This week Ruth and Alex were invited to their first birthday parties since they were diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Obviously this makes things a whole lot more complicated. Being vegetarian meant that it was a bit more difficult as it was, but this is a whole different league.
Fortunately I'm good friends with the mother of Alex's friend who's party he was invited to, so she knows a fair bit about Alex's needs as I've spent quite a lot of time speaking about it over the past year! She and her son decided to make sure all the food at the sleepover was ok for Alex so he wouldn't feel left out, or have to ask if each thing was ok for him. How good it is to have considerate friends.
We decided between us that the easiest thing would be for me to make some gluten free cupcakes and we sorted out the other snacks and drinks between us. I was unsure how the cakes would go down - 10 and 11 year old boys aren't known for their tact or diplomacy!
I made 12 plain sponge gluten-free cupcakes, marbled yellow and red food colouring through them to fit in with the Nerf gun theme, and decorated them with yellow icing, Dr Oetker Polka Dots and Haribo sweets. Alex came home telling me the boys all loved the cakes, and the four of them wolfed down 3 each - that's about the highest praise you can get!
Ruth is now 13, and very independent. I asked her whether she wanted me to phone the parents of her friend who's birthday it was, and she said no, that she had spoken to her friend herself. She'd told her friend what she could and couldn't eat, and about cross-contamination, and her friend had made her a pizza using a DS pizza base. I was very proud of her for dealing with it herself. This is a skill which she will need more and more as she gets older, so it's good that she is comfortable doing this.
So all in all, these parties have been been a pretty successful. I'll feel a lot less worried when they get invited to parties in the future.