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Helping with food allergies in Newton and Needham

Posted by Katrina Ballard  November 1, 2010 09:00 AM

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Newton resident Heather Mehra said she was surprised when, one by one, her three children were diagnosed with food allergies. Rather than constantly tell her children and others with food allergies what they can’t eat, however, she prefers to emphasize all the other options available to them.

Mehra founded her own publishing company to produce a series of books to help children ‘‘cope creatively’’ with food allergies. She and coauthor Kerry McManama, also of Newton, have written four books about the adventures of the ‘‘No Biggie Bunch,’’ a group of children for whom having food allergies isn’t a big deal. The latest book in the series, ‘‘Everyday Cool with Food Allergies,’’ was written by a Newton allergist, Dr. Michael Pistiner, and edited by Mehra and McManama.

A celebration of the book’s publication will take place Nov. 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s New England chapter office at 109 Highland Ave. in Needham. In addition to book readings by all three authors, Pistiner will speak with parents and demonstrate interactive conversation starters that are the hallmark of his book.

‘‘I truly hope parents will leave with more ways to engage, empower, and educate their kids about managing their food allergies with confidence,’’ Mehra said. ‘‘It is possible for children to have fun while staying safe.’’

General admission to the event is $10 for adults, and free for children and members of AAFA New England. For more information, go to www.nobiggiebunch.com.

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