My little guy’s 4th birthday was just last week and I’m happy to report he recently has made great strides in the food sensitivity department. He has been taken off his gluten free diet (well, kind of) we don’t eat a ton of it anyways because of our other children but he has also been able to consume small amounts of dairy- whoohoo praising God for small strides in the right direction. We celebrate the big and small things around here.
I did however, find myself in a bit of a party planning hick-up as I planned for his upcoming birthday party. How do I even begin to plan for all these allergy sensitive kids?
Is it our heavily processed food diets? The pollution? Or better medical advances – who knows? It is what it is. “According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.”
5 Ways To Throw An Allergy Safe Birthday Party
Provide the food menu to guests in advance -when sending out the invitations put the main menu right on there. Now days, that is as important as having the address location of the party. Let mom or dad decide for themselves if little Johnny is going to need an alternative snack, main coarse, or dessert.
Save every food label and clearly label everything
– whether your setting out crackers, chips, or dip–save all labels. This just makes life a whole lot easier there is no questioning or second guessing “what” is in a particular dish. Also, when serving up all those fun finger foods, main dishes, and desserts it’s especially helpful to label them with cute little tags notifying reading guests what exactly is on that fancy platter.
Show respect to your allergy sensitive guests without making a scene– it is always a kind gesture to greet all the guests as they arrive- a warm greeting, a word of thanks for coming, and a brief instruction of where “safe” foods are located is especially helpful and very well received without making a huge scene and embarrassing your guest.
Snack and finger food control
– be mindful of what snacks you are serving and where they are located
. If you have gluten sensitive or celiac guests attending it maybe best to leave their snacks in a completely different location (i.e indoors) . This includes goodie bags- kids love that special treat at the end of the party-but, why not make it a container of bubbles, a set of sidewalk chalk, or crayons and coloring book instead of that traditional candy bag- I personally can not stand candy treats- they have literally been ban from our house (I know-I’m so mean) but honestly the crying over what the kids can and can’t have is torture on the entire family–it’s totally not worth the hassle. I will gladly wear the “mean mom” card for this one.
Accept help– instead if stressing over serving all the “right” foods if an allergy sensitive child’s parent offers to help with something- accept the offer. Save yourself the hassle of making sure it is all “right”. They are offering to see that your child has a successful party and that their child’s needs are efficiently met. They aren’t offering to be nosey or over step their boundaries- they truly want to help. So, accept it but don’t abuse it.
Parents today no doubt have their work cut out for them. We fight for our children’s attention-simultaneously, they fight for ours. This world has gotten down right noisy on so many levels. There is technology buzzing around us-and, certainly no lack of temptation whirling about. Has it always been like this? Top it all off with an astounding number of health related issues in children-we have ourselves a recipe for disaster.
Raising my food intolerant, food sensitive, gluten free, dairy free, food allergy kids is not always easy but it’s the cards we were dealt and I hope it inspires you in your present situation. We can’t always control what happens around us, but we can choose to make it the best we know how.
For me that means raising the healthiest family I possibly can with what means I have been given. A truly healthy person feeds their mind with worthwhile knowledge, their body with healthy food, and feeds their spirit with the things that lead to action. Coincidentally when I think of what makes my homestead the happiest it is when these three things align-mind, body, spirit. I also venture to say that is the same for you, your spouse, children, friends, and family. When one piece to the puzzle is missing we remain incomplete. Puzzles are made to be put together, take apart, and rebuild. Every once in awhile we need to evaluate the pieces and see what is most deserving or in need of our attention.
Since this is Easter week I intend to spend sometime filling my family’s spirit. We have been blessed in so many ways therefore, we will be reflecting, praying, giving forward, and giving thanks.
3 Ways to Fill Your Family’s Spirit
Make cards for residents in a nearby nursing home.
Deliver a special treat to your local fire department as a special ‘thank you’ for all that they do.
Plant a tree, clean up trash, or take a field trip to a local recycling facility to learn more about how you can give back to our planet.
3 Ways We Will Be Filling Ours
- We will make cards for a family whom I’ve never met but their story has moved my soul. Their recent loss of their baby girl has moved me to action. We will also be visiting a nearby butterfly house in Kate’s honor and be sending happy mail (aka snail mail) to her siblings.
- We will continue with our neighborhood clean up.
- We will also be baking some gluten free treats to share with some much deserving friends.
What will you be doing? How will you fill your family’s spirit this upcoming week?