How To Plan Parties with Guests who have Allergies
By Lisa Kothari of Peppers and Pollywogs
One of the easiest party menus to put together includes PB&J sandwiches cut into shapes that match your party theme. However, more and more these days, parents are wondering if it is okay to serve peanut butter with so many children having allergies to not only peanut butter but also to many other foods and ingredients that you may not be aware of.
Use these top tips to find out how to handle guests that have allergies and will attend your upcoming party:
1. Use the RSVP phone call to find out.
It’s difficult to know if anyone has allergies without asking. Use the RSVP phone call as the time to ask this important question. It’s the perfect time and also the one chance to connect with all guests’ parents before the party happens.
2. Make sure to understand the severity of the allergy.
In addition to finding out if kids have allergies, make sure to ask about the severity to coordinate. As an example, can the child be in the same room as peanuts are being served?
3. Adjust your party menu.
Of course, think through if there are multiple kids allergic to the same ingredient or menu item. If so, you may want to change it altogether, but if only one child has a particular allergy, you may want to maintain your original menu and plan something different for the one child.
4. Suggest guests bring their own food.
If there are children that have allergies to basic ingredients, such as flour, you may want to suggest that these guests bring their own food to eat to completely avoid the possibility of eating something harmful. (Editor: or look into gluten-free options which are increasingly becoming ubiquitous.)
5. Everyone eats together
However you plan it, make sure to feed all of the guests at the same time so that the children with allergies do not feel left out or awkward during the party meal.
By checking in with your parents’ guests before the party, you will be able to plan a party menu that is inclusive of everyone and that takes in account special allergy circumstances.
Photo from Jeeto’s Allergy Clothing Collection.
Published September 30, 2009. Last updated June 28, 2018.