Here are some tips I garnered for when you find yourself in a similar situation:
• Inquire about dietary restrictions when sending out the invitation: To give yourself plenty of time to figure out the menu and arrange for special accommodations if needed, it’s best to ask guests about any dietary restrictions well in advance.
• Make a pizza plan B: Pizza is a fairly typical menu staple at kids’ parties, but it’s problematic for guests with dairy or wheat allergies, Celiac disease or who follow vegan diets.
If you’re hosting a party at home, it’s easy enough to pick up an allergy-friendly frozen pizza to offer – look for gluten-free options from Udi’s or gluten-free/dairy-free options from Amy’s Kitchen.
• Enlist help from parents of guests with food allergies: If you’re concerned about being able to accommodate the dietary needs of a guest with food allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to his or her parents to ask questions or request help in ensuring appropriate options are available.
• Emphasize fun over food: While food is expected at a birthday party, the folks at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) suggest that it need not be the focal point of everything from goody bags to classroom celebrations.
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