As daffodils peep up from the winter soil and tender buds begin to form on the trees, there can be no doubt that Easter is just around the corner. Easter is one of my favorite holidays. It’s such a beautiful time of year, full of fresh, blooming flowers and the wonder of wildlife seemingly reborn after the long, cold months that now seem just a dreary memory. I can’t think of a better time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ with family and friends.
This year our local homeschool group is hosting a different sort of Easter party for the kids. We’re going to host an allergy-friendly party that, hopefully, all the kids can enjoy.
As one of the leaders of our large homeschool group, and as someone with a food allergy of my own, I have made a point to never, ever call any of our parties “allergy-free.” We just can’t know what allergies all the children in our group might have and we would never want to inadvertently expose a child to something dangerous under the guise that it was safe. But occasionally, we do host parties that we consider allergy-friendly, with fewer dangers for parents to avoid.
Here are a few of the ways we plan to make this year’s Easter party allergy-friendly for the kids in our group. Maybe they will work for you, too.
Timing is everything
By scheduling our party after lunchtime, a little later in the afternoon, we can take the focus off the food that families normally bring to share. It’s virtually impossible to make sure every snack is safe, especially when any one of the kids in a group might be allergic to peanuts, wheat, eggs, milk, various fruits and other foods. But by having our party between lunch and dinner, kids can eat before they come and just bring their own bottled water or juice in case they get thirsty.
Safely filling the eggs
What’s an Easter party without an egg hunt? We’ll have lots of Easter eggs for the kids, but instead of filling them with chocolates or other candies, we are opting for stickers or other small trinkets. Children with allergies won’t be in danger of accidentally eating the treat inside their Easter eggs before their parents can stop them, unless they tend to eat paper or plastic, and that is a whole different problem.
Planning allergy friendly activities
Since our party will be held outdoors, we won’t likely need to plan much for the kids besides the egg hunt. We’re fortunate to have a large park where the kids have plenty of room to just run and play and enjoy being together outside. But if we were going to plan an allergy friendly Easter party indoors, we might avoid common allergens such as Play-Doh, scented items, real colored eggs, etc.
Avoiding the bees
Blooming flowers and trash cans in the park attract lots of bees, and some of our members are allergic to those, too. While we love the bees, we want to minimize the risk of being stung, so for this party we will let everyone know to bring lawn chairs and blankets so we can sit far away from the bee hot spots.
Of course, we can’t avoid every possible allergen when planning a large party in a public space, but with some careful planning on both our part and on the parts of the individual families attending, we can make some of our events a lot more allergy friendly than others. Not every party will be a good fit for individuals with allergies, but we don’t mind occasionally planning parties that are safer for those families who need to avoid the cupcakes, potluck lunches and goody bags they might otherwise encounter.
More by Tavia:
10 best Easter candies for kids who hate chocolate
Six Unique Easter Baskets
Favorite Bunny Books for Easter