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How Do You Handle Your Child's Birthday Party?


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#1 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:27 AM

My daughter is turning 5 in two months and I am a bit stuck on how to do her party. At our family events there is always food and it's usually the same menu which is mostly gluten, dairy and soy containing. I have been told to just feed everyone else normal food and to let my children eat something else, but I don't think that would be right. So how do you handle situations like this? I cook everything right now and I wanted to be a chef so I have no problem making food for around 30 people, but I also understand that people expect certain things at a social gathering. And to top it all off, my daughter wants a tea party (probably Little Mermaid themed). I am really stuck how to handle the menu since I don't feel that my children should have to be told "No you can't have that." when we are throwing the party. And it makes it tougher that we are gluten, dairy, soy and egg free. Any suggestions for how to handle this or safe tea party food would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Darn210

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:38 AM

I totally agree that she should be able to eat anything there is at her own party!!!


Just a few questions so you can get advice that will be applicable . . .


Is it mostly adults or mostly kids? Mostly family members?

Are you planning on serving them a meal or more of a light snack? Are you looking at sitting down to eat or more buffet-ish?


What does your daughter like to eat? . . . and perhaps just as important . . . What does she absolutely hate?
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#3 Roda

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:40 AM

If you are hosting the party then I would fix food that your children can eat period. As for others "expecting" certian things at a social gathering, I think that they need to realize that this day is for and about your daughter and need no expectations. At my youngest son's birthday (his 6th) he was gluten free. I fixed him a gluten free cake, had a veggi/dip tray, had corn dog bites, and made fruit sushi. This was mainly for the kids and the few grown ups that stayed were welcome to eat or not. I never told anyone(except the few friends that know) that everything was gluten free. I did ask if any of the kids had any food allergies first just in case though. There wasn't much food left so it must have been alright. We are going to have a halloween party this year. First year I was just a few days diagnosed so I hadn't made the house gluten free yet. Second year I caved and served a gluten menue to the vast majority (had about 40+ people at my house) and had the gluten free food in a separate area (just me at the time and three other guests were gluten free). This year since I've become more sensitive to cc and my youngest son has celiac too the whole party will be served gluten free food. I will inquire if anyone has allergies before they eat just in case, but otherwise I don't really see a need to disclose the gluten free thing unless someone asks or needs gluten free too. Most of the guests will be classmates of my son so they will probably know anyway. If I were you I would plan her party with her in mind and not worry about doing two different menues. There are plenty of things you can serve that will satisfy everone.
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#4 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:46 AM

I totally agree that she should be able to eat anything there is at her own party!!!


Just a few questions so you can get advice that will be applicable . . .


Is it mostly adults or mostly kids? Mostly family members?

Are you planning on serving them a meal or more of a light snack? Are you looking at sitting down to eat or more buffet-ish?


What does your daughter like to eat? . . . and perhaps just as important . . . What does she absolutely hate?


The party will be mostly adult family members with a few children under 5 and the standard thing for our gatherings have been meal food and kind of buffet style.

And I am extremely fortunate that my kids will eat almost anything, I can't think of any food that she won't eat. 4 years old and her favorite foods are peas and strawberries so I am very lucky there.
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#5 Jestgar

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:47 AM

but I also understand that people expect certain things at a social gathering.

It's your party! Do whatever you want - they can always stay home if they're afraid of quinoa pasta or something.
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#6 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:49 AM

If you are hosting the party then I would fix food that your children can eat period. As for others "expecting" certian things at a social gathering, I think that they need to realize that this day is for and about your daughter and need no expectations. At my youngest son's birthday (his 6th) he was gluten free. I fixed him a gluten free cake, had a veggi/dip tray, had corn dog bites, and made fruit sushi. This was mainly for the kids and the few grown ups that stayed were welcome to eat or not. I never told anyone(except the few friends that know) that everything was gluten free. I did ask if any of the kids had any food allergies first just in case though. There wasn't much food left so it must have been alright. We are going to have a halloween party this year. First year I was just a few days diagnosed so I hadn't made the house gluten free yet. Second year I caved and served a gluten menue to the vast majority (had about 40+ people at my house) and had the gluten free food in a separate area (just me at the time and three other guests were gluten free). This year since I've become more sensitive to cc and my youngest son has celiac too the whole party will be served gluten free food. I will inquire if anyone has allergies before they eat just in case, but otherwise I don't really see a need to disclose the gluten free thing unless someone asks or needs gluten free too. Most of the guests will be classmates of my son so they will probably know anyway. If I were you I would plan her party with her in mind and not worry about doing two different menues. There are plenty of things you can serve that will satisfy everone.


