Birthday season is upon us, and allergies always seem to take the fun out of it. Whether your child has allergies and sensitivities or the birthday child does, it makes partying a little more complicated and puts a few extra considerations on the table. My kids have allergies and eczema so I have to keep a watchful eye on what they eat – especially at birthday parties. I also know lots of families who have kids with allergies which means I have to go the extra mile to provide treats that everyone can enjoy.
The Treat Dilemma
The number one thing I hear parents complain about when it comes to birthday parties is coming up with a treat to bring that everyone can enjoy. Cupcakes, cookies, and cakes are all the go-to celebration food – but they also tend to contain more allergens than other types of foods. Gluten, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, coloring, and other ingredients can all make these foods nothing but trouble. The good news is that ingredient replacements and alternatives are easier to find online than ever before, and you can even find recipes that cut out all the allergens right from the beginning.
I’ve found that most parents, and even the kids, are happy to have non-traditional treats at parties. A fruit platter, veggies with dip, gluten free crackers and dip, or other conventionally healthy treats are all easy to work with, light on the pocketbook, and easy to customize around allergies.
In some areas I’ve also been told that health food stores stock cupcake and cookie mixes that are free from gluten and other ingredients that may need to be avoided. It’s definitely worth looking online or in local shops for these types of items to make your life easier when the party invites roll in!
When the birthday kid has an allergy or sensitivity it’s always a good idea to cater to their needs so that they can enjoy all the treats on their special day. If it’s your child who has the sensitivities, things aren’t as easy. You may need to accompany your child to the party to help them identify what’s a good choice for them, or you may need to reach out to the party parent to get their help. Another idea is to send your child to a party with their own special treats so that they have things to enjoy that they know are safe for them.
If the party will be a big event, chances are there will be other kids with special diets there as well. Talking to the party planner could connect you to these parents so that you can partner up and work together to make your child’s experience totally fun and stress-free!
How Do You Party?
Share your birthday party tips and strategies with us in the comments section below!