My daughter turned 5 last week, and while we have a small family celebration to mark her special day each year, this Saturday will be the first time we throw a big birthday bash with all of her school friends, and she is BEYOND excited. We’re hosting the party at an indoor gym so the kids can run around and get some energy out, and as a surprise to the birthday girl, we’ve arranged to have 2 of her favorite Yo Gabba Gabba! characters come celebrate with us.
I can’t wait to see her reaction!
When we first started talking about organizing a big party, my daughter asked if we could have it at home so she could show her friends all of her toys, and even though I know it would have been a much cheaper option, the idea of having 12 5-year-olds and their parents crammed into our 1,300-square-foot condo kind of scared me. I don’t handle stress very well, so the mere thought of coming up with food and game ideas to keep our guests fed and happy made me hyperventilate, but the biggest concern I had about inviting her friends into our home is that 2 of them are allergic to nuts.
And I eat a lot of peanut butter.
Now, I know I could have easily scrubbed down our kitchen counter and the inside of our fridge with bleach prior to the party, but since I don’t limit my peanut butter consumption just to our kitchen, I am far too worried there may be traces of peanuts throughout our home.
My husband thinks I’m much too paranoid, and often laughs when he sees how much effort I put into ensuring my daughter’s lunch bag, and the sippy cup and tupperware containers within it, never touch our kitchen counters or the shelves of our fridge directly, but if I had a child with a deathly nut allergy, I would hope the other moms in my child’s class would do the same.
So we’re hosting my daughter’s 5th birthday at a nut-aware facility, and all food orders (including the Yo Gabba Gabba! cupcakes) are completely nut-free, which has really put my mind at ease. I love that all of her friends and their parents can show up and have a good time without worrying about allergies, and hope it all goes as planned.
I realize we won’t always be able to find nut-aware venues that are suitable for all of our daughter’s birthday parties, and once she starts public school next year, she will want to have her friends over for playdates as often as possible, regardless of what their food allergies entail. So I’m going to have to revisit my peanut butter and nut consumption policy, but before I do that, I’ve been collecting nut free snacks for kids to ensure I have enough nut free recipes at my disposal to keep my little one and her friends fed and happy while they play in our new backyard this summer.
From a spectacular S’mores Tart to 100% Fruit Ice Cream, this collection of delicious nut free snacks for kids is perfect for birthday parties, school lunches, bake sales, after school snacks, and class parties!
(UPDATE: The party was a HUGE success, and one of the mom’s shared a great cookbook with me that I couldn’t resist sharing. It’s called The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, and I think it’s going to be a lifesaver to me over the years when we entertain my daughter’s friends and their families!)
1. Banana Oat Bars (Happy Healthy Mama)
2. Allergy-Friendly Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins (Baby-Led Weaning Ideas)
3. Carrot Cake Bites (Raw Manada)
4. 3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups (Oh She Glows)
5. No-Bake & Nut-free Powerbites (Lexy’s Clean Kitchen)
6. Banana Chocolate Energy Bites (My Whole Food Life)
7. 5-Ingredient Nut-Free Trail Mix (C it Nutritionally)
8. Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Smoothie (Must Have Mom!)
9. Soft Pretzel Bites (Super Healthy Kids)
10. Nut-Free Bars (Mommy Moment)
11. Homemade Honey Tiny Teddies (Southern In Law)
12. Nut Free Monster Cookies (Must Have Mom!)
13. Grain Free Lemon Cake Cookies (Real Food RN)
14. Banana Coconut Cream Popsicles (Spoonful of Flavor)
15. S’mores Tart (Real Food by Dad)
16. Allergy Friendly Fruit Pizza Recipe (ScratchMommy)
17. Allergy Friendly Brookies (Nutritionicity)
18. 100% Fruit Ice Cream (Paintbrushes & Popsicles)
19. Strawberry Banana Blender Muffins (Happy Healthy Mama)
20. Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches (Petite Allergy Treats)
In a day and age where nut allergies are so prevalent, it is important that we, as parents, show compassion to our kids’ friends (and the parents of our kids’ friends) by going the extra mile to understand their situation so we can not only keep them safe, but enable them to enjoy the small things that other kids take for granted.
Like being able to eat a slice of birthday cake at a party, enjoying a post-soccer practice snack with their friends, or buying something delicious at a school bake sale.
It’s not a lot to ask, but if you truly feel you shouldn’t have to worry about another child’s food allergies, I urge you to read this article on what it’s like to be the parent of a child with a nut allergy as it may change your mind.
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