Thank you. My daughters and myself were diagnosed only 3 months ago so I haven't really cooked gluten free things for other people and for a tea party of all things.
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#7 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:04 AM

I don't have kids, but the topic of a gluten-free tea party has come up on this forum before. Perhaps you can get some ideas from this old thread:
http://www.celiac.co...free-tea-party/

(Just be sure to double check any specific products mentioned since the posts are a few years old).
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#8 mommida

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:15 AM

Tea party just means little finger foods and pretty presentation of the food.
I LOVE the Allergen-Free Baker's handbook (How to bake without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame) by Cybele Pascal I have even just swapped out her flour mix and xanthan gum for a straight from a bag commercial gluten free flour replacer. Worked great! Everyone (even gluten eaters)loves the yellow or chocolate cupcakes.

We have done
make your own tacos
chicken or beef kabobs
grilled fruit &vegetables on lettuce wraps
everyone loves the bacon wrapped water chesnuts
deep fried turkey
chips and salsa dips (look for a fruit salsa recipe)
cut up fruit
Start thinking of vegetables as the bread/crackers (so.. tea sandwich starts with cucumber slice, hummus to on top to make a piece of ham stick)
jello jigglers

Go back over your favorite old recipes look for the ones that need the least amount of substitute ingredients. Start converting those first.
Think of the things you like that you can still have and look for recipes that go with that.

Remember little kids DO NOT eat at parties!
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#9 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:16 AM

I don't have kids, but the topic of a gluten-free tea party has come up on this forum before. Perhaps you can get some ideas from this old thread:
http://www.celiac.co...free-tea-party/

(Just be sure to double check any specific products mentioned since the posts are a few years old).


Thank you! I definitely got at least one great idea from the thread, my daughter is thrilled that everyone will be able to decorate their own cookie...and maybe I could make them in the shape of sea creatures.
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#10 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:20 AM

Tea party just means little finger foods and pretty presentation of the food.
I LOVE the Allergen-Free Baker's handbook (How to bake without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame) by Cybele Pascal I have even just swapped out her flour mix and xanthan gum for a straight from a bag commercial gluten free flour replacer. Worked great! Everyone (even gluten eaters)loves the yellow or chocolate cupcakes.

We have done
make your own tacos
chicken or beef kabobs
grilled fruit &vegetables on lettuce wraps
everyone loves the bacon wrapped water chesnuts
deep fried turkey
chips and salsa dips (look for a fruit salsa recipe)
cut up fruit
Start thinking of vegetables as the bread/crackers (so.. tea sandwich starts with cucumber slice, hummus to on top to make a piece of ham stick)
jello jigglers

Go back over your favorite old recipes look for the ones that need the least amount of substitute ingredients. Start converting those first.
Think of the things you like that you can still have and look for recipes that go with that.

Remember little kids DO NOT eat at parties!


Oh thank you!!! I think I am still in the mindset of "I have to replace this food exactly." and I am trying hard to get out of that.
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#11 Mizzo

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

Interesting quiestion about the food. I agree mostly with everyone. I do however think there are exceptions to the rule.

For instance I have been lucky enough to have friends who ask "what can your DD have that I can include or disclude into the menu for a party THEY are throwing" Now no one ever goes GLuten free completely but some have bought specialty items like gluten-free pizza, gluten-free snacks or just gone mostly natural foods with exceptions of cake and ice creams.

Now in my opinion if they are nice enough to include your kids gluten-free foods into their parties shouldn't the courtesy be extended back?

It's a tough call when you are going to have 30 people of varying ages and your allergens are pretty limiting compared the rest of the party attendees.

Can't you have all your kids favorites and throw in a few others for the guests?

I have to say if I invite people over I consider it my job to make them happy and intend to feed them foods they like. I can mostly accomplish that going gluten-free, but we are only gluten-free, not additional allergens.

Good luck!!!!
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#12 domesticactivist

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:46 AM

At the kids' birthday parties we let them pick the menu. Our daughter just had her birthday and we were still in the GAPS Intro. She didn't miss a beat - she just picked her favorite things that we'd been eating and that was the menu!

Here's what she picked:
Dinner:
Ground Beef Patties
Roasted Beets
Homemade Pink Sauerkraut
Yogurt

Dessert:
Almond Bread with Orange Curd

Breakfast:
Winter Squash Souflees with honey

A couple of the kids were too squeamish to try things they hadn't had at home, but everyone else ate & enjoyed plenty and had a great time. (Some of the recipes are on my blog but I'm not allowed to link to it. It's in my profile. These probably wouldn't work for your party, but the idea is that the kid picked things she liked.)

