As a food allergy mom, I have sent so many pieces of cake, slices of safe pizza and other treats along with my kids as they negotiate birthday parties, play dates and sleepovers. Sending our own food has made it possible for my food-allergic and vegan children to fully participate in fun times with friends, while remaining safe and well-fed. After losing one-too-many of my lidded glass bowls, I realized the beauty (and necessity) of the reusable plastic container for these kinds of occasions. An added bonus: I can easily write my child's name and food allergies on the container so that even if I'm not there, the adult doling out the snacks will know what belongs with my son and why. That is why I am happy to share with you this guest post from my friends at Hefty.
Sending a kid with allergies to a birthday party is always a little nerve-wracking for mothers. Thoughts of “What if my child eats the wrong thing?” will most likely enter your mind, but giving your kid an alternative lunch or allergy-friendly piece of cake is always a good way to help reduce the risk that your child will eat something that they are not supposed to. Sending alternative meals is probably something that you are already familiar with, but finding the right container can sometimes be tricky. It is always good to have several plastic food containers on hand, because they can be reused while not breaking the bank if one or two is misplaced or lost.
Sometimes the toughest part is encouraging your child to eat the food that they brought with them. Try some of these tricks:
- Decorate the containers so that your child can feel excited about bringing their alternative meal. For example, try using stickers of your child’s favorite TV show.
- Ask the parent who is planning the birthday party what the menu will be. You could pack something similar so that your child does not feel like he or she is missing out on anything.
- Put the lunch together in fun ways, like using cute cutouts of fruit.
These tricks can transfer over to regular school lunches, too. For example, you could look at what the lunch of the day would be in the school cafeteria and make an allergy-friendly version of it. Plastic food containers come in handy for school lunches, too. Healthy lunches are usually harder to pack than prepackaged foods, since items like cut fruit need to be stored in something that will keep any liquids from escaping. Plastic food storage containers rise to the challenge! They can also be great for storing small finger foods, too. In fact, you could even steal these containers for your own use! Potlucks are always fun, but choosing how to bring the healthy item that you just cooked can sometimes be a task. The containers make this a little easier, then.
In the end, managing your child’s allergy is not easy, but it doesn’t always need to be hard, either. Making your child’s favorite foods and sending it with them in their lunch or for a birthday party will help them to accept that eating differently from other kids at school can be fun!
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Hefty®. Visit www.hefty.com to find products like trash bags and more to help you out over the holidays.
Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net