Welcome to 2015’s Birthday Party Planning Guide.

children at birthday party

You are planning a birthday party for your child, in a landmine of food sensitivities and allergies. Of course your child deserves a celebration! When you issue invitations, why not ask for information of food challenges with the RSVP? Consider the activities of the day, and start planning.

You still have to determine the theme of the party, plan the party, and Goodie bags, if you are doing that Let’s start with the Goodie Bags. Instead of filling them with Jolly Rangers and lollipops, fill them with the little games that children love. You will find several to choose from at the dollar store. This move entirely jumps over any food issues, and you earn bonus points.

Serving snacks is fine, and most children will eat any ‘junk’ food you put out, but not all If you know you are having a gluten free child at your party, why not skip the pretzels, and offer, potato chips, corn chips, Cheese Balls, or Doritos? Do some research beforehand, and you will have a much easier day. Frito-Lay has nutrition information on their website, and most others do too. You can find out which products have gluten, nuts or dairy. That way you can make educated decisions about what to serve. Taking into consideration the age of your child will impact this decision also Younger children may not know all the details of their food issues, so you don’t want to put out something they might eat that will necessitate a call to 911.

Are you serving a meal? Is pizza your choice? Then serve a salad with it, again so the gluten free/dairy sensitive child will still have something to eat. Hot dogs and Hamburgers? Have forks, for the kids who won’t eat a bun. If you have a child at your party with peanut sensitivities, do not serve PB&J. If a child has a dairy sensitivity, offer a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger.

Absolutely have a birthday cake, or birthday watermelon. Stick a candle in something, so your child can make their wishes. If you are serving a cake, also serve some fruit on the side. Pick what is in season. Watermelon? Cut up cantaloupe or honeydew? Bowls of grapes? That way, any child who can’t have the cake (gluten free, dairy sensitive, ‘no sugar for my child’,) can still have something to eat.

Hopefully, you already know the kids your child has invited, so you will know where the landmines lay. If your child is inviting friends from his classroom, ask the classroom teacher for help. Neighborhood kids and relatives you will already know about. Knowing ahead of time allows you to form a master plan, so the focus of the day can be on your child, and his/her friends, celebrating a birthday.

After all of your planning, enjoy a slice of pizza or a slice of that birthday cake. You deserve it Collect all your bonus points, and celebrate your victory however you choose. Congratulations on another party, and you have a whole year until the next one

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