Food Allergy Experience

Surviving June and July

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So, it’s been a while and I’m sorry for that. Let me explain why it’s been so long. Our family has 3 out of 4 birthdays in a two-week period. Two of those birthdays are my children. So, I get to plan and run four birthday parties in about a month time frame. Each kid gets a large birthday party and then we do something much, much smaller on their actual birthday. My husband, well, he’s content if we forget his all together! Since his birthday is the same as Little Guy’s, his celebration is simpler.

This year my daughter had her big party with her friends from daycare. The challenge with that party was trying to find a compromise between Little Guy friendly fun and typical five-year-old fun.

I knew all of the pizza/jump house places were out of the question. We are quite lucky to have great parks here. One of these parks has a carousel and a free wading pool. We booked an enclosed shelter (in case of rain) and bought carousel tickets for all the guests. We also encouraged them all to wear their swimsuits for the wading pool.

Now, in the process planning this party, I picked up a few tips and I thought I’d share them with you.

1) Location Matters: Kids want and need to be entertained during the party, so pick a location that offers some form of entertainment. Think outside the box when considering entertainment. At our party we had the carousel, wading pool, and outdoor games/toys (jumping ropes, horse shoes, sidewalk chalk, etc).

2) Divide the Dessert: Have a separate cupcake or piece of cake for the allergic child. This allows them to eat something safe while cutting out the hassle of all allergy-free cake.

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3) Snack Allergy-free: Try finding allergy-free/friendly snacks that all the kids can enjoy. In our case we had smarties and gummy bears sitting on the tables. Don’t forget to save some for post cake to avoid the worry of cross contamination.

4) Go Disposable: Don’t worry about the green movement! Use everything disposable including the table-cloth. Once the cake eating is over. Roll everything up inside the table-cloth and throw it away. It’s a quick and easy clean-up!

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5) Splurge! Let’s admit, an allergy-free party will be a bit different from a non-allergy free party. There won’t be the pizza house with the mechanical singing bears. And since, I want to make sure the party still lives up to the comparison, I suggest finding something to splurge on. Since we had the carousel rides, we splurged on safari hats and sunglasses for each child.

Have you hosted a large birthday party for your allergic kid? Have you found any tips or tricks that worked well? Anything that didn’t work? I’d love to hear your birthday stories!

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