Yesterday I was heartbroken to learn that one of my favorite five year olds was not invited to a party because of her nut allergy. Apparently some parents thought it would be easier to exclude the kids with the food allergies instead of accommodating them. It's a pretty extreme and discriminatory example, but it reminds us that childhood food allergies are a pervasive issue, with an 18% increase from 1997 to 2007. How does this affect your party plans and play dates?
Our preschool is a nut-free facility, and in a class where one child has an egg allergy the parents decided that everyone would go egg-free for the year, both for safety and solidarity. At my son's birthday party I knew that we would have at least three guests who couldn't eat dairy and another with a nut allergy, so I made a point of having safe cupcakes for them. Their parents, who are accustomed to bringing their own treats for their kids, were pleasantly surprised. The kids were just happy to get a cupcake. While I don't think that it's the responsibility of the hosts, it seems like a nice and easy thing to do for kids who rarely get to have their cake and eat it too.
Do you make special provisions at parties? Will you consider food allergies when handing out Halloween treats? If you want some ideas, check out Sure Food Living's list of allergen-free Halloween candy.
(Image by Flickr member Sugar Daze licensed for use under Creative Commons)