Our Adventures

  • 29 Aug 2013

    Our Mission: Planning an allergy friendly birthday party

    Posted: 29 Aug 2013

    I LOVE planning birthday parties for my niece! Once I've decided on a theme that I know she'll love, I get completely over excited and lose all track of time coming up with crazy ideas and games. And I'm eager to hear the giggles from my niece and her friends as they take part in it all.

    But the best part of my niece's parties is loading the tea table with yummy food that she can eat. It's one of the few days when she gets to feel like everyone else and not 'the odd one out' because of her food allergies. There's no 'special' plate for her with free from food, it's all COMPLETELY safe and delicious for her and her friends. 

    As an extra bonus, her friends don't even realise that all the food is free from the allergens we have to avoid; they just tuck in and enjoy it. Who says free from food has to be boring?!

    And now back to the party... 

    A spy-themed party: For Your Eyes Only (and other spy clichés)
    For my niece's latest party I created a TOP SECRET MISSION party, which was code-named 'i7-2-day'...(see what I did there?!)

    If your palm doesn't fit, you're not getting in
    To gain entry to the party, the birthday guests had to swipe their hands across a hi-tech bit of palm recognition kit (ahem, my iPad and some fancy graphics I'd put together). Then they were given a top secret mission folder and spy specs; the mini secret agents were beginning to look the part!

    Your mission - should you choose to accept it - is the following...
    As the wannabe agents opened their folders, they learnt that they had to complete a series of tasks to become - cue music from Mission Impossible - top notch secret agents! 

    Task #1 involved drawing their profile picture and creating a secret agent code name. There was lots of squealing and laughter as their names and pictures were revealed and the most creative one was awarded a prize. 

    Task #2 got their taste buds and brains whirring as the mini secret agents made 'energy boost' serum. This involved test tubes, fruit purée and a lot of concentration. The best bit was that I got to judge their creations. I was like Mary Berry judging a 'technical bake'; honest, but kind (with a little cheeky glint).

    Task #3 taught our mini agents the art of quick getaways. This involved energetic jumping to see how far along a marker they could reach. (An essential skill for any undercover mission.)

    Tasks #4, #5 and #6 involved target practice with water guns, learning the lethal art of Tiddlywinks and high level code breaking; Bletchley Park eat your heart out.

    And then it was time for tea...
    Any spy worth their salt knows that keeping energy levels boosted is essential in a crisis/birthday party. The double agents gorged on:

    •Chicken bludgeons (drumsticks)
    •Undercover wraps
    •Carrot and cucumber 'Stick 'Em Up' batons
    •Plasma dips (homemade: beetroot & mint, guacamole, tahini free houmous, spicy tomato salsa)
    •Target practice pizzas (with pizza bases from Annie's Supperclub*)
    •'Crunch time' crisps (a selection of shop bought - I had enough on my plate!)

    Sweet treats included my first attempt at making Cherry Chocolate Bombs aka cake pops (free from egg, dairy, nuts and gluten) and 'laser beam' fruit kebabs. The pièce de résistance was an amazing gluten, egg and dairy free bomb birthday cake made by a friend. The secret agents loved it and after we'd carried out a controlled explosion (we cut the cake up and put it into party bags), it was back to the final part of the undercover mission.

    Dodging lethal lasers to win the ultimate prize
    Tensions were running high in this race against the clock; who would get zapped by the lasers (red wool woven between bamboo sticks) and who would survive? The spies displayed amazing limbo/contortionist skills to get through the lasers unharmed and they voted this the favourite part of the top secret mission.

    The debrief
    With the spies safely assembled back at HQ, it was time to gather intelligence and award certificates for outstanding bravery. 

    And the winner was...sorry, that information is classified. However, I can tell you that all the spies went home happy, and my niece was thrilled with her party and the spread of safe food she'd been able to gorge on! Mission accomplished.

    *Annie's pizza bases taste amazing and are free from egg, wheat/gluten, dairy, nuts & soya. The children didn't even know they were 'free from' and I heard one say to another "This is real Italian pizza because the bases are so thin and crispy." Result! Annie usually supplies the catering trade, but contact her for private orders. 

    comments powered by Disqus