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Planning A Party Menu For Children With Dietary Requirements


 

By Kylee Gray - 23/03/2019

Planning A Party Menu For Children With Dietary Requirements 

When planning a children’s party, there will likely be at least one child on the guest list with special dietary requirements. Food allergies are on the rise in the UK with 7% of children currently affected, the Guardian reports. Allergic reactions can range from headaches and rashes to difficulty breathing and even death. Children may also have religious or philosophical dietary restrictions or orthodontic requirements which limit the food they can eat. So, if you’re planning a children’s party, it’s important to ask the parents about food requirements and create a delicious menu with your guest’s health and safety in mind.

Food allergies

True food allergies come in various forms. The most common food allergies include peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, corn, and wheat. If any of the children have food allergies, it’s important to have a separate allergen-free menu. This is actually easier to create than you may think. For example, muffins and cookies can be made with dairy-free milk, dairy-free butter, gluten-free flour, and flax seeds instead of eggs. Fruit and vegetable platters can be designed in fun shapes to appeal to kids. Popcorn is also a great allergy-free party food. Make popcorn balls by melting margarine, marshmallows, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over popcorn, shape into balls, and leave to set. Your caterer can help you design a delicious and safe allergy-free menu.

Dietary restrictions

Some children may adhere to religious dietary practices. For example, Jewish attendees may not eat pork or meat unless it’s Kosher. It’s important to check the individual’s specific preferences to know exactly how to plan a menu for them. If you have vegetarians in attendance, include some meat-free options, such as, a vegetarian quiche platter, cheese sandwiches, and sweet potato curry bites. Alternatively, if you have any vegans there, make sure you have some dishes free from all animal products (no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey). For example, a suitable menu would include a falafel platter, vegetable crudites, and chickpea pasta salad.

Orthodontic treatment

Does your child or one of the attendees currently wear braces? You’ll need to make sure they’re catered for with suitable, braces-friendly food that doesn’t break the metal wires. Your menu should include soft foods, such as, burgers, tuna pasta salad, and coleslaw as well as a fruit platter with strawberries, banana grapes, and watermelon. You should avoid nuts, raw vegetables, or tortilla chips. Children with braces should only enjoy sweets on special occasions and a party is an ideal time. However, they should stay away from hard sweets, chocolate with nuts, and sticky sweets like caramels and roasted marshmallows. Safe sweets include soft sugar cookies, brownies, and jelly and ice cream.

A party is only as good as the food served. Taking the time in advance to check with the parents about their child’s food allergies or special requirements will allow you to create a tasty yet safe menu every child will enjoy. And your party will be a rip roaring success.

 

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