Monday, April 7, 2008

O's Allergy Free Party




So my son, O, has severe food allergies. We found out about them about a year ago, right after his first birthday party. Thank goodness we found out after the party because if I had found out before then, we wouldn't have gotten to see him enjoy, or rather destroy his first cake, the ultimate first birthday party experience. And luckily it didn't contain any peanut or nut products...that could have been ugly. So for his 2nd birthday, I am delighted to see I have so many choices of allergy friendly foods and treats to serve that everyone can enjoy (okay, so not everything is decadent, but how bad can something called "cookie" actually be?). One of the first cookbooks that I got when I found out that I would have to start cooking for him rather then my usual open-mix-heat method was Sophie Safe Cooking by Emily Hendrix. Written by a mom with a food allergic daughter, the book contains delicious recipes from breakfast to appetizers to dessert and everything in between. One that I plan on serving at the party is her hummus. O LOVES it with carrots and several "normal" people have asked me for the recipe. We eat meals from this book very often and I highly recommend it to anyone with food allergies in their extended families. And what party is complete without cupcakes? I hope all of you caught cupcake week on the MS show? Vanilla Bake Shop, I'll see you soon. I plan on using the Cherrybrook Kitchen mix for the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (note: all the chocolate products that I have tasted that are allergy friendly - so good.). I am pretty sure everyone else at the party will enjoy them as well. Their chocolate chip cookie and brownie mixes are "mmmm, tasty" as O would say. And there is one company, in particular, that is doing some amazing things in the way of allergy friendly party foods. They are called Divvies and they only make and sell items that are free of the 8 most common allergens. Grandma GG got O the chocolate bunny for Easter and also the jelly beans. So Yummy! They also sell, cookies and cupcakes that they make and ship to you, which I can't wait to try! And don't get me started on the party favors! Right now they have a caramel corn that would be so great packaged in one of the containers from Garnish. Divvies was recently featured on the MS show and if she likes it, you know it must be good! And they have a gifts section that is really well done, cute packaging, great product, decent price. If only O could have a registry there...
There are a ton of resources on the web for food allergies and how to cope but one of my favorite ones is an organization called Kids With Food Allergies. They strive to keep kids with food allergies involved in activities and holidays with other children instead of keeping them separate. For each holiday, they provide a guide including non-food related activities as well as recipes. I recently made the recipe for "Peanut Butter" Cups using Soy Nut Butter instead of the devil peanuts. They were amazing, O loved them. You can sign up for their newsletter and the guide gets sent right to you. And I apologize in advance to O's future teachers who will receive a copy in their mailbox prior to each major holiday...

s-

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