By Diva of foodallergydiva
Planning a birthday party? We’d love to help you with some helpful tips for making it allergy friendly. Did you know that 5.6 million kids have food allergies? If you were to invite your child’s entire class to their birthday party, at least two of their friends would have a food allergy. To help you plan an allergy friendly birthday party from start to finish, here are some tips to help make the process as stress-free as possible!
The most important part of an allergy friendly birthday party is a safe menu. In order to have a safe menu focus on these three things: venue, fun, and food!
- Venue: The easiest place to have an allergy friendly birthday party is in your home/backyard, or a local park, because you have control of the food options, and can mitigate any cross-contamination risks. If the party is outside the home, call around to see which venues will accommodate food allergies and/or will let you bring in your own food. Don’t let “No Outside Food” policies deter you from considering a place before calling. Many places will make accommodations for food allergies.
- Fun: Prioritize fun over food. Instead of a full menu, opt for allergy friendly snacks and plan the party for a non-mealtime like 1PM-3PM so that guests do not expect a full meal.
- Food: Make sure the food being offered IS safe. Offer things like fresh fruit, veggies, and pre-packaged snacks from allergy friendly companies like YumEarth. If you empty a package into a bowl, tape the ingredient label onto the bowl so guests can see if the food is safe for them or their child.
- If you want to serve a full meal, one of my favorite allergy friendly options is a taco bar. You can limit what people are eating to things like beans, vegetables, proteins, etc. and avoid all top 9 allergens completely. This is an easy meal bar to throw together yourself or get catered. Always leave wipes like Wet Ones out on the snack table and ask people to wipe their hands after enjoying their food to help keep everyone safe. Many people don’t realize that hand sanitizer does not remove allergens.
- Pinata: My favorite pinata candies are the YumEarth Chewys because of the size, but the Giggles and Lollipops work well too!
- Arts & Crafts: Arts & Crafts are also a great option because they keep the kids focused on something they love that isn’t food related. Things like spin art and painting are a win-win!
- Cupcake Decorating: Cupcake decorating is a fun activity and birthday cake alternative and there are lots of options for allergy friendly cupcake mix (Hungry Harry’s) and sweets to decorate (Enjoy Life)
- Goodie Bags: Some safe goodie bag options are little trinkets, coloring packs, bubbles, and allergy friendly candy from companies like YumEarth! I especially love the small packs of Giggles and the new Choco Yums! They are the perfect size for any goodie bag.