FAQ All you ever wanted to know about The No Biggie Bunch.

Who is The No Biggie Bunch?

The No Biggie Bunch is a diverse group of kids who handle the social challenges of food allergies with poise and panache.

The No Biggie Bunch is diverse in their food allergies, ethnicities and interests – all the things that make kids special. With such a varied group, the No Biggie Bunch hopes to connect with most every boy and girl, creating resonance with the No Biggie message. After all, kids with food allergies are still kids by definition – kids with equal need to stay safe and have fun.

The No Biggie Bunch stands for: Preparedness – Safety – Fun – Optimism – and a Great Attitude! The No Biggie Bunch adventures provide creative solutions and responses for school, play dates, holidays, birthday parties and more.

The No Biggie Bunch was created by authors Heather Mehra and Kerry McManama.

What is “No Biggie”?

No Biggie is both a catch phrase kids can employ and an attitude kids, parents, teachers and playmates can adopt with fun and ease. “No Biggie” is a positive tool to add to a child’s food allergy toolbox of support. When kids and adults are on the same page and prepared (both with safe snacks and a ready response), the social challenges of food allergies really can be “No biggie!”

No Biggie works like this: In response to an uneasy parent serving ice cream cake at a birthday party, a child with a milk allergy can respond, “No biggie, I brought my own treat!” Because he follows the No Biggie Bunch code of preparedness, he’s ready to enjoy the party – allergen-free!

A child with a peanut allergy spies a sparkly box of cookies at the grocery store and hands it to her mom. Mom reads the label and matter-of-factly says, “These cookies aren’t safe for you. No biggie, we’ll find something better!” With that quick response and upbeat attitude, mom and daughter share the same language and the same hope that an even tastier treat awaits.

Does The No Biggie Bunch and their creators really think kids’ food allergies are not a big deal?

On the contrary – kids’ food allergies are very dangerous and life threatening. Heather and Kerry get that. They live that. Emergency medicine and allergy action plans are always at arm’s reach. Safety has always been their first priority.

That said, Heather and Kerry don’t believe kids with food allergies should have to be sad, nervous or afraid in social settings because they have food allergies. A child’s food allergies do not have to compound the normal anxiety kids experience in social situations.

In their personal experience, Heather and Kerry have found preparedness and a ready response empowers kids and caregivers alike to feel safe, strong, and supported in any snack, meal or celebration situation.

Which food allergies are represented in The No Biggie Bunch adventures?

The first letter of the name of each of the characters corresponds to the food allergy he or she has. Eliot is allergic to Eggs, Scotty is allergic to Soy, and so on, with the exception of Greta, one of our most beloved characters.

The first letter of her name corresponds to Gluten. Greta has celiac disease and is allergic to shellfish. Although celiac disease is not a food allergy, gluten containing grains need to be strictly avoided. Many of the coping strategies used by kids with food allergies can be employed by kids with Celiac Disease.

Milk is the allergen, why use the term “dairy” in the stories when referring to a milk allergy?

This was a very personal decision. Heather’s child with a milk allergy will state he is allergic to dairy AND milk for the simple reason that most people unfamiliar with food allergies think he is only allergic to the white stuff in the carton. There were too many close calls. She does get the occasional call from friends’ moms asking if he can have eggs (which he can), but double-checking is much safer than the alternative.

Does every No Biggie Bunch character have a food allergy?

No. Natalie, our artsy kid, has no food allergies.

Natalie is a vital part of The No Biggie Bunch. All kids – with food allergies or not – can engage with the No Biggie attitude and share awareness and experiences with friends and family members.

Non-allergic kids are some of the best advocates in keeping their friends with food allergies safe.

Do the No Biggie Bunch adventures feature environmental allergies or medication allergies?

No. The No Biggie Bunch is all about food allergies.

Are emergency medicine and allergy action plans discussed in The No Biggie Bunch adventures?

The adventures of Davis, Natalie, Paige, Eliot, Scotty and Greta are neither technical nor medical. The No Biggie Bunch adventures feature creative solutions for coping with the social challenges of food allergies.

However, Everyday Cool with Food Allergies, published in October 2010, does in fact educate kids about daily food allergy management and aims to encourage kids to play a role in their own food allergy management. For many kids, emergency medicine is a fact of life, so it is a topic covered in this publication. It is our hope that Everyday makes every day a little better for kids with food allergies.

Which age group are the No Biggie Bunch books written for?

