Hosting a Children’s Birthday Party with Food Allergic Guests And Rocking It 0
Having a party that includes children with food allergies doesn’t need to be hard, just educate yourself and do a little extra planning.
Having a party that includes children with food allergies doesn’t need to be hard, just educated yourself and do a little extra planning. It provides your child with an opportunity to honor their friend by making the party allergy friendly. Not only will their friend appreciate the extra effort, your child will learn an important lesson- a great party is about making guests feel welcome and important.
Here are some tips for hosting a party that includes children with food allergies:
Ask about allergies in your invitation. Let parents know that you would like to have an allergy friendly party. Ask about specific allergies children have, and call the parents to discuss the food that will be served.
Ask if there is an allergy-friendly bakery. Ask the food allergy family if there is a bakery that makes cakes or cupcakes they are comfortable having their child eat. You can have the entire cake made there, or buy cupcakes that are safe. Stay away from baking cakes that might work, for risk of cross-contamination or not fully understanding safe ingredients.
Invite the parents to come early and/or stay. If parents are worried about the safety of foods, encourage them to come early to the party to make sure the foods and the environment are safe for their child. If you as the host are worried, then ask if someone can stay and make sure the food is safe.
Understand the Child’s Allergy Action Plan. Encourage people to use AllerPal to share information on what to do if their child does have a reaction. If the parent does not use AllerPal, then ask questions about how the parent treats a reaction, important signs of a reaction and where the medicine will be stored in case it is needed. Make sure you know how to use the child’s epipen so you are prepared.
Keep the Foods Safe for All. Work with the food allergy family to come up with foods that will be safe for everyone. If a child has many food sensitivities, try to make the part of the meal safe for all (for example the snacks) and have alternatives for the food allergic child.
Be Discrete. When a food allergic guest arrives, don’t make them feel different. Quietly review the food with the parent and make sure either you or the parents let the child know that the foods are safe.
Be Careful with Goody Bags. Consider skipping candy or food items, and focus on toys, notebooks or crafts. If you do decide to include treats, consider using a guide that can be found on snacksafely.com, or email the parent to confirm your food choices are safe for their child.