PHOTO BY MaTTHew wOrden

Ten ThingS A PArenT
CAn DO TO hOST An
Allergy-FrienDly KiDS’ PArTy
Sandra Beasley, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life
Crown Publishers – On Sale July 2011
From birthdays to bat mitzvahs, kids love parties. By taking these simple precautions,
you can make sure that every child—including one with food allergies—has a good time.

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On invitations, mention up front if the party has a food-centric theme, such as
a decorating your own pizza or assembling gingerbread houses.

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If traditional cake is being served, don’t make a big production out of cutting and handing a slice to
each guest. If ice cream is being served, have a non-dairy fruit sorbet on hand that can be substituted
without drawing attention to a milk-allergic child.

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If the parent of a food-allergic child contacts you before the party, offer to put out a “safe” dish
(prepared by the parent and dropped off with the child) amid buffet items.
Provide easily identifiable snack foods such as pretzels or cubed watermelon. An allergic child might
not spot an allergen obscured in trail mix or fruit salad.
For birthdays, feature a cake-themed art project instead of traditional cake. Set out markers and an
oversized cake shape (cut from poster board or felt) for kids to decorate and sign. After everyone sings
“Happy Birthday,” unveil the finished project.

Choose serving-ware that comes in a variety of colors instead of a uniform print. This will help an
allergic child avoid accidentally using someone else’s tainted cup or fork.
Make clean-up after eating more fun: in the style of Japanese restaurants, use tongs to hand out a fancy
stack of washcloths that have been dampened, rolled up, and heated in the microwave for a few seconds.
If crafts are a focal point, beware of common allergens that might be ingredients in art supplies such
as glue (milk), modeling clay (wheat), and tempera paints (egg).
If games are being played for prizes, always have the option of a non-food prize.
Giving out goody-bags? Be sure any food you include is thoroughly wrapped. Crumbs from a
cookie or a chocolate’s oils can contaminate the toys bundled beside it.
For more on the author and Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl, visit SandraBeasley.com.
Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl by Sandra Beasley i Available July 2011 wherever books are sold.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-307-58811-1; $23.00/$25.95 CAN
eBook ISBN: 978-0-307-58813-5; $23.00

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