The No Biggie Bunch books were originally written for early eaters – kids in pre-school and early elementary school – those first encountering the social challenges of food allergies. Our fans have told us that kids up to 9 years old have found the books meaningful.

The No Biggie Bunch adventures provide fun and easy solutions to the social challenges young kids face when striking out in the world on their own, coping with their food allergy. It offers a shared experience and language that kids can employ with peers and adults. Adopting the right attitude early on can make all difference in growing up safe and confident.

How did Heather and Kerry decide to write The No Biggie Bunch books?

Heather and Kerry had so much on their plates navigating new food allergy diagnoses. They worried if they as caregivers were so easily consumed with everyday concerns, how would it translate to the kids?

It quickly became apparent the kids needed a confident, kid-friendly way to cope in social settings because, let’s face it, nearly all social activities involve food. There was nowhere to turn for help with their inevitable social struggles. There was nothing available addressing this specific issue in a way they could relate to and, since necessity is the mother of invention, Heather and Kerry created their own solution! The No Biggie Bunch was born.

Where did Heather and Kerry come up with the No Biggie concept?

Heather and Kerry wished to relay more of an attitude than simply a story and knew they needed to create a special language for the “bunch” to share. Their goal was to give kids a ready response when challenged with negative questions or comments about their food allergies. They needed a catch phrase. Once they realized they were saying “No biggie!” to Heather’s kids with food allergies daily, they realized it was meant to be and the rest just fell into place.

What makes Heather and Kerry qualified to write books for kids with food allergies?

Heather is mother to three children with life-threatening food allergies. Kerry is their former nanny and is still actively involved in their lives.

Heather and Kerry made it their mission to help the kids be safe, happy, healthy and well adjusted. They’ve seen the children’s struggles; they’ve tried just about everything; and they’ve found some social solutions that have worked well for them. They wanted to share their successes in hopes other children and parents might be able to find success as well.

They’ve also found that including family members, teachers, school nurses, and of course – other kids – has eased the social awkwardness and made the kids’ lives at home, school and play fun and easy – as they should be. The No Biggie Bunch books offer another venue to share these experiences with others.

Heather and Kerry have found kids respond best when adults keep their cool and keep it fun. That’s why they’ve created “No Biggie” – a light, positive and whimsical response to negativity that occasionally surrounds the kid's food allergies.

Did the authors do research to create The No Biggie Bunch book series?

Their primary research was on-the-job training as a mother and caregiver of three kids with food allergies.

They also consulted school nurses, seasoned pediatricians, a veteran kindergarten teacher, and, of course, the kids!

What makes The No Biggie Bunch books so unique?

There is no other book series dedicated to providing social support to children coping with food allergies. The No Biggie Bunch adventures not only play out creative coping ideas, they also empower kids to get creative on their own.

At the end of each story, the reader finds “The No Biggie Bag Bonus” – a story-related question posed to the child that not only sparks imagination, but also opens the door to discussion about what he or she would do to be prepared for a typical social situation.

What does the tagline for kids “creatively coping with food allergies” mean?

The No Biggie Bunch book series was created for kids creatively coping with food allergies.

Food allergies can be tough, but when kids are armed with a great attitude and a ready response, dealing with the social challenges does not have to be.

The members of the No Biggie Bunch use their imaginations and remain positive, and nothing gets in the way of their fun, smart and safe adventures.

What is a “No Biggie Bag”?

A No Biggie Bag is a special bag that’s easy for kids to carry, fun for them to show off and perfectly equipped to hold all of the safe snacks, toys, books and allergy necessities.

Real kids can be just like the No Biggie Bunch and carry their own No Biggie Bags. It supports the No Biggie message of “smart preparation”.

Keep an eye on the homepage – we’ll announce the No Biggie Bag rollout there! Even better - share Your Story and be among the first to receive the announcement by email!

Who is The No Biggie Bunch book publisher?

Heather and Kerry created their own publishing company: Parent Perks, Inc., headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts.

They self-published The No Biggie Bunch Series.

Parent Perks, Inc. Mission Statement

Parent Perks, Inc. is a publisher of educational and entertaining children’s books. We believe when children are engaged and empowered, they can receive messages that stimulate imagination and promise transformation. Our publications embody the spirit of children and spark their social, interpersonal and intellectual innovation.

For more information, please visit parentperksinc.com.

Does Parent Perks publish other books?

Parent Perks will consider manuscripts:

For Kids Creatively Coping with ADHD

For Kids Creatively Coping with Diabetes

For Kids Creatively Coping with Asthma

For Kids Creatively Coping with Autism