Thursday, August 6, 2009

Allergy Friendly Birthday Party Preparations

Adam's birthday is in three weeks. I can't believe he's turning 1 year old. Lots of family and several cousins will be here celebrating the event with us. Plans have been underway for months now. I finally understand why Heavenly Father blessed me with the talent of planning and organizing things. In the past three months I have learned that EVERYTHING must be planned out in great detail when dealing with kids with food allergies. A simple trip to the mall can turn into a nightmare when it's time to eat if I haven't packed lunches for everyone. Food court foods are off limits. My husband and I wanted to go out to eat as a family this week. Adam is eating table food now. Running down the list of restaurants that we are familiar with in town, we realized that there is not one place that can provide Adam with an allergy safe balanced meal. Very few if any permit people to bring in their own food. Family gatherings are now very stressful with buffets of dangerous foods, plates and drinks left out everywhere... Adam is now on the move, putting everything in his mouth. Despite these challenges, we're managing quite well.
Adam's birthday party is the biggest challenge I'm facing right now. It is a soccer ball birthday party. We are expecting a crowd of at least 30 people ranging in age from newborn to 83 years old. There will be food, drinks, etc... everywhere. I've decided to make sure all of the food is allergy friendly for both Adam and Owen. Luckily they can both eat plain potato chips and tortilla chips (without soy bean oil). Plain popcorn and an allergy friendly caramel corn are safe too (not necessarily for a 1 year old, but if he accidentally eats a piece left on the floor, it won't cause an allergic reaction). For drinks I was able to find bottled water decorated with sports balls. The bottles are even shaped like balls.

Last week Adam successfully ate Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams Chocolate Cake without any allergic reaction. Besides being gluten free it is peanut free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free. He LOVED it! We have a cake AND a boy who's not allergic to cocoa!

Unfortunately this week Adam had an unsuccessful trial with soy. Unless anyone has information as to where I can find a soy free, dairy free margarine, the poor boy will not be able to have decorative frosting on his cake. Although I do have a glaze recipe that I may use on his cupcake.

My biggest success lies in the goodie bags. Eleven goodie bags needed filling. There will be six girls, four boys, and a baby. All of the bags are allergy friendly! Just look at the contents:

For the Baby: For all of the kids:
For the boys:For the girls:
It may seem a bit overboard to make sure the goodie bags are allergy proof too, but chances are the children will open them before they leave the house. If there is food in them that Owen and/or Adam can't have and they see it, they'll wonder where theirs is. I'd like to avoid this. The second threat is that if the goodie bag were to have treats that my boys can't have, and one were left lying around somewhere, leave it to one of them to find the bag, empty the contents, and start chowing down. This way all is safe for everyone. I'd be surprised if the kids don't like the contents of their bag.

When I went to one of my friend's children's parties my friend handed out goodie bags to adults and/or families too. I LOVED this idea. Obviously parents go to a lot of trouble finding a gift for your child, bringing them to the party, etc... It will be so nice to have a way to say thank you right at the party. My friend's goodie bags were filled with cookies. Obviously we won't be doing that, but I did come up with another idea. Instead of cookies, everyone will be receiving a 1 year portrait of Adam. Over 75% of the people coming to this party are family, so they'll love an updated photo (especially since the last one they received was when he was 6 weeks old). Those who don't make it to the party will receive the portrait in the mail with a "We missed you!" card.

Here's a sneak peak at the unedited photo taken by photographer Bill Lockhart:

It should be a fun birthday party don't you think? At least in the way of goodie bags and thank yous. More details about the party will be posted after the big event! I can't wait! It truly is amazing that we've all made it through this first year. There are definitely reasons to celebrate!!!


  1. Looks like it's all gonna be great! That's exciting that Adam may NOT be allergic to Soy like you thought, yay for frosting!

    luvs, aby

  2. Yeah, so after trial two, Adam is definitely allergic to soy. The first day with small amounts it wasn't as noticeable, but the secon day...Bad!

  3. I think the party gifts are great and I love Adam's photo! Very cute. You really do go all out and make for a great hostess.