb and Cauliflower Stew which require minimal washing up – always a plus.

I thought it was a shame Suzanna didn’t give a recipe for Tabouli that was wheat and gluten free which is what I make myself, rather than using a packet mix that contains wheat and gluten. Also I would have expected it should have been stated in the Baba Ghanoush recipe that the eggplants need to have slits cut in them so they do not explode. But possibly spraying oil on the skin alleviates this danger. I admit I haven’t tried it.

I liked the suggestion of using golden syrup in Crunchy Fruit bars for those who are allergic to honey. I loved the way she included child friendly recipes like Chocolate Fudge Slice with Chocolate Icing. And Quick Fizzy Scones, which kids can easily make with a parent. Maybe even this klutz could make decent scones. I couldn’t help but wonder whether it would work as well using gluten free self raising flour rather than that suggested. Perhaps I’ll try it one day.

Parents of children and other family members with allergies will find a good range of recipes in this book that is so easy to use.

Allergy Safe Family Food, by Suzanna Paxton
HarperCollinsPublishers, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe.
Dale is a NSW writer and reviewer. You can visit her blog here.

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.