If your child or any of his or her guests have food allergies (and among many guests there may be many allergies), trying to throw a party may seem daunting. But as more and more children are diagnosed with food allergies, more and more recipes are being made available to accommodate them. Consider some of these ideas for throwing an allergy-free party where everyone can relax and have fun.
When you decide to throw an allergy-free party, make sure you note that fact in the invitations. Some parents avoid having their children attend parties because of the usual allergens present. Let parents know you intend to have an allergy-friendly party, and ask them please to contact you about specific allergies. This will help you choose the right foods to serve at your party. (You may have a lot of guests with gluten sensitivity but none with dairy allergies, for example.)
1. Gluten-Free Foods
The obvious party foods such as cake, cookies, and cupcakes are usually made from wheat flour, which contains gluten. Some sources say that while most grains contain some gluten, there are grains that are so low in gluten – or contain a different kind of gluten – that people with gluten intolerance can consume them safely.
In fact, other experts say that grains such as brown rice, millet, and quinoa contain no gluten at all. Oats do not contain gluten naturally, but often get contaminated with wheat gluten during processing. Look for gluten-free oats if you want to use them in your party foods.
Here are some ideas for gluten-free foods you can serve at your party.
- * Rice or nut crackers and cheese
* Cornbread sandwiches
* Meringue cookies
* Deli meats
* Potato chips
* Rice pasta
* Gluten-free pancakes or waffles (you can use gluten-free pancake and waffle mix, and as a variation you can use the waffles or pancakes as wraps for sandwich fillings)
2. Eggs and Dairy
These are other food allergies you’ll see among kids. In fact, some children are exempted from certain vaccinations if egg white was used in the development of the vaccine. Thankfully, there are egg-free party foods you can make for your guests, and there is even dairy-free ice cream made from soy or rice. Try egg-free brownies or cake. For these baked goods, the cake-like texture is achieved with baking powder and/or baking soda.
Dairy-free foods are not quite as challenging – avoiding cheese and milk seems simple. But you’ll need to think more carefully than that – dairy “hides” in foods like cheese puffs, popcorn, and even bread.
Corn is considered a gluten-free grain, but it’s also a fairly common allergen among children. Rice is considered a safe grain for kids who are gluten-sensitive and allergic to corn. Note that corn tends to be in everything, so avoiding all corn may not be possible (even party balloons may have cornstarch dusted on them). Check with corn-sensitive guests before attempting a totally corn-free party.
In addition to the above, consider nut and chocolate allergies as well. Peanuts are the usual culprit in nut allergies; it’s rare for anyone to be allergic to “tree nuts” such as walnuts and also a legume like peanuts. Sunflowers are often a safe alternative “nut.” Carob is an allergy-safe substitute for chocolate and can be used the same way.