One of the toughest trials of being a gluten-free family is sending one of The Brothers to a birthday party. Because most families are not gluten free, there is usually no gluten-free menu to cater to my little ones. Now on occasion, we’ve encountered a host that was willing to provide a gf option for my boys, but that is a rare gem and I don’t count on it happening (unless they are also a gluten-free family – we all kinda take care of each other like one big gf family!). So my standard RSVP for a birthday party is to say “Yay, my child will be there but there is no need to include him in the food headcount because of his special diet. Can you please tell me what you are planning to serve and I’ll send in comparable items for him to enjoy.”
And here are my standard substitutes for common birthday party items:
- Cake or cupcakes: Chocolate Mug Cake (see recipe below – not the same recipe I use for MY crazy eating plan, thank goodness for the kids!) with Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle Cream Cheese Frosting (very low milk content (in the natural flavorings) – we have never been affected by it. It’s not even listed on the can’s label, but click link for the official ingredients list.) There are other frostings without gluten and dairy, but this was the only canned cream-cheese flavored one that works for us.
- Ice Cream: So Delicious Chocolate (or Almond Breeze Chocolate, if cheaper and there are no nut allergies at the party). Both brands are dairy- and soy-free. I usually scoop some into a cup or thermos so I don’t have to bring the whole thing and risk melting it. Click link for coupon.
- Pizza Option 1: Make our own using Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (makes 2 thin and crispy crusts or one thick crust) or The Hub’s special recipe (so special that I’ll have to ask him the recipe and I’ll post it at a later date). We bought out our local Big Lots of their BRM pizza crust mix stock, so we are good to go for another 6 months or so! And we top the pizza with Daiya Cheese Shreds. This cheese substitute is both dairy- and soy-free! It melts nicely, stretches and even crisps when overcooked! We’ve used the mozzarella, cheddar, and pepper jack cheeses and all three are yummy!
- Pizza Option 2: Mellow Mushroom’s Gluten-free, Vegan Cheese Pizza (they use daiya cheese also for $2 extra). The Younger isn’t a fan of this crust and sauce, but The Elder will eat all things “Pizza.”
Everything else we’ve come across on a party menu has been OK for them to eat, such as fruit and plain potato chips, etc. They don’t really eat hot dogs or hamburgers, but if they did I would just request no bun or cheese.
What do you do to accommodate your special diet? What other birthday food items have I left out here?
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp millet flour (or almond flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
1 pinch of salt (optional)
In a large mug, melt coconut oil (nuke 10-15 seconds) and coat sides well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients, quickly beating together before the coconut oil solidifies. Nuke for 2:30 minutes. Turn mug upside down on a plate to release the cake. Let cool before frosting.