Hi All,

I probaby haven't posted in over a year but read frequently. This board always helps me in my daily "travels".

We just got back from a family party where cake was served - from a bakery. It was half chocolate/half vanilla with a strawberry filling. Would you have allowed your PA child to have it? I did not - I brought safe cake that I keep in my freezer. Of course, tears were shed and i felt TERRIBLE b/c he wanted the cake with the pink frosting like all the other kids. (He's 3 1/2.) How do you get over the guilt of not allowing it? Have you ever allowed it and what was the outcome? I feel like I leave every gathering almost in tears myself. Any thoughts would be great.



On Apr 3, 2005

I definitely would never let my son have cake from a bakery. Way too much risk of cross contamination, plus the icing/decoration on bakery cakes often contains almond paste. *Whatever someone else's outcome may have been, every bakery is different, and not worth the risk!*

Whenever I go to a family party, I make a special dessert to bring that is safe for ds. For Easter, I made special cookies and cupcakes. I always try to make something really special, so that even if he has to miss out on something he likes, he has something just as good (usually better!) You can also call ahead to find out what the dessert is - I've even done that for birthday parties. That way you can try to make you son's treat as close as possible to what the other kids will be having (use the same color frosting, etc.).

I know it's hard when faced with tears, but you did the right thing. And as he gets older and goes to school and birthday parties, he will have to be used to having something different than the other kids. If you don't start now, it will be harder for him to accept later. My son is 5 and a half, and he is very good about having his own snack, treat at a birthday, trading out Halloween candy, whatever the case. That's because that's what he's always done.

On Apr 3, 2005

Thanks so much for your response. I do all these things already. He is already on the birthday party circuit in our neighborhood. I bring special treats wherever we go. We seem to be approaching an age where he doesn't want my treats - he naturally wants what all the other kids have. It is a strange way to live - not being able to partake in what the rest of people are. I put myself in his shoes and I know I would have been heartbroken as a child to be left out. I'm really struggling with this lately. I know it will get better over time but it really stinks that we were all dealt this blow.

On Apr 3, 2005

I agree that you should not give your child the birthday cake and to bring your own treats. It is not worth the risk.

I have been lucky. My son doesn't fuss about the cake/cupcake I send him. What can I say, he loves my baking....LOL

Hang in there. Once he gets older he will understand what is going on a bit more and accept the treats you send him.

Good luck


On Apr 3, 2005

My DD is the same age & we have had the same problems. It is worse at family parties because some family members try to 'help' and just make it work.

I asked beforehand what kind of a cake they are having & see if I can duplicate. If it's a carvel cake, I bring ice cream, etc. Or I ask my DD what SHE would like to have at the party. I have declined some party invitations so I can limit the amount of times I have to deal with this.

She hasn't been invited to any parties through her pre-school & I wonder if it is because of her PA.

It is tough.

On Apr 3, 2005

We deal with this all the time- it does get frustrating! I do not let my son have cake from bakeries or at restaurants- just too many variables. It makes him sad( he is 5) sometimes, but we really try to let him pick special treats he can take for himself. We were at a restaurant today, a buffet, and he came back to the table with a very nasty looking little piece of chocolate cake , and was upset when I told him I didn't think it was safe to eat we stopped at the store on the way home and got a safe cake mix and turned it into a family project for dessert- we all had a fun time, and it turned a moment of feeling deprived into one of feeling special. He has gone to quite a few parties through his preschool this year- I usually stay with him, just to make sure he isn't givin something he should not have , and so far it has worked out ok. I hate having to tell him at every turn, no, you can't have that, but unfortunately it is a fact of his life. Jen

On Apr 4, 2005

Having found out about my son

On Apr 4, 2005

This is a tough age. Sometimes kids just want things because they "look" better, but not necessarily are. Pink icing sure beats plain white anyday.

I would never let my child eat the bakery cake either. Bring a special treat as the others mentioned.

Have you thought about a cake decorating class? I took two Wilton courses and can make a more beautiful, fancy cake than what is being served. Only problem? My kids have sampled so many cakes, they don't really like cake anymore! Only if they're REAL hungry will they ask for a piece. Or if there is absolutely nothing else. Go figure.

