A Feingold Birthday Party


We just celebrated my son’s 6th birthday yesterday.  Thought I’d share how we have celebrated our own birthdays Feingold style. 

First, I always print my own invitations.  This has absolutely nothing to do with Feingold.  J  I just hate writing out each individual invitation.  I steal wording off of online birthday invitation web sites.  They have some really cute ones that can go along with whatever theme you are doing.  I print them out on cute stationary.  For a 1st birthday, I’ve put several pictures of them throughout the year on it. 

This year, my son wanted Minecraft invitations.  In case you don’t know what Minecraft is, it’s a computer game that is highly addictive.  His older brother got him hooked on it.  I’m sure most of his Kindergarten classmates had no idea what Minecraft was, but oh well.   He was happy as a clam with his invitations.  I found them online.  They had a free PDF download of it.  My neighbor scanned them for me and then input all of our information on to it.  They turned out really nice.   (For some reason, the link to it doesn’t work anymore.)


If you’re doing a party outside of the home, they usually provide the pizza and pop.  We did a Lazer Tag party yesterday.  I let all the other kids eat that pizza and I had a pizza delivered from Papa John’s for my kids.  Papa John’s is no longer in the Feingold Shopping Guide (they may have stopped filling out forms) but it was approved for years.  We don’t do pizza anymore (now mostly GFCF) but when we do, we go with Papa John’s.  I ask them to sub a pizza sauce for the garlic dipping sauce.   Then we take digestive enzymes for gluten and dairy (AFP Houston Enzymes). 

My kids are used to getting water when we go out to eat so they’ll order water but I also bring along lemonade juice boxes from Trader Joe’s (not in the shopping guide) or Knudsen pear juice from Whole Foods.  Or we just bring our own lemonade (Simply Lemonade) in their sports bottles.  For my older son, I sometimes let him order Sierra Mist (has corn syrup) or I’ll bring along a pop like 365 Lemon Lime or Root Beer.  If I provide juice boxes for all the kids, I usually pick up a case of Apple & Eve juice boxes from Sam's Club (stage 2).

And then there’s the cake.  Lately we’ve been going with cupcakes. 

For my son this year, I picked him up a GFCF and egg free cupcake from Whole Foods.  They are made by a local bakery (Swirlz in Chicago).  They have chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  So, I ordered 12 cupcakes from Wal-Mart (they are peanut free in case you have kids at your party with a peanut allergy).  I had them put white frosting on all the cupcakes with no decorations and no sprinkles.  Then I took one of the cupcakes out and inserted my son’s GFCF cupcake in with the rest.

I went online and searched for pictures of Minecraft.  My son helped pick out which pictures he wanted.  I right clicked on the pictures and then saved them to my picture files.  Then I opened up Word, clicked on “Insert Picture” and inserted the pictures and then resized them.  I made them small enough to fit on top of a cupcake.  We laminated them and cut them out into squares.  Then taped on toothpicks and put them on top of all the cupcakes.  I also laminated ours because we have a laminator ($27 at Sam’s Club).   I sprinkled all the cupcakes with green India Tree sugar crystals.  He didn’t even notice that his was different!  J   Cupcakes are now my dessert of choice for birthday parties. 

Here’s a link to some Angry Bird cupcake toppers. That would have been his second choice if we couldn’t find anything for Minecraft.


This blog has some really cute ideas for birthday parties. 

Last year, my daughter wanted a Monster High party, so I found some really cute free PDF downloads for cupcake decorations. They were circle cut outs of different Monster High dolls. You print them out, then cut out each one, tape a toothpick to the back of it, then stick it into a cupcake.

I ordered regular cupcakes from a local grocery store with pink frosting. Then I made my daughter strawberry cupcakes with pink strawberry frosting. I stuck the same Monster High decorations on to all of the cupcakes. Her cupcake wasn’t the exact same color as the others but she was happy getting to eat a strawberry cupcake (we usually avoid high salycilates with her). 

We’ve done all kinds of things in the past.  One year, we did ice cream sundaes.  I brought Breyer’s Ice Cream (recently taken out of the Feingold Shopping Guide because they refuse to fill out forms anymore), Magic Shell chocolate topping, homemade whip cream (I have a Whip-Eez dispenser), and now they have all natural maraschino cherries at Whole Foods (Tillen Farms).  They have ice cream sprinkles at Whole Foods too if you want that.   There are lots of simple recipes for homemade chocolate syrup too.   This went over really well with the kids, especially after getting really hot doing gymnastics in the middle of summer.  My son thought it was so cool to stick a candle in his ice cream sundae. 

