Book Nook: Allergy-free snack cookbook

THE ULTIMATE ALLERGY-FREE SNACK COOKBOOK: Over 100 Kid-Friendly THE ULTIMATE ALLERGY-FREE SNACK COOKBOOK: Over 100 Kid-Friendly Recipes for the Allergic Child, by Judy and Shari Zucker. Photo Credit: Handout

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THE ULTIMATE ALLERGY-FREE SNACK COOKBOOK: Over 100 Kid-Friendly Recipes for the Allergic Child, by Judy and Shari Zucker. Square One Publishers, 133 pp., $15.95.

The number of children with serious food allergies rose 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to the journal Pediatrics, while allergic kids' emergency room visits have more than doubled at some hospitals. One reason may be our obsession with "clean living" and antibiotics, the authors say.

The Zucker twins, Californians trained in physiology and nutrition, published their first book about snacks in 1984, at age 16. Their guide is useful for parents who want to protect their kids from allergic reactions -- and avoid junk food, too.

THE SCOOP You'll learn a lot: how potentially dangerous peanut protein can be in enchilada sauce, or that soy can be in herbal teas or sprayed on produce to make it shiny.

THE BOTTOM LINE The snacks -- dips and chips, cookies and muffins, potato skins and pizza -- are also gluten-free. Get the kids in the kitchen to help.

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