I received these products for review; all opinions are my own.
Winter holidays are here and the time is perfect for a kid-friendly holiday party! Or, perhaps you are one of those unfortunate parents who have a child with a December birthday? My daughter has a birthday in early January, which has provided years of multiple challenges – especially once we cleaned our eating habits. With so much going on from October through December, hosting a party may be the last thing on your mind but if you have a child with restricted eating habits, one of the best ways to get a grip on the holiday is by hosting your own allergy-free holiday party. It’s the best ways to control what your child is exposed to and create a fun and festive time where you can relax about food infractions.
You may be thinking, “but all that work!” Never fear – I have recommendations on how to have a fuss-free and allergy-free holiday party, for kids who are sensitive or allergic to gluten, dairy, corn, and soy.
Allergy Free Holiday Party Treats
Of course, the biggest issue is food. It’s winter, so I go with easy-peasy, kid-friendly food. For our family, that means Daiya pizza which is dairy, soy, and gluten-free! Go for the Cheese Lover’s Pizza, it’s perfect for kids. The last party I served this, I whipped up 4 of these for about 10 kids. The kids loved gobbled them up!
For snacks, we avoid corn products but my daughter simply adores Lundberg’s Rice Chips. May I recommend Sriracha for those who enjoy a bit of a bite in their chips? Smoky Maple is fabulous too. We also do Nature’s Promise Veggie Chips and Beanitos chips – make sure you don’t get the ones with cheese – and serve with organic salsa. Then we top it off with few boxes of Honest Organic Juice packs. Doesn’t sound too healthy? Well, don’t forget to put out some organic fruit slices. Pears and clementines are in season, and you can serve your favorite sunflower butter with the pears, or with celery and raisins.
A great party can be made even better with delicious candy! And the best supplier? As usual, TruJoy, which is a division of Surf Sweets. I love their candy and last year, they launched two delicious and super festive items that are perfect because both are USDA Organic certified and NonGMO Project verified! Their wonderful Organic Candy Canes are also peanut and gluten-free, vegan and kosher. Check out the ingredients: Organic evaporated cane juice, Organic brown rice syrup, Natural peppermint flavor, Organic fruit juice (Organic apple, Organic black currant, Organic black carrot) fruit juice.
Goodie #2 is their Peppermint Coco Chews. These are gluten-free, vegan and kosher, and I LOVE them! They’re simply my favorite. Their ingredient list: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Palm Shortening*, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Rice Extract, Natural Flavor, and Beetroot Juice. (*Sustainably Sourced)
TruJoy also participates in 1% For the Planet, and donates 1% of its sales to environmental causes! You can buy TruJoy products at Whole Foods Market, Krogers and Wegmans.
The Entertainment – Get Gaming!
It’s a party – but it’s a winter party! So no great outdoors to enjoy but it’s a perfect excuse for a game party! Start off with a fun interactive game for the kids, or set out a bunch of them. May I recommend RiddleCube? Only made for 4, but I recommend you get creative and make your own teams!
Of course, the kids might want something a little more interactive. Several years ago, we had a game party for Amelia’s January birthday -and the game that they played with the most? An interactive video game, of course. This kept the kids jumping up and down and having a really good time and working up their appetite for birthday cake!
Well, that is a perfect excuse to get some Just Dance games for your systems! Just Dance 2016 – Xbox 360 has great tunes like “Uptown Funk” and “All About the Bass,” turning your family room into the dance floor. Just Dance 2016 also lets you record yourself in Showtime as you lip-sync through songs. It’s always great to unleash recording options at parties – everyone laughs through the playback but remember, these recordings get uploaded to their server to share.
Another great feature making Just Dance 2016 perfect for parties is that users can use their own smartphones to play, rather than the controller. This allows for 6 player rather than 4. And you can play Dance Quest like usual, or in Coop mode, which lets you play as a team, earning points.
If you have tweens who are fans of Disney Channel shows, Just Dance Disney Party 2 – Wii Standard Edition features hits from your kids’ favorite shows, like “Descendants,” “Austin & Ally,” and “Liv and Maddie.” If you want to have a themed party, “Descendants” would be an awesome theme for fans and there are tons of tracks on Disney Party 2.
The Post-Crash Entertainment
After the dancing and the treats, the kids might be a little pooped and starting to wind down as parents trickle in to pick them up. And your kids might be all over the place, or rudely slip away to grab a nap. Instead, pull out some blankets and pillows and let everyone chill out to the new Minions movie! Let the kids relax to the latest and greatest of the Minions franchise.
Featuring Sandra Bullock and, of course, Kevin, Bob, and Stuart, Minions follows the evolution of the Minions from caveman days through to their meeting with our favorite supervillain. The Blue-RayTM Combo pack is available on December 8th and includes Blue-Ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraVioletTM so you can stream and download too. It also features 3 original, new mini-movies (“Cro Minion,” “Competition” and “Blinky Nelson Unpacified”), plus deleted scenes, interactive map, and “Behind the Googles,” a look at the making of Minion. Plus, the kids can sing along to Jingle Bells Minion Style, which is hilarious!
For a post-party treat, whip up my recipe for dairy-free organic hot chocolate. Double or triple and make it in your crockpot and make a hot chocolate bar! Let the kids add toppings like cinnamon, peppermint flavor or allergen-free marshmallows. (Be sure to use a dropper for any flavors, so kids don’t overdo it and ruin their drink!
Finally, a few plates of cookies wraps up your allergy-free holiday party perfectly. May I recommend Pumpkin-Spiced Whoopie Pies, or Perfect Sugar Cookies from the Allergy Free Holiday Table? All recipes are free of the top 8 allergens. This book is on sale for $12.95 as of this writing and you can check it out at my affiliate link.
What safe treats to you put out for your kids this holiday?