Dietitian's Corner: Food Allergies Don't Have to Spoil the Fun
Created by: Allison Kuhn, RD LD
Planning a birthday party for little ones can be stressful—especially with food allergies, gluten intolerances and concerns about added sugar becoming more common. But that doesn't mean you can't plan a party that will delight children with even the most stringent nutritional requirements. We have plenty of recipes to get your worry-free party started, including nut-free trail mix, gluten-free vanilla shortcake, and banana party pops.
But first, consider these important tips:
It doesn't hurt to ask. Consider adding a line to your party invite that asks about allergies or other dietary concerns.
Label everything. Clearly mark each food item at serving stations. It's easy to work pretty labels into your party décor!
Don't throw away those boxes and bags. A bag of chips might not look as chic as chips in a pretty bowl, but make sure you keep all food packaging on hand so that concerned parents can read the ingredients list. Most parents (and even some kids!) know exactly what to look for on food labels.
Be mindful of your preparation methods. For example, if you have a party guest with a peanut allergy, always prepare those snacks last, and be sure to keep all food and utensils separate during prep, storage and serving. You might even want to use sticky notes as reminders during prep (for you) and serving (for others) to ensure no cross-contamination occurs. Allergic guests may also feel more comfortable when served first, when foods are still separate.