Your child excitedly shares that they were invited to a birthday party in your new town. You are thrilled he is making friends but there is a nagging concern — what gluten landmines will your child face at this party?
Gluten-Free Kids & Summer Parties – 3 Tips for Success
Birthday cake, pizza, brownies, hot dogs, the list goes on. It can be daunting for parents and children alike but with proper preparation, the party can be fully enjoyed by all. Here are some tips.
1. Talk with the parent hosting the party.
So many families are gluten-free in today’s world, it is possible that everything will be allergy friendly.
A few years back, we were invited to a barbecue with a group of people we had just recently gotten to know. I called my new friend who was hosting the event to talk with her about the menu. I am so glad I did! Turns out, their family had recently gone gluten-free and she was very unsure how to host a gluten-free party. She was grateful for the help and she and I worked together to ensure that everything was healthy for everyone!
Had I not approached her, I never would have known she was needing help and she would have felt alone in her attempt to throw a party without food-related stress!
2. Offer to bake, prep, or bring gluten-free items for the kids with allergies.
Families who are not used to gluten restrictions often would like to provide gluten-free options but are unsure just exactly what to have.
You can offer to help with food prep for gluten-free foods like cutting up the watermelon, mixing the salad, or frosting the gluten-free cupcakes. If their kitchen is not gluten-free they are likely worried about how to prevent cross-contamination. This could potentially be a huge relief for the hostess!
3. Bring gluten-free foods specifically for your child.
If no one else will be attending the party with dietary restrictions, you can at least bring foods for your child that are similar to what everyone else is eating but safe for your child.
If they will be serving hotdogs, send a separate bun (and GF hotdog if you feel the need). If the birthday cake will be chocolate, send a GF Chocolate cupcake along. This will help your child not feel as though they are weird or different and they can focus on the fun of the party instead of stressing about what they will eat.
With a few precautionary measures, your gluten-free child can enjoy parties as much as everyone else. Gluten-free foods are readily available and so much simpler to have on hand these days. The focus of the party need not be the food, but the activities, friendships, laughter, and fun. Helping your child feel like they can be successful without food-related stress will help them create memories that will last a lifetime.