The Allergy Friendly Cookbook

For millions of families affected by food allergies, mealtimes can often be a challenging experience. There is no cure for food allergy and management relies on strict avoidance of allergens and knowing how to respond to accidental exposures and allergic reactions.

Today, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is helping families living with food allergies take back control in the kitchen with the launch of The Allergy Friendly Family Cookbook in association with TASTE.com.au.

Developed with Murdoch Children’s world-leading allergy researchers and paediatric specialists – Associate Professor Kirsten Perrett, Professor Mimi Tang and Dr Vicki McWilliam – it features more than 100 allergy friendly recipes and evidence-based advice for families.

Australia is considered the allergy capital of the world. Murdoch Children’s research shows one in 10 infants in Australia are diagnosed with food allergy and almost 3 per cent of children are allergic to peanuts. While 2 per cent of adults are affected by food allergy.

For decades, Murdoch Children’s has been leading the charge across Australia and beyond in the delivery of life-changing initiatives and research to improve clinical care and prevent deaths from severe allergic reactions. Our food allergy studies have recruited over 21,300 participants since 2007, across more than 15 projects that investigate 12 allergies.

Associate Professor Perrett, Population Allergy Group Lead and Director of the National Allergy Centre of Excellence, hopes the translation of food allergy research into this cookbook will have an immediate impact on children and families living with food allergies.

“Our research is investigating prevention, management and treatment options for a variety of allergens, and the book includes recipes that are free of egg, dairy, nut, sesame, gluten and wheat, soy, fish and shellfish,” she said.

Professor Tang, Allergy Immunology Group Lead and Director of the Allergy Translation Centre at Murdoch Children’s, said the cookbook was an important tool in the kit for families living with allergies, providing simple recipes that are free of selected allergens while still including a diversity of ingredients for healthy meals and lunchbox snacks.

“People with food allergies can often find themselves following overly restrictive diets unnecessarily,” she said. “It’s essential to avoid the foods that their child is allergic to, but it’s also important to maintain a healthy, diverse, balanced diet that is nutritionally adequate. We hope the book will help address this.”

Dr McWilliam, Population Allergy Group Clinician-Scientist Fellow and Senior Dietitian at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, said the cookbook was complete with at-a-glance colour-coded icons and extensive indexes so that families could immediately see which recipes fulfil their dietary needs.

“This cookbook means you don’t have to prepare separate meals for a family member with food allergies because there are so many quick, easy and delicious recipes that the whole family can enjoy, as well as information about ingredient substitutions,” she said.

Murdoch Children’s also hosts Australia's peak allergy research body, the National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) – supported by Australian Government funding announced in 2022 – and the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) – supported by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia funding since 2013.

Thank you to our partners Harper Collins Publishers Australia, News Corp Australia and Australia’s number-one food platform, TASTE.com.au, for helping bring this revolutionary cookbook to life. Get your copy today.