Food Allergies and Birthdays
Food allergies and birthdays have never really gone well together. Every birthday party I've been to, there has always been a fancy cake or other dessert that I've never been able to eat. Birthday parties have always been another way to remind me of my food allergies.
But birthdays should be fun! I believe that there should always be a way to include everyone, so let's look at some tips and tricks for how to have a food allergy inclusive birthday. I'll also include some tricks on what to do if you're at a birthday party that isn't food allergy inclusive.
The most important step is to check if any of your guests have food allergies. If none of them have food allergies, great! You can just go ahead with your regular party food. If they do have food allergies, however, see which of the below steps you should follow. Also, keep in mind that other dietary restrictions, such as diet choices, intolerances, religious choices, etc., should also be kept in mind when creating a food menu that is inclusive for everyone.
The best decision would be to make the menu allergy-friendly and the same for everyone. While this can be difficult, it keeps the food allergy person from being left out. Try to refrain from having home-made goods on the menu, since these don't have ingredients labels and run a high risk of cross contamination.
If you already have non allergy-friendly food prepared and/or ordered, buy something that the food allergy person can eat while everyone else is eating the non allergy-friendly food. For example, if the person has a peanut allergy and can't eat the cake, buy some peanut-free ice cream that they can eat. This isn't as inclusive as the other option, but it keeps the food allergy person from being completely left out. As a food allergy person, I've also realized that it is a lot less awkward when everyone has something to eat.
If you're not sure whether a birthday party is going to be food allergy friendly or not, my best tip for you would be to bring snacks. Bring some small snacks in your purse/bag, and pull them out if you can't eat the food. I've learned that having something to eat is a lot less awkward that having nothing to eat while watching other people eat.
I hope this helped you while planning for a party with food allergies! Comment below; what's your go to allergy-friendly snack?