Can I Have Some Cake Too? A Story About Food Allergies and Friendship (Softcover)


by Melanie Nazareth; Illustrated with original watercolor paintings by artist Shirley Lehner-Rhoades

  • Size: 8 x 10 perfect bound
  • No. Pages: 32 p.
  • Published: 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-935914-28-0


Can I Have Some Cake Too? tells an all too familiar story that kids like Michelle, with food allergies, face daily in school and at social gatherings. It reminds them that they are not alone. Michelle sees Julia’s beautiful birthday cake and wonders if she can eat it. She hopes that it does not have peanuts or tree nuts as she is allergic to them. She knows that she has to wait for her mother’s approval to eat any food that is served at school, to keep her safe from getting a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. While she is wrapped up in a dilemma about whether she can eat Julia’s cake, her friend Troy is very supportive of her. Michelle takes the right steps before she gets her mother’s go ahead to enjoy Julia’s birthday cake! With a foreword by one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy, Dr. Kari Nadeau, as well as providing additional resources and questions for discussion, Can I Have Some Cake Too? is a valuable resource to spread awareness and hope about food allergies among children, parents, school faculty, and care givers.



photo_authorfamilyAbout the Author: Melanie Nazareth holds Master’s Degrees in English and in Television, Radio and Film. Her career includes writing and producing documentaries on the World Bank and UN family, TV syndication, and business development. Her daily experiences with keeping her children, who both have food allergies, safe and supporting them as they navigate their challenges at school and social gatherings, inspired her to write Can I Have Some Cake Too? Melanie is actively involved as a food allergy advocate in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the Painter:photo_illustrator Shirley Lehner-Rhoades is a fine art painter and an art instructor to kids and adults in the Santa Cruz area. She loves living near the ocean where she finds many inspiring backdrops for her paintings.


Illustration2Foreword by Dr. Kari Nadeau

Melanie Nazareth’s “Can I Have Some Cake Too?” is a wonderful book for all ages, for adults and children alike. It is written for a broad audience, including those with and without food allergies. The format is excellent and helps answer questions with clear, informed explanations.  It is a “must read” for teachers, students, principals, parents, and health professionals and I hope it is used as a teaching tool for many schools and clinics. Melanie Nazareth understands the different issues involved in food allergy and her words will have broad impact in the field of food allergy to help others.

Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, FAAAAI
Stanford University School of Medicine
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Stanford Hospital and Clinics
Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology
Nadissy Family Foundation Associate Professor
Director, Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research (SAFAR)

“Now I can have cake and eat it too! A story with an important food allergy message followed by thought provoking questions.”
— Mr. Stephen Sweeney, Principal


“This book belongs in every school and daycare center. The manner in which the book portrays what the child goes through, and how she handles the situation, can be helpful in dealing with similar problems that come up countless times for children with food allergies. I highly recommend this book. It is a must read for all families who have children with food allergies.”
— Daniel Kim MD, Allergist


“This book is very timely and addresses the issues that children with food allergies face every day. Children who suffer from food allergies can relate to Michelle and her struggle to keep from eating the birthday cake. And for kids who don’t have any food allergies, this book educates them about allergies and the problems that can arise from sharing food with their friends.”
— Vidya Kilambi, Librarian