IMO, it's nice to accommodate guests, but they should either be adventurous enough to try the food you eat, or pre-eat. It's not like you never have anything good to eat!
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Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.
Gluten-Free since November 2010
GAPS Diet since January/February 2011
me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011
partner - not tested for celiac
ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.
dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome
both kids have now-resolved attention issues.

#13 domesticactivist

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:50 AM

Interesting quiestion about the food. I agree mostly with everyone. I do however think there are exceptions to the rule.

For instance I have been lucky enough to have friends who ask "what can your DD have that I can include or disclude into the menu for a party THEY are throwing" Now no one ever goes GLuten free completely but some have bought specialty items like gluten-free pizza, gluten-free snacks or just gone mostly natural foods with exceptions of cake and ice creams.

Now in my opinion if they are nice enough to include your kids gluten-free foods into their parties shouldn't the courtesy be extended back?

It's a tough call when you are going to have 30 people of varying ages and your allergens are pretty limiting compared the rest of the party attendees.

Can't you have all your kids favorites and throw in a few others for the guests?

I have to say if I invite people over I consider it my job to make them happy and intend to feed them foods they like. I can mostly accomplish that going gluten-free, but we are only gluten-free, not additional allergens.

Good luck!!!!


The difference here is that the kid with allergies who attends a party CAN NOT ENJOY ANY OF THE FOODS OFFERED. People eating SAD diets should not freak out that you don't want to bring a Domino's Pizza, gluten cake, and ice cream your 5 year old can't eat into your home for them. Guests should be gracious enough to entertain the possibility that the allergen free foods you offer them might actually be worth trying. In fact, it can be an enlightening experience for them to try and like what is offered.

It's just cruel to make a 5 year old watch others eat old favorites she can't have AT HER OWN BIRTHDAY PARTY.
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Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.
Gluten-Free since November 2010
GAPS Diet since January/February 2011
me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011
partner - not tested for celiac
ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.
dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome
both kids have now-resolved attention issues.

#14 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:56 AM

Interesting quiestion about the food. I agree mostly with everyone. I do however think there are exceptions to the rule.

For instance I have been lucky enough to have friends who ask "what can your DD have that I can include or disclude into the menu for a party THEY are throwing" Now no one ever goes GLuten free completely but some have bought specialty items like gluten-free pizza, gluten-free snacks or just gone mostly natural foods with exceptions of cake and ice creams.

Now in my opinion if they are nice enough to include your kids gluten-free foods into their parties shouldn't the courtesy be extended back?

It's a tough call when you are going to have 30 people of varying ages and your allergens are pretty limiting compared the rest of the party attendees.

Can't you have all your kids favorites and throw in a few others for the guests?

I have to say if I invite people over I consider it my job to make them happy and intend to feed them foods they like. I can mostly accomplish that going gluten-free, but we are only gluten-free, not additional allergens.

Good luck!!!!


That's a really good point. I guess with that I'm concerned about cross contamination, how would you handle that? As far as outward symptoms it isn't a problem for the birthday girl, but it is for her sister. A few weeks ago my sister didn't wash her hands while feeding my daughter carrots (She was eating pizza.) and 4 hours later the runny diapers started. I just don't want either of the kids sick. Even if just for cost I would love to just serve every one else their normal baked ziti and mac n cheese, but they do not understand about keeping the food safe and a few of them don't care.
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#15 alex11602

 
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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:02 AM

At the kids' birthday parties we let them pick the menu. Our daughter just had her birthday and we were still in the GAPS Intro. She didn't miss a beat - she just picked her favorite things that we'd been eating and that was the menu!

Here's what she picked:
Dinner:
Ground Beef Patties
Roasted Beets
Homemade Pink Sauerkraut
Yogurt

Dessert:
Almond Bread with Orange Curd

Breakfast:
Winter Squash Souflees with honey

A couple of the kids were too squeamish to try things they hadn't had at home, but everyone else ate & enjoyed plenty and had a great time. (Some of the recipes are on my blog but I'm not allowed to link to it. It's in my profile. These probably wouldn't work for your party, but the idea is that the kid picked things she liked.)

IMO, it's nice to accommodate guests, but they should either be adventurous enough to try the food you eat, or pre-eat. It's not like you never have anything good to eat!


Thank you. I'm just trying to keep everyone happy and safe. Like when the youngest has soy she ends up with gritty, coffee ground diapers, I just have to keep keep them safe. I even toyed with cancelling everything but this is a huge deal for the birthday girl.
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