Thursday, September 10, 2009

Surviving Birthday Parties

(Picture of MG holding one of her Zucchini Cake birthday cupcakes. Recipe in last post.)

One of the many challenges of having a child with allergies is figuring out how to safely allow them to do the many things that all kids do. Whether it's trick or treating, an Easter egg hunt or attending a Birthday Party. I've finally figured out some great ways to include MG in any birthday party she is invited to.

1st - Communication. Call the parent(s) hosting the party. Make sure they are aware of the allergies and which allergies your child can be around and which they can't. For example: MG can not be around any nut products but although she can't eat eggs she can be around egg products.

2nd - Expectations. I make sure to let the parents know that they don't have to change any of their party plans. If they want to have nuts at the party, no problem. We won't be able to attend but we'd love to drop off a gift. I simply and honestly explain the situation to MG and let her pick out a present for the child at the store and deliver it a day before or after the party. If they have no plans to have any nut products at the party then we would love to attend. I reassure them that I'm not offended either way. My priority is to keep my child safe and I don't take chances.

3rd - Food. Find out what kind of food they are serving during the party as well as what they might have as party favors or in a pinata. Then bring whatever you need so that your child can be eating similar things to what the other kids will be eating. I certainly don't except the party hostess to bake an egg free birthday cake. So I find out how they are decorating it and bring MG's own cupcake already frosted. If they are serving food that MG can be around but can't eat, I simply bring something special that she'll be excited to eat instead.

4th - Preparation. When I made MG's birthday cupcakes I left several un-frosted and froze them. When we go to a birthday party I simply pull out one or two cupcakes out of the freezer before the party. Then I whip up a small batch of frosting. You could also freeze frosting in advance, just make sure to allow it time to thaw. She is so happy to be getting a cupcake that she doesn't mind that it's different than the other kids cake or cupcakes. Although I do try to match the color of the frosting to help her feel included but I've noticed it might not matter when it comes to cake. She is always so excited to eat it she's not looking too close at what the other kids are eating.

5th - Participate. I attend the parties with MG. I'm there in case anything is overlooked. The hostess is typically so busy being a hostess and directing kids through the events that if there was an allergy issue you'll want to be there for your child, just in case.

I've been blessed with fabulous friends who have gone to amazing lengths to keep MG safe at their homes. Hopefully you have family and friends that will do the same for you or your child! With a little work this summer MG was able to attend some fabulous birthday parties recently and I'm so glad she wasn't left out of the fun. It's wonderful to see your child get to be a child!


Sandy Toes said...

What a cute cupcake!
sandy toe

Renae said...

I've just been through this whole process twice in a month! It's a lot of work but so worth it! LOVE the cupcake decorating idea for Halloween! I hope you don't mind if I steal it. I'll direct everyone to your page!