With school back in session and extracurriculars kicking off in full swing, parents everywhere are prepping for birthday, classroom, & team sports parties that are looming on the horizon. However, with severe & life-threatening food allergies on the rise, it’s top of mind for parents to plan a party that's fun, inclusive, and most importantly, safe for all attendees, including those with food allergies.
If you’re gearing up to put your party planning pants on, we’re here to help! Today, we’re sharing our top tips to help you host a memorable and allergen-free party that promises to be a safe, memorable, & stress-free experience for parents and kiddos alike.
Request Allergy Deets with the RSVP
The first step in hosting an allergen-free party is communication. When sending out invitations, request that parents note any allergies their children may have. This will help you tailor your party menu and activities accordingly.
Set out Safe Snacks
When planning your party menu, prioritize allergen-free foods, like Safe + Fair Seasoned or Drizzled Popcorn and Vegan Protein Chips. Aim to provide snacks that are both delicious and safe for everyone, including options like fresh fruits, vegetables, + gluten free pretzels or crackers. Make sure to check food labels to avoid any potential allergens and consider any cross-contamination risks. If you're not sure about a particular item, opt for packaged snacks with clear allergen labeling.
Go with a “Build Your Own” Entree + Dessert
Opt for an allergy-safe “build your own” entree + dessert station that caters to a range of allergies and sensitivities. This allows everyone to enjoy the same meal while offering the autonomy to customize to their own needs. Our favorite crowd-pleasing options? We love a "build-your-own” taco bar, complete with corn and gluten-free tortillas, an assortment of protein options like grilled chicken, tofu, and black beans, and a colorful medley of fresh toppings such as allergen-free salsas, Safe + Fair Sweet Jalepeño Protein Chips, guacamole, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and dairy-free cheese alternatives.
As for dessert, we’ve found kiddos love a “build your own” sundae bar in place of a traditional cake. Some sundae bar favorites include dairy-free ice cream or sorbet, Safe + Fair Birthday Cake + Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Granola, dairy-free chocolate chips, sliced strawberries, sprinkles, cherries, & dairy free whipped cream.
Label the Snack Table
To avoid any confusion or accidents, make sure to display the food labels' allergen contents for all to see. You can use paper tags or printed signs next to the prepared food, outlining any potential allergens present in the dish. If possible, try setting a separate food table with any items that contain one or more of the most common, top-9 food allergens.
Focus on Fun vs. Food
Organize allergen-free activities and games that engage all kids. Arts and crafts stations, scavenger hunts, and outdoor games like tag or relay races are excellent options. Ensure that any materials or props used in the activities are allergen-free and safe.
Consider non-food options such as stickers, small toys, or craft supplies as party favors & piñata filler. This not only adds a personal touch to the party but also ensures that every child can enjoy the goodies without worry.
Create a Safe Party Venue
Before the party begins, ensure your party space is free from potential allergens. Thoroughly clean all surfaces, and if possible, restrict pets from the party area. Remove any items that could pose a risk, such as nuts, and replace them with allergen-free alternatives.
Ask for + Accept Help
Don't hesitate to ask parents for assistance or guidance, especially if you're unsure about certain allergen-free options. Some parents may have experience with allergen-free cooking and could offer valuable insights and suggestions to help lighten the load of hosting an allergen-friendly gathering.
While hosting a safe + fun allergen-free kids party does require a bit more planning and consideration, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By implementing these tips and tricks, we guarantee you’ll be named hostess with the mostest & super parent of the year!