Birthday parties can often be tough for children with diabetes because they usually mean saying no to treats that everyone else is enjoying. However, parties don’t have to be a drag for these kids. Organizing a party that is diabetic-friendly and allergy-safe is simple.
Begin by organizing your successful party with the invitations. Make a note on the card to parents to please let you know if their child has any allergies or is diabetic. This removes any stress a parent might feel about asking for special attention for their child. Being aware of allergies and diabetes requirements ahead of time also makes your planning easier.
Ask parents to please make sure that their child is wearing their
medical alert jewelry on the party day. If you’re not familiar with symptoms of the medical issue, ask parents to describe them so that you can identify a medical situation early on.
The simplest way to avoid problems with food is to center your party around activities. Consider choosing a time in the afternoon, when you won’t be expected to serve a meal. Keep the kids occupied with fun crafts, scavenger hunts, and games. They likely won’t even miss the usual abundance of snack foods and soda.
If you want to have something around for the kids to nibble on, choose vegetables with low-fat dressing as a dip and fruit with a whipped topping for a dip. To increase kid appeal, cut the veggies and fruits into fun shapes. Many children will appreciate the novelty of fruits and veggies and, contrary to popular lore, plenty of kids do like vegetables and fruits.
While the kids probably won’t miss the snacks, they will surely ask, ‘When do we have cake?’ The secret here is to serve a diabetes and allergy friendly cake without anyone noticing. (Avoid having a separate cake for one child and a sugary one for the others. This may make them feel left out.) Try angel food cake or another safe cake recipe of many available through a quick search online. Top it with something eye catching, like sprinkles or some sugar-free, allergen-free candy. If you don’t mention that it’s low sugar or sugar free, it is very likely that no one will notice.
Despite careful planning, it is always possible for an emergency to occur. If, for instance, a child shows signs of diabetic or anaphylactic shock, check immediately for a medical ID bracelet. This will give you important medical and contact information for the responders.
Chances are, though, that you won’t have an emergency, but will experience a fun-filled, worry-free party for both you, the children attending, and their parents!