Every time I host a play date or a birthday party I am always unsure of the foods to put out, since a lot of my friends kids have either food allergies or a special diet they follow. When I ask what foods I should have on hand, they always say the same thing, “Oh, don’t worry about us, we will find something.” or “Just put out whatever you would normally serve, we hate to be a bother.”
Then when they show up, they end up pulling out a stash of food they have brought for their child to eat. Which makes me feel HORRIBLE, but when I yell at them for doing that, they just say they are used to it.
|Play dates & party fun!|
The truth is, food allergies in children have risen SIGNIFICANTLY in recent years.
Here are just a few stats from the Food Allergy Research & Education website:
- According to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately
50% between 1997 and 2011.
- Potentially deadly food allergies affects 1 in every 13 children
(under 18 years of age) in the U.S. (That’s roughly two in every
- The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year.
- Eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs,
peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Even trace amounts
of a food allergen can cause a reaction.
Researchers are now trying to figure out WHY food allergies are skyrocketing in developed countries worldwide, but right now… there are no clear cut answers.
That means there is a very good chance that someone you know has a child with food allergies, so why not have a couple of foods that are safe for them eat? Especially when it’s really simple…
Chicken Nuggets: Ian’s allergy friendly chicken nuggets are sold at most grocery stores and are good to have on hand. They are organic, and made with no wheat, no gluten, no milk, no casein, no eggs,
no nuts and no soy. They taste just like regular chicken nuggets. If you are serving them at a birthday party, you may want to even bring the box, just to reassure parents if they want to look at the ingredients. I’m sure there are other allergy-friendly chicken nuggets, these are just the ones I get. This is NOT sponsored or anything, Ian’s has NOTHING to do with my post.
Sorbet, Italian ice, or Popsicles: Ice cream and cake are popular birthday party fare, but kids with dairy or egg allergies can’t have them. These options make sure all your guests can enjoy a sugary treat.
Plenty of chips and pretzels are safe to serve, for a complete list of snacks free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs… go to SnackSafely.com. They are constantly updating their Safe Snack guide.
Fruit and veggie plates are usually a safe bet, but those allergies are soaring as well. Many kids now get reactions from strawberries, kiwis and citrus fruits. Try to keep the fruits separate, instead of mixing them all together, so if someone wants to stay away from a certain fruit, it will be easy to do.
These are only a few ideas, I tried to keep it simple. I also have a allergy-friendly foods board on Pinterest.
Do you have other allergy-friendly food suggestions? I love having lots of options!