Your little one is another year older, and it’s time to celebrate! If you’re throwing a birthday party for your child, you likely have decorations, games, and gifts on your mind. But don’t forget the food!
The dishes you choose for your child’s birthday party can make or break the festivities. Food allergies are common among kids. Even if your child doesn’t suffer from such a condition, it’s important to make sure that the foods you serve are edible for everyone.
To make your next birthday bash a big success, keep in mind these catering tips for kids with food allergies:
Ask Parents to List Their Child’s Allergies
An easy way to assess your catering needs is to create birthday party invitations that leave space for parents to write down their child’s allergies. Once all your RSVPs are in hand, you can sort them to see if your menu requires adjustments to accommodate food restrictions.
Create an Allergy-Friendly Menu
Let’s assume that only one child has a food allergy for which you must account. You might think that having a special meal for that guest is the best way to accommodate his needs. Sounds easy, right? The truth of the matter, though, is that you might be setting yourself up for some major birthday party stress and tears. For one, small children may not be conscientious of a serious condition like a food allergy.
The guest could be well aware of his needs, but his little friends may not realize that touching him with unclean hands can leave traces of peanut butter or eggs on his skin, which can prompt an allergic reaction. Second, take a moment to remember what it was like to be a kid.
Did you want special attention? Kids – even those with food allergies – just want to be treated the same as their friends. Being given a separate meal could cause them embarrassment and anxiety. To ensure a room full of smiles, design a menu that’s safe and delicious for all to eat.
Be Wary of Store-Bought Items
If you’re short on time, it might sound awfully appealing to pick up a platter of sandwiches or cookies at your local grocery store. Many of these items are made off-site, though, and the people working at the deli counter may not be well versed in the ingredients used.
If you decide to purchase pre-made food, carefully inspect the nutritional labels and evaluate the ingredients. Also, look for equipment disclaimers, as many factories process multiple foodstuffs, some of which contain common allergens.
Clean Your Kitchenware Before Use
Doing your own catering can give you peace of mind that your food doesn’t contain potentially harmful ingredients. Just be sure to start the cooking process with freshly cleaned cooking tools, utensils, and bowls.
Traces of peanut butter, eggs, milk, and other allergens can stick to knives, whisks, and glasses. By running these items through your dishwasher a second time even after they’ve been washed, you can make sure that all of your party guests get to safely partake of your delicious appetizers, entrées, and desserts!