Alternative to birthday cake for children with allergies help suggestions please(15 Posts)
At my DS's new school the children take cake/ cakes in on their birthdays and they get shared around. A their last school I knew all the allergies and baked around them, made extra individual cakes as necessary. This school is a little bigger (2 room as opposed to 1) and I don't yet know the allergies. I've made his basic cake but wanted to offer an alternative rather than any with allergies missing out. Suggestions very welcome, we are however rural so I can only get the sort of ingredients you'd expect in a tesco metro style baking section.
My cover all thought was plain piped meringues, but it wouldn't resolve the issue with vegans, if their are any.
Vegan cupcakes? I make various types for my DD who is allergic to egg and dairy, and they are remarkably tasty (essentially I use oat milk & oil). Covers a lot of the bases all at once - you can even make them with gluten-free flour.
Sounds like a plan. Could I use soya milk instead? I don't think we can get oat milk in town. I've left it a bit late and won't be able to make it to a bigger town before his birthday.
Could the teacher not advise re allergies?
Surely if they are requested to bring in stuff, they must accept that people may need to know what some of the kids can't eat?
Think your being very generous catering for all possibilities.
Oh yes, soy milk or rice milk would work well too.
(I'd type out my standard recipe for you, but we just moved house & I'm lucky to find a mug let alone my baking notes! But google should find something easily enough)
Warning - some are allergic to soya. My DS used to be. Oat milk will be OK for all
You're very kind. My Reception son is coeliac, so never gets to eat any of the cakes brought in on birthdays. I keep a 'treat box' at the school with items in it for him to have when everyone else is having cake. He is very good about it and doesn't complain.
I think you need to ask the teacher about allergies in the class. Because - for example - my son can't have gluten (i.e. wheat, barley, rye) or oats - which would be quite restrictive. Also, you would need to make a cake for him in a totally non-contaminated way (i.e. a new cake-tin not used for normal cakes, a new wooden spoon not used for normal cakes, not done in an environment where wheat flour is hanging round in the air) etc. etc.
One mum at school has kindly asked if she could make a gluten-free cake for him, I politely said better not - because of the contamination issue. I'd rather he had something from his treat box, than a cake which might make him ill.
Ds isn't allowed to take any anything like this into school because of allergies. Instead they are allowed to take in little things to give out - pencils, rubbers, stickers, any little thing you might find in a party bag. Anything really so long as it isn't edible!
Would something like that be an option?
I think the thought is very kind, but as bedhopper has said, I would rather my nut allergic dd did not eat cakes homemade by others, simply because I would not trust that they had checked the ingredients with the same level of care that I would. Cakes and biscuits are potentially very risky with nut allergies. Toppings for fairy cakes will occasionally be made from peanut oil and most people wouldn't think for a second to check whether their tiny sugar butterfly decorations contained nuts or not. My dd has also reacted to cakes made from chocolate that "may contain nuts". There is also a risk of cross contamination in the preparation stage. My dd's first reaction was because she ate something out of a bowl that had been washed up at the same time as a saucepan containing satay (peanut) sauce. Again, I think it wouldn't occur to most people to that they would need to be aware of stuff like this when they cooked / washed up. It just feels safer for my dd to only eat stuff that I can guarantee is nut free and unfortunately cakes made in other people's home does not fall into that category.
How about a book or game for the class instead?
Rice krispie cakes? My soya, dairy and wheat intolerant was able to eat these as long as I used the right non-dairy marg. I used Suma for preference
3 cups Rice Krispies
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter/marg
few drops of vanilla or almond essence
You can add cocoa powder to the mix but the basic recipe is pretty low in allergens and probably good for most
Thank you for your comments. At the last school their was a child with what I'll call 'sensitive' nut allergy. I.e. one who needed to avoid things which weren't prepared in a nut free environment ( which I can't simulate at home ). I used to source other little treats (pre packaged industrially) for her. Another had what i'll call a standard nut allergy, all nuts however small to be avoided so very careful label checking was essential. Another child was dairy intolerant and another vegan.
I do understand the suggestion about doing something different like taking in little gifts but cake is the tradition and whilst i know that i need to be tolerant and inclusive there is a line between being inclusive and stopping activities for all so as not to exclude. I try to understand because I have an autistic son, its his birthday, he finds noise very difficult and doesn't partake in various school activities and he also has dyspraxia so doesn't find sport very easy and often sits out but I wouldn't try to stop other children doing these things.
You're very thoughtful, MisFor - I think most people just take in the treat for the majority and let those with allergies/intolerances make their own arrangements. Which I don't mind them doing at all, but it is lovely when people make an effort. I think the only thing to do though is check with the teacher, and then if there are allergies, check with the mums. I teach my coeliac children never to accept food from anyone unless I've approved it so (I hope!) they wouldn't accept it if it just appeared in the classroom.
By the way Jins - Kellogs Rice Krispies are no longer safe for coeliacs, because the level of gluten from the barley malt is too high.
Thanks for letting me know about Kellogg's. I usually buy other brands anyway but it's a really useful tip.
Back when ds2 had his issues rice krispies and hula hoops were life savers but hula hoops aren't great now either
It is a bit of a minefield - things are constantly changing (manufacturers recipes, production methods etc.) I always worry that something I'm using can change without me noticing.
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