I’ve been given the honour of reviewing a self published book by Erica Brahan “A Teenager’s Perspective on Food Restrictions”. Erica has not only written a book but she also has a blog and a facebook group for teenagers who suffer from food allergies and are on restrictive diets: Erica’s Story.
This book is primarily for teenagers but it is also for their parents. Some teenagers are not so open and willing to share their feelings, so this book gives parents an insight into how their teenager might be travelling and the types of challenges they have to deal with.
Erica’s book is about honesty and advocacy and deals with the everyday realities of dietary changes and food allergies.
Positivity – “the positives that come from changing your diet will far outweigh the challenges”
Perspective – this is a teenager’s perspective without the gloss. Erica is honest and she is spot on when she explains that while all age groups will have difficulties with dietary challenges, the challenges are magnified for teenagers and young adults because of all the emotional and social factors involved with this age group.
Planning – at school, going to college, social life and dating, menu planning. Erica covers lots of the practicalities, the advice that she wished someone could have given her at the start of her journey.
Patience -dietary change is a process and Erica’s honesty that “you will mess up” takes away that feeling of failure. And when you have multiple food allergies, you have to be patient with the food eliminations trials as it is worth it in the end. “The reward of reaching your goals and being healthy will be longer than the journey of getting there”
Teenagers who have coeliac disease and must follow a gluten free diet might find these teen specific resources also helpful.