Kid's birthday parties today seem very different from parties when I was young. The food given is I think, healthier than it used to be and there are a lot more food allergies to cater for. When trying to think of friends with food allergies from my childhood I cannot think of a single one - the only special food arrangement was for my friend's diabetes.
This party has a theme of fairy princess (original, I know) and food requirements of interesting, party-like, dairy, nut, soy, meat and egg free. When faced with a different list of allergies last year I completely freaked out about what to make (as you can no doubt tell, I'm a baker - everything has flour, egg and dairy) until calmer friends pointed out all the obvious food choices. I'm ashamed to say I was almost annoyed with the need to avoid certain foods as I really felt as though I was cheated out of making the things I really wanted to have. But the party isn't about me, it is about my daughter. I want her to be a good host, that means that I need to be one too. Now I see it as an opportunity for food creativity and fun. I doubt the kid's even notice that the food omits certain items - particularly as long as there is at least a lollipop involved!!
Best low-allergy birthday party food ideas (check packaging very, very carefully)
- Rice crackers
- Plain potato chips (flavoured ones tend to have milk powder)
- Plain popcorn and candy corn (icing sugar and food colouring)
- Marshmallows *some brands still contain gluten
- Corn chips
- Bagel chips
- Fruit kebabs
- Carrot and celery sticks
- Some sausages (bit tricky to find those without soy or dairy) or use ham
I think if you have a child with an anaphylactic allergy then it is just good manners to avoid any of that food item (particularly with younger children who tend to take whatever food they can get/ smear food all over the place) at the party. For food intolerance, or older children better able to manage food then it is quite common to have allergy free foods for the children and perhaps an 'adults' food table with some other foods.
For one birthday party a Mum brought along a piece of egg/gluten/dairy/soy free cake that I quickly decorated to look identical; this upcoming party we are having an ice cream cake with a rice milk ice cream option.
It is complicated, but it can be quite invigorating working out a nice, safe menu - for me a different kind of food challenge.