It is always sad for me to find out that my son was not invited to a birthday party because of his food allergies. I am told it’s because of the other parents fear, but this can often enrage me to no end. I find this to be such a selfish act. While I only know of two incidents of this occurring, I wonder if there are more and hope and pray that my son will never know this or even start to understand this. However the reality is pounding me in my face as he continues to grow older and asks more and more questions. The simple solution to having a child invited to a party of any sorts is to ask questions. Call the parent. I personally do not know a single parent dealing with food allergies that would be offended, turned off, upset, or burdened if this did happen. Instead, we would welcome, encouraged, and be extremely thankful if anyone did. With that said, I have to recognize that I do get many calls, questions, and/or positive interactions with most parents, so this is reassuring.
I say this because I recently had my son’s birthday party. They are so close together, we tend to just throw one big party for the two of them. Of course, at this party, I always provide the party favors, activities, snacks, and cake/cupcakes….just as any other parent would. However, I do make my party’s allergy free for the sake of my son and to also show how simple it can be done for the ones who do attend. This year I also wanted to make it simple, easy, and accessible as well since we are in a small town. The boys had a blast and the food was a crowd pleaser!
I always do cupcakes. I do this for a few reasons: First, my son loves them and why not take an opportunity to give your food allergy kiddo their first choice when it comes to something he can actually have? Second, they are quicker to make and decorate and give easy access to varieties for all guests. So, the menu included some Pamela White cake mix and Pamela Chocolate Cake mix for cupcakes with some Pillsbury Vanilla frosting with green food dye to match the green theme. Simple, quick, delicious, and everyone loved them. I did put some chocolate chips (enjoy life brand) into the Pamela White cake mix cupcakes and everyone LOVED them!
The rest was even more simple, quick, and easy on the pocket books as well. The tables were given bowls of some organic black corn chips and Paul Newman salsa (chips and salsa is another favorite of my little man) and the kids loved this. I made a quick batch of the Pamela chocolate chip cookies (huge crowd pleaser). Then there were some bowls of fruit salad (citrus items to keep from browning including melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes—and some added colored allergy free marshmallows). And the final items were some organic plain chips. Include some gift bags with a small toy, Cascadian farm oatmeal and raisin bar and some bubbles and it was a hit! And when it was all said and done, there was one item that could not have been purchased at a store in even our small and limited town and while I never mentioned my goal of organic and allergy free, I was given several compliments on the health factor of the snacks and how everything tasted great!
So, while planning parties, always remember that even a food allergy kiddo can join if you keep it simple and healthy!