On Apr 4, 2005

No, I would not have allowed my girls to eat the cake. We have decided long ago that they cannot eat anything from a bakery.

The way we handle the "grief" of not being able to eat birthday cakes is to talk about it before we even leave the house. Before we go anywhere I know food will be served that they will want but can't have, we talk about the situation. I let them know ahead of time there will be cake there and they won't be able to eat it. I usually bring something safe unless I have talked with the host beforehand and an alternate safe snack is there for them. When cake is served, I remind them they can't have it and we haven't had any issues at all. My girls are now 8 and 6.. have been PA since 4 and 2.

On Apr 4, 2005

I do not allow my PA daughter to eat birthday cake. I am lucky that I have found a bakery that will make a peanut/nut free cake. My family is getting better at ordering cakes from this bakery but it took a couple of years before they started. Prior to finding the bakery, I baked everything myself.

I order decorated cupcakes from the bakery and keep them in our freezer, then when my PA daughter has a birthday invite, she takes along one of her beautifully decorated SAFE cupcakes.

My daughter is 8 years old and she now knows what munchies (chips, popcorn) she is allowed to eat, but when she was younger I always brought along safe snacks for her to eat when at the party.

On Apr 4, 2005

In many circumstances I do let my child (8 years old) have birthday cake at parties. However, I talk to the parents ahead of time, and double check w/the bakery myself. (It is usually 1 of 2 bakeries that are popular in town, so not too hard). I have found that your basic birthday cakes are flour, sugar, eggs, etc. The 2 bakeries in town that are usually used have not baked w/peanut ingredients in the past.

My son is PA only, if he was also TNA I would probably have a different comfort level, as the bakeries do use almonds in some of their baking.

I also wanted to add that 1)in the case you described w/the different fillings (ie, not your basic cake w/frosting) I would not let him have it unless I had checked it out ahead of time, and 2) when he was only 3 yrs old we definately always brought something for him. I just felt that at 3 he was less likely to verbalize if something was wrong.

I think you need to do whatever your comfort level makes you feel is right...but wanted to put in this thread that my son does have birthday cake quite often.


On Apr 4, 2005

We go through the same thing, and it didn`t start until she was about 9. Until then she was fine eating her own version. Now she says even if hers looks like everyone elses, she knows it isn`t the same, and she wants the same as what everyone else has. She is tired of being different. And no, I would not have let her have the cake either. She is also milk allergic, so I could not have even considered it.

On Apr 4, 2005

Thank you for all of your responses. I know we are all dealing with thee same issues and they stink sometimes.

I do bake all my cakes from scratch and keep a supply in my freezer. I decorate them, too, as some of you suggested. But like I said, sometimes it's just not the same to them. I don't think it's "normal" to always be substituting and compensating and I wonder if this will harm our children more emotionally in the long run. Right now, I'm taking it much harder than my 3 year old is. He stood at the cake table at the party and said "why does this cake have nuts in it Mommy?" and it broke my heart. He brought it up again to his Dad when we got home. He was diagnosed at 18 mos so we're used to dealing with this now. (I suspected the allergy around 10 mos old.) My neighbors are wonderful dealing with this. I have a harder time with family - I think just because they want him to enjoy himself.

I know I'm rambling - thanks for listening and I will continue to read this board!


On Apr 4, 2005

Hi Laurajean -

I never let my son eat bakery items either. He's been upset a few times as well (he's 4 1/2).

Some things that have worked for us...

The suggestion about providing an alternative that looks better than what is being served sometimes helps us (its a little bit of an ego boost for my PA son when other kids want what my DS is having).

I also sometimes will bake enough cupcakes or whatever to share with everyone, so DS will be eating something that other people are eating too (works well at the family gatherings I've gone to, but I don't think this would work for another kids b-day - thankfully we haven't had to cross that bridge yet!).

On Apr 4, 2005

My son doesn't eat cake from bakeries. He is 7 and is very good about avoiding allergens. He also has egg allergies and remembers getting sick when we blew it with feeding him something we thought was egg-free but wasn't. Luckily, I don't mind baking and he likes what I make.