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DC with allergies - what to do about parties?(15 Posts)
DD, 7, has been recently diagnosed as coeliac and we are muddling through.
She has two parties coming up, one they are doing an activity and then heading to a McDonald's where basically none of the food is GF! Do I send her a packed lunch, and let her have fries with it? I can't see her being happy about that! I can't understand why McDonald's doesn't have some GF options.
The next one is a standard village hall party. This one feels easier, shall I tell the parent and offer to do her some food to take with her and then if they say no problem let them cater for her?
Because non-coeliac people rarely fully appreciate the problems of contamination I'd pack her a lunch, I do for my daughter who is dairy free. I'd let the parents know so that they dot give her birthday cake etc, and some friends have gone all out to accommodate my daughters allergy needs. Then your daughter can pick a couple of bits from the buffet she can have, is the fat chips are fried in definitely not used for any bread crumb items? Things like pre grated cheese are sneaky, coated in flour and not many people should think to check that, so it's safest to pack a lunch, of nice exciting things like genius cup cakes
Thanks ohlittle. I don't know about McDonald's, I just read that their salad, some ice cream, and their fries are gf, the carrot bag and their grape bags. So not exactly a meal she can go in and order at the party.
I could do her a packed lunch for the normal parties, I hope she listens to the rules though, already being gf is having such an amazing effect on her.
My daughter's friend is gluten free and I was surprised to see than in McDonald's one day. She has exactly the same as everyone else except no bun. They asked for the meat bit on its own which McDonald's were happy to cater for. Looked a bit odd and it wouldn't even have occurred to me to ask for that but as her family deal with it every day, they have adapted solutions to such problems!
Pippa, we have been known to buy the meat patties on their own (no bread) with chips to accommodate my sons multiple allergies. Otherwise generally I used to send food along but ours were very difficult to accommodate. Having had allergies since birth my son was very accepting of the limitations... best of luck with your daughter coming to terms with the changes trust help her.
To complicate matters she isn't keen on burgers! She would have had chicken nuggets or a chicken wrap before the diagnosis. My friend did suggest that I send her with a gf bun to put a burger in which could work. I might talk her through the options - full packed lunch, burger with gf bun supplied, or bun without gf bun and let her choose because ultimately I feel like I need to train her to make the right choices for her body and she is old enough to understand.
Thank you both for your advice, I'm glad we now have a proper label for her issues we just need to adjust!
My 6yo DS is coeliac. He takes his own things. For burger / nugget parties I send him along with some GF nuggets (and sometimes chips) which he has cold. He's been coeliac since he was 1 so doesn't know any different. He prefers having his own stuff as he knows it is 'safe'. He has a few favourite GF treats that I save for parties so it feels special to him.
Although it is lovely when people offer to cater for him I find it much easier when they don't, as I don't have to worry about cross contamination. The last time he was glutenned was at a birthday party 2 years ago, despite a well meaning mum who tried her best.
My DH is coeliac and two of our DC had allergies. I used to send my DS to parties with his packed meal too. Shame she doesn't like burgers as I'd have sent her with her own bun too. With DH we often have our own bread and uncooked pasta with us, most places will toast or use our pasta, though more and more are catering for gf.
With DS2 I used to send him with his own packed lunch to parties if they didn't have an obvious gf alternative like various Pizza places do these days.
He'd have McDonalds burger without the bun (they put it on a bed of salad which he turns his nose up at) and the chips and some of the mcflurry icecreams are gf.
If I can check with the parents first I'd give him something similar to the other party goers and see if it could be served in a similar way (happy meal box or equivalent)
He's known it all his life and just goes with the flow. He's more careful with the label reading than I am these days (at 15 he's a strapping 6')
DD has said she will go with a packed lunch, I think the poster who said about keeping some GF foods back as special treats was right - I think I will do that. The good news is that DD isn't a fussy eater, she had a Genius pain au chocolat at the weekend while we had normal ones and she loved it so there won't be any complaints about the quality which is a relief.
Are there any good websites for recipes, lunchbox treats etc? The products are so expensive I need to make our own.
I found this a good resource when do was diagnosed
Actually you're completely wrong, McDonald's has a great gf range, fries, shakes, hash brown, vegi and meat burgers are all gf
We tend to take a sandwich thin and put our burgers in but you can take a gf bun if you find one you like
Ironically when our DD and DS were younger and attending parties we used to drop off a McDonald's for them to eat as they were certified by coeliac uk
I've also been known to take a domino's pizza along if it's a pizza party as they too do gf
As for cake, if it's your party most of the supermarkets are now doing gf ones, if you're a guest I usually send a cupcake
This one feels easier, shall I tell the parent and offer to do her some food to take with her and then if they say no problem let them cater for her?
I would be much happier to let McD's cater for my coeliac son than an untrained, non-professional caterer (and I loathe McD's and haven't bought myself food there in over three decades!) The staff will know what is, and isn't safe for him to eat - and will also have strict hygiene/food prep rules.
The trouble with buffets is generally crumbs - it's no point simply identifying what is and isn't gluten free then letting the child help herself, because after 30 seconds it is all likely to be cross-contaminated. So, if the hosts are catering for her, they'll need to put together a separate plate at the start. I generally found it much easier - and safer - to send in a packed tea for such scenarios.
Things like pre grated cheese are sneaky, coated in flour
Oh, and this is rarely, if ever the case; potato flour is used as a rule, which is perfectly fine for someone with coeliac.
Ask the mum hosting the party. My daughter has a couple of friends with dietary restrictions (one nothing with "may contain traces of nuts" and other who is a strict veggie for religious reasons) and I cater for their needs too. it's not that hard with their restrictions - making sure you have cheese and tuna sandwiches, no Haribo as it has gelatine, certain brands of crisps, pizza etc.
If I knew a child was coeliac I would get a loaf of GF bread and make some separate sandwiches. Point them out to child quietly. Do cupcakes for taking home rather than a large cake and make sure the child with allergies got the right one. It would be kind for a mum to offer to send their child with a packed lunch to a party but I would prefer to cater for their needs and not exclude them from what the others are having, you just have to think laterally like offering carrot sticks and houmous, popcorn, oat cakes, crisps etc etc.
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