When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fun Party Food for Kids (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

Will turned ten yesterday, and to celebrate this big "entering the double digits" milestone, we had a fun sleepover party for him with his closest buddies at our house last weekend.  Birthdays are often a time for enjoying some favourite activities and special occasion treats, and just like most children do, Will wanted to have food at his party that he and his friends would think was "awesome".   I took the ideas Will had in mind, thought of ways I could make them that were safe for him to eat given his various food sensitivities, and put out a fun collection of eats, treats, and drinks that all of the boys at the party really enjoyed.  It makes me feel good as his mom that I was able to provide that for him and help make his special day happy.

If you're a parent looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, and/or egg-free party food ideas that are fun for kids, you may appreciate some of our recipes and ideas here.

Snacks

Will had seen several different party mix recipes on the side of the gluten-free Corn Chex box, and he thought it would make a great movie snack for him and his friends. I was not crazy about several of the ingredients and quantities in that particular recipe, so I came up with my own version of a crunchy, salty party mix.  The boys devoured it!



To make your own party mix, combine 2 cups of gluten-free Corn Chex cereal, 2 cups of Nature's Path gluten-free Whole Os cereal, one 75g package of Glutino gluten-free pretzel twists, and 1 cup of mixed raw nuts (I used almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans) in a large bowl.  Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and drizzle it over the mixture; sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Herbamare over top.  Gently stir to coat the mixture with the oil and seasoning.  Spread the mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake it in a preheated 250 F oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool before serving.  (Store any leftovers in an airtight container.)

I also set out a basket of Martin's sweet and crispy apple chips for snacking, which are gluten-free and made only from dehydrated apples.


Of course, a sleepover and a movie calls for popcorn, too!  I made a big batch using the stovetop method, with coconut oil and sea salt.


Lunch/Dinner

Will attended a friend's party earlier in the year where they had "make your own subs" for dinner, and he really loved this idea for his own party as well.  I used gluten-free buns from Organic Works Bakery (their breads are so good!), purchased high quality deli-meats that we know are gluten- and dairy-free from Vincenzo's, and set out an assortment of toppings for the boys to choose from:  lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, egg-free mayo, and mustard.  The boys all had fun building their own favourite creations.




I also set out a tray of assorted raw veggies with hummus...



...and a big bowl of mixed fruit. 


Drinks

The boys had an assortment of 100% juices to choose from to quench their thirst after all of their Nerf blaster battles.  (Kiju makes a variety of great flavours that kids like, and I like that there is no added sugar.)


We also offered President's Choice sparkling 100% juices in cans.  (These are as close as I'm willing to get to buying "pop" in our house  -- the boys and I think they're a good special occasion alternative for kids who like something fizzy to drink.)  


Dessert

After the huge success of the chocolate doughnuts I made from scratch several weeks ago, Will and I decided it would be fun to have birthday doughnuts rather than a cake for his party.  I used this recipe, and just changed the topping to candy sprinkles to make the doughnuts a little more birthday-ish.


We served the doughnuts with forks and a small scoop of Vanilla Coconut Bliss (coconut milk ice cream) in the centre.


(If you'd rather bake a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake or cupcakes for a party, you might like this recipe, which I made yesterday to celebrate Will's actual birthday.  If you choose the cupcake version, this icing is perfect for piping on top.  (I use chopped dark chocolate instead of the chocolate chips as I find it less sweet that way, which I prefer.)

Will was really thrilled with his party and the food he shared with his buddies; it seemed everyone had a really great time.  I hope our experience will help others to see that even when kids have food sensitivities, it's still possible to come up with a fun meal, snacks, drinks, and treats that everyone can enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment