March 30, 2011

Addi's Second Birthday: Healthful, Allergy-Friendly Menu, Made with Love!

I had not before attempted to throw an entirely allergy-friendly birthday party, but because we had a good handful of kids at this party with food allergies, I decided to do my best to make it a dairy/egg/nut/peanut/shellfish free party.  I know, some of you are wincing...but the guests didn't have to know that it was allergy-friendly!

We had the party at a SF Park & Rec playground and clubhouse with only a fridge and microwave, so I kept to mostly cold stuff.  I also love the idea of this menu for a picnic. 

I have to say that it was the most exhausting prep for a birthday party I've done (and recruited help, I did!), but it was really rewarding to know that all the kids could eat anything on the menu.  Tristan even tried spinach dip with peppers, Addi was chowing down on the prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and smoked salmon & Tofutti cream cheese sandwiches were apparently the new PB&J!  I loved how the adult and kids menu completely overlapped.

Here was the menu: (I wish I'd had more time to get some proper pics, but you'll get the picture...ha ha no pun intended!)

Raw veggies with Trader Joe's eggplant hummus, TJ's garlic hummus, and semi-homemade vegan spinach dip

Fruit: strawberries & grapes

Edamame (wow, I did not know Costco sold them in bulk...but then again, I should've known)

Sandwiches: (I used Rainbo white bread for the tea sandwiches, and sliced sourdough bread for the BLT's)

Soybutter & jam--substitute with sunbutter for soy allergies

Turkey & Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

BLT's with Vegenaise--substitute Oscar Mayer Turkey bacon for non-red meat eaters 

Smoked salmon & Better Than Cream Cheese with freshly chopped chives & squeeze of lemon--just mix in the chives and lemon before spreading

Isreali Couscous w/ red peppers, zucchini, & corn

The couscous comes from TJ's in a box in the pasta section.  You could also use the Harvest Grains mix which has added orzo, quinoa, and beans for a similar dish with added protein. 
Measure out chicken broth instead of water according to package directions.  I usually add also a pat of allergy-safe margarine (Earth Balance).  Dice veggies, and when broth comes to a boil, add couscous and veggies.  At second boil, turn heat way down and cover until cooked (about 8-10 minutes, depending on how many veggies you add and whether some are frozen).  If you need to add extra liquid, you can add water til it's cooked. 
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
So easy!  Just wash, trim, and blanch the asparagus.  Then, drizzle with bit of olive oil, add pepper, and wrap with prosciutto.  (I used half pieces of prosciutto).  For a zestier version, spread honey mustard on asparagus before wrapping in prosciutto.

Noah's Bagels (chocolate chip, raisin, plain, & blueberry) w/ Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

Baby Greens Salad with Brianna's Poppyseed dressing

Chocolate Cupcakes dusted with confectioner's sugar (use sifter and do this at the last minute to avoid sogginess)

Isn't his sugar mustache the cutest?  All the kids were sporting them! 
TJ's Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

We've done 40 cup containers from Martha & Bros. and Starbucks--comes with all the condiments and cups & stays hot for 5 hours.  Noah's does smaller boxes of coffee to go.  Coffee = essential for a 10 am kids' birthday party.

Box juices, water, lemonade & other assorted cold drinks for the adults

Happy birthday, Little Miss!  We love you!


  1. Wow! We have an allergy-free caterer on hand! Wish you lived closer to me. Sarah, you are amazing. I am so inpsired. The prosciutto wrapped asparagus or anything is my favorite, but everything looks so colorful, delicious, and healthy! Great job, mama! Happy Birthday, Addison!

  2. I can personally vouch for the deliciousness of the food. It was very healthy fare, too. Not a greasy slice of pizza in sight! ;)