Birthday Cakes

Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 11:56am
Cartersmom's picture
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Joined: 10/17/2000 - 09:00

My son was recently found to be PA and I was just wondering how all of you handle birthdays. Are bakery cakes out of the question? If so, how do you handle going to parties where a bakery cake is served? Does your child just have to watch everyone else eat cake? This is so sad. I guess I already know the answers to these questions, but I am hoping for some advice on how to handle this.

Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 12:42pm
no nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/24/2000 - 09:00

Birthday parties are difficult but your child can usually go with just a little extra effort on your part. I think bakery cakes are out, mostly because of cross-contamination risks. Explain the allergy to the Mom asking her to get cake and ice cream with no peanut or nut ingredients so that your child can be around it. Then bring a safe from-home cupcake, muffin, yogurt, etc. for your child to eat. I stay at the party. I know it's not perfect but it's what we do and it works. My daughter knows it's our snack or no snack. I often feel sad for her like she's missing out, but she doesn't seem to feel that way and she enjoys being at the the party.

Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 12:43pm
Beth's picture
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Joined: 03/06/1999 - 09:00

Don't despair! My PA child is 13, we've had LOTS of birthdays to deal with, both hers and friends. Bakery cakes are ok if you check out the ingredients and feel comfortable with that particular bakery (like they can tell you what their safety procedures are). The same thing for friend's parties, talk to the parent, if you feel comfortable and they seem to understand, there should be no problem. It's all about communication and your particular comfort zone..it will get easier as you get used to this allergy. Good luck!

Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 1:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cartersmom, don't despair, it's okay! I live in a VERY small town so there isn't even that much choice in where you're going to purchase a birthday cake! LOL! The only supermarket in town, IGA, if you order one from there and specify that it has to be "peanut free" they will make it on a separate counter. Dairy Queen even, with their high peanut content in most products, has supplied me on more than a couple of occasions with "peanut free" birthday cakes (although I did read in one thread about how a family had requested a "peanut free" cake and what did they find in it but a whole peanut?), and then, the one that I'm sticking to now and consider the safest for me and in my comfort zone, is Tim Horton's. They are beautiful cakes, not terribly expensive and the Tim Horton's in my town is "peanut free". This, however, does not mean "nut free" as I learned when I picked up one of the cakes in the summer! What I do when I call and order one is simply tell them that I need it to be "peanut free" and they make it on a separate counter, as they also did at Dairy Queen. You have to be quite adamant about it. My son has attended a limited # of birthday parties so far, but the one mother whose 3 kids parties he went to, she makes her own birthday cakes and she made sure she read the labels of all of the ingredients, down to the decorations, she was wonderful. The other Mom had a Dairy Queen cake and made the special request of "peanut free". So far, it really hasn't been a problem for me and we do get a cake in our house whether there's a party or not for birthdays and I've really felt comfortable with the Tim Horton's ones. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Sorry, also, if you do a search of this site you'll probably find older threads on birthday cakes or birthday parties and they might have some extra/different information for you too.
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Posted on: Tue, 10/24/2000 - 3:32pm
momof1's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2000 - 09:00

My son is almost 10. We've been living with PA since he was 13mo. He's been to alot of parties both with and without me. Before I came to this site a few months ago, it honestly never occurred to me to not let him have a bakery cake, as long as I checked the ingredients. I mean, I never was concerned about cross contamination, and we have never had a problem.

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 1:11am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

It is currently in my comfort zone to let my daughter eat birthday cake at parties. She has only gone to parties (so far) of kids whose moms I know well, and who understand about her allergies. I always ask about the cake, and have so far felt comfortable with the answers I've been given. I realize that I am in the minority on this issue. I know that if my daughter were to react from eating birthday cake, my comfort zone would change, and I would start providing her with her own safe cupcake (or something else special) for parties. That said, I do not let her eat the cupcakes that kids send in for classroom birthdays at school. I don't know many of these parents well, so I don't feel comfortable with it. I have sent in a container of Hostess cupcakes and individually wrapped rice krispie treats, so that the teacher has them on hand when a parent brings in cupcakes. Leah seems content with these, fortunately. Good luck, I think you will find that it does get easier as you go along. As Cindy mentioned, there are some threads regarding this issue that you will probably want to check out. Take care.

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 1:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

California Mom, I agree with you totally! The cake thing has always been within my current comfort zone and will only change should Jesse have a reaction. It's also something that I never worried about as much before I came to this site - I was worried about the Dairy Queen cakes because they have so many peanuts in their stores. Even for his 3rd birthday party, I had a birthday cake from IGA and I really can't remember if I asked for it to be peanut free or not. This was after his 1st anaphylactic reaction. I think I've also tightened things up a lot as far as me questioning ingredients of things, etc. after his second (and hopefully last) anaphylactic reaction. I think when I first came to this site I was quite surprised to see how many children went to parties with their own special treat, but came to understand, very quickly, that it's all part of our own comfort zones. By the way, California Mom, have you posted your "comfort zones"? Cartersmom too! Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 2:00am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Thanks Cindy, I still need to make my way over to the "comfort zones" thread one of these days!

Posted on: Wed, 10/25/2000 - 1:05pm
AmyR's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2000 - 09:00

Like some others, I too check the ingredients of birthday cakes (baked goods for that matter) and if I'm comfortable, let my son eat it. I usually bring a cupcake for him to any birthday parties we are invited to. If I know the parents well enough, I'll ask where the cake is from. Otherwise, I just bring a cupcake so I don't cause too much trouble. I keep cupcakes in our freezer for these occasions and even gave my son's teacher some to keep in her freezer.
Cakes make me a bit nervous because my son's first birthday cake had peanut flour in it. When we ordered it, we didn't know he was PA. He had his first reaction over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at his party. I was so nervous at that point that I didn't let him have any cake. Later that year, we ordered my daughter's cake from the same place. We inquired about peanuts and when we picked up the cake there was a big note that it contained peanut flour. I, of course, kept my son away from it. I called the bakery later to ask about nuts because there were two other boys at the party allergic to nuts. It turns out there was almond extract in the frosting.
So now, if I don't know the bakery where the cake is from, I whip out the cupcake I packed.

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