Please Invite My Allergy Kid to Your Kid’s Birthday Party

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There are plenty of reasons to not invite a child to a birthday party, I know. For example, if you’re hosting it at a trampoline park or a tae kwon do studio or a nail salon, there are head count limitations. Or maybe the last time you invited a specific child over, he set your cat’s tail on fire. There are a bevy of reasons, really.

But, if I may be so bold, if you’re thinking about not inviting my child to your child’s birthday party because of her allergies, please reconsider.

As a seasoned allergy parent, I know the drill. When there’s a birthday party, there is pizza. There are cupcakes. There is enough soda and juice boxes to fuel the energy of two dozen small humans. And my kids? Combined, they have seven food allergies — down from ten! — which is kind of a lot.

When a party invitation comes in, we’re prepared. We make a safe-for-them pizza with safe-for-them cheese and safe-for-them cupcakes. We pack a bag with wipes and paper towels, and we are ready to party.

You don’t have to do anything special for my children. I get it. Parties are stressful without even considering dietary needs. Don’t worry about that — I’ll handle it. I’d say most allergy parents will happily struggle with a bag of shredded vegan cheese and throw together some nut-free brownies if that means my our kids get to feel included.


I’ve had a couple friends go above and beyond — like ask me for my recipe for cupcakes and then SERVE those at her son’s birthday party — but that really, really isn’t necessary. (PS. If you find friends like that, never let them go. Bribe them if you have to.)

A couple of hot tips for allergy parents, while we’re here:

+ Cupcakes freeze well. We bake them in batches, pop them in the freezer, and the day of a party, stick them out on the counter to defrost.

+ Bring a big pack of wipes and leave them on the table. You’ll find that kids and parents start reaching for them at the end of the pizza fest, mitigating any risk of cross-contamination.

+ Assure the party host that BYOT is NBD (that’s “bringing your own treats is no big deal,” for the acronym-impaired), but ask what kind of activities they’re going to be doing. For example, if it’s playing with Play-Doh and your child has a wheat allergy, bring your own gluten-free clay.

+ Never leave home without emergency meds.

Thanks for being so understanding, fellow parent. We’re great party-goers, and we buy the best gifts. And by best gifts, I mean $20 worth of toys I bought online in Target wrapping paper.


Roo Ciambriello

If Scratch or Sniff founder/editor Roo Ciambriello could list all of her favorite things, they'd include her sweet little family, food trucks, and every AMA Snoop Dogg has done on Reddit. Roo is a copywriter out of New Haven, Connecticut, and loves writing fun stories on the backs of potato chip bags and cereal boxes in Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom, Kroger, y mucho mas. Roo creates voices for brands, ghostwrites for celebrities, writes a personal website, and is (much to the chagrin of those around her) pretty active on Twitter. You can also find her providing commentary on advertising/branding at Adweek and eating fajitas on deadline days.

2 Comments to Please Invite My Allergy Kid to Your Kid’s Birthday Party

  1. Love this post! I would never exclude a child because they had food allergies, and I would hope other parents wouldn’t, either. (If they lit an animal on fire, yeaaaaaaah they’d be off the list.)

  2. Isabella Brookes

    Love your website and this article. Growing up, my baby brother had severe nut allergies (among others) and so seeing this article really made me smile. I’m glad so many people are accepting now so that kids aren’t excluded!

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