Kids parties and food allergies: 5 tips for parents
Because there’s often a focus on food at kids’ parties, if your child has a severe food allergy they can become tricky situations to handle. The only way forward for their safety and your peace of mind is to be open with the party host about your child’s needs. Here are a few tips that could help:
- Call the host and let them know your child has a food allergy
If your child is young, you could ask if you can attend with them as a party helper.
- Think about paying the host a visit before the big day
Offering to visit them a few days before the party panic to discuss food being served, whether you stay at the party with your child or not, will help things go smoothly. If you are not staying at the party, go through signs and symptoms of a reaction and administration of their prescribed medication with the host. The instructions on the ASCIA Action Plan can help with this, and if you have a device that comes with a trainer device, take it along so the host can practise. Communicate where you will be on the day and confirm whether you can be contacted by mobile phone if required.
- Have a chat with your child about the party
Focus on games and good fun and then talk about what the plans are around food. Will you pack some appropriate party food for them to eat at the party? Will you check food labels and ask questions about food when you get to the party and then inform the child about what they can eat (rather than what they can’t eat). Remind them of their boundaries – can they eat a food if the host checks it for them? Keep cross contamination in mind. Maybe you can make up a food plate for your child on arrival before the food is touched by others!
- Make sure the child’s medical kit is available
This should contain their prescribed medication and ASCIA Action Plan, and it should go to the party with the child.
- Discuss the birthday cake and the lolly/goodie bag and its contents
Ask the host about lollies going into the general lolly bags and work on preparing your own child a lolly/goodie bag they can enjoy. Maybe non-food goodie bags can be considered for all children? You can also provide a cupcake your child loves and they can eat that instead of the birthday cake (with extra sprinkles!).
This article has been produced in collaboration with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and Alphapharm Pty Ltd (trading as Mylan Australia) in the interest of anaphylaxis education