My son recently attended a birthday party where several of the pint-sized guests had food allergies. There were gluten, egg, nut and dairy allergies all accounted for. The child’s mother, knowing that she couldn’t please everyone, ordered a regular cake. Unfortunately, half of the cake was left uneaten because many guests were unable to enjoy it.
Avoiding allergens typically falls on the shoulders of the allergic child’s parent. However, it’s helpful to make children and parents feel safe, so they can enjoy the party to its fullest.
Here are a few tips for an ‘allergy-friendly’ birthday party.
- Ask about allergies of children ahead of time.
- Use labels on food. These printables should do the trick!
- Include small toys/prizes in favor bags instead of food items or candy.
- Make a Rice Krispie treat cake with non-dairy margarine to avoid eggs, gluten, and dairy.
- Make your own cake. There are plenty of recipes out there for egg-free cakes.
- This chart gives great ideas for egg substitutes. Gluten-free flour can also substitute easily for regular white flour.
- Have a barbecue! Hot dogs and chicken wings are frequently allergy-free.
- Popcorn balls are allergy-friendly and make for a great snack.
- Make your own pizza, offering choices of gluten-free dough and dairy-free cheese.
- Visit the gluten-free section of your supermarket. They often have snacks that are also nut, soy, and dairy-free.
Allergies don’t need to be a party ruiner. With a few small adjustments, everyone, regardless of their allergy, can enjoy the fun!