One year, when we first started the diet, I ordered a cake from Whole Foods.  Not only was it expensive (about $30), but it didn’t taste all that good either.  My kids liked it of course – anything with sugar.  I thought it was OK.  So, that was the last year we did that. 

Other years, I have bought a regular cake for the rest of our guests (my son wanted Spider Man one year when he was about 3).  Then I’d make another cake that was clean.  That year, I saved the big plastic Spider Man they used to decorate the cake and put it on his homemade cake the following year. 

Duncan Hines makes a chocolate fudge cake that is Feingold approved but it has corn syrup (it’s called Moist Deluxe Cake Mix: Dark Chocolate Fudge).  Sometimes, I’ve just made this for everyone, and also served a triple berry pie or something else.  It just depends how many guests we have.  If we have a lot of quests, I tend to offer 2 or 3 desserts.  My kids don’t feel so much like they are not getting the dessert that everyone else is having.  They’re just getting one of the desserts. 

One year, I made ice cream cake.  This was for my daughter’s birthday and she was GFCF and egg free.  So, I made one regular ice cream cake, and then I made her and my son a small one that was gluten and dairy free.  Looked the same as the other but they know they can’t have regular ice cream.  I usually don’t give them chocolate so they didn’t complain at all.


For my daughter’s 1st birthday, I just gave her a GFCF banana muffin with a little frosting.  I wasn’t crazy about the idea of giving her a cupcake with all that sugar and no nutritional value.  I had looked up how to make a cake out of watermelon and fruit and almost attempted it, but I didn’t have time.  They looked really cute though.   
For goodie bags, we’ve done all kinds of things too.  I’ve ordered little toys from Oriental Trading before.  I’d put Yummy Earth suckers or Surf Sweet gummy worms in the bags.  One year, when my son had a movie theater party, I gave each kid a bag of gummy worms for the movie.  I brought my kids their own popcorn, and let the other kids have the theater popcorn.  Sometimes we’d put Annie’s fruit snacks in the bags.  We don’t do too much candy.  If I can find a cheap toy, sometimes we just give out a small toy and call it a day. 

This year, we went to the dollar store and found little banks in the shape of a Tootsie Roll with Tootsie Rolls inside.  They were only a dollar so we went with that.  No goody bag needed.  Tootsie Rolls are not Feingold approved but I don’t worry so much anymore what the other kids are eating - as long as they don’t come home with me.  J  Tootsie Rolls are my kids’ favorite non-Feingold candy.  They almost always pick these as their one Halloween candy they get to eat.  So, I told them they could eat only one, then save the bank to use. 

If we’re lucky enough to have their birthday fall on the same day as their actual birthday, I don’t have to make another cake.  But, we weren’t so lucky this year, so I’ll probably be making a cake or brownies on Tuesday.  I used to make a yellow cake with butter frosting for every birthday (but now we are GFCF).  L


This one is surprisingly good.  It sounds like it would be really plain but it’s actually really good.  Sometimes I make it in a bunny mold I got from Wal-Mart.  I decorate it with St. Claire tarts, India Tree sprinkles, Surf Sweets jelly beans, and googly eyes I got from Wal-Mart’s craft section.

This past summer, we spent the day at a water park on my daughter’s birthday and I forgot about a cake to sing to her.  So, we improvised.  We had some homemade marshmallows so she stuck a candle in a big marshmallow and we sang to her.  She thought it was hilarious and loved it. 

When my son was about 8, we planned to have a waterslide birthday party outside, but it ended up being cold and a little rainy.  So, that morning, I quickly put together a treasure hunt.  The kids had to follow clues and collect certain things from that location.  I buried little plastic gold coins in the sandbox.  They had to collect a certain kind of leaf or flower.  They had to run to our neighbor’s house and sing them Happy Birthday.  Things like that.  I put the kids in groups of 2 or 3 and they had to race to be the first to find the treasure.  Each group had their clues in different orders.  The final destination which held the treasure was the mailbox.  My son talked about this forever.  He thought this was so much fun and wanted to have a treasure hunt every year.  I was just glad it turned out OK.  I didn’t know what to do with all those kids in my house. 

This summer, I talked two of my kids out of having a birthday party and we went to Key Lime Cove water park resort and Six Flags Great America to celebrate instead.  I like this option.  We would have gone anyway, but don’t tell them that.  J 


So, that’s how we celebrate birthdays around here.