Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results

birthday cake

Alternative Birthday Cakes: How to Give Your Little One a Happy Birthday despite Food Restrictions

Posted 5.3.12 | Mallory West

Birthday cakes are so much more than just the ingredients that go into them. They are symbolic of accomplishment, celebration and childhood in general. Each birthday cake is a milestone for another celebrated year of life. Every parent feels an instinctive need to provide their child with a birthday cake.

When your child has a food allergy or other condition limiting the food that they can eat, a typical birthday cake may not be an option. I am always amazed by the measures that parents take to provide a suitable birthday cake for their child. I’ve talked to parents who are traveling to different stores all over town to gather allergy-safe alternative ingredients for their masterpiece cake.  If you are looking for an allergy-friendly cake recipe, there are several in our Food Allergy Cookbook. Please keep in mind that allergy-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean allergy-free so be sure to check if the ingredients are appropriate for your child’s specific food allergies. For some more tips on allergy-friendly birthday parties, visit

For kids who are not able to eat food at all, this is an even greater challenge. In these cases, parents get extremely creative making fun, non-edible birthday cakes. For example, Connor’s birthday “Neo-Cake” or Sy’s foodless bowling cake. My sister Caroline has a feeding tube but up until last year, she was able to eat SOME food by mouth so we always just got her a regular birthday cake. She can no longer have any food by mouth due to swallowing problems so this year, I made her a fake pink and purple princess cake out of cardboard, foam paper, ribbon, tissue paper and glitter paint (pictured below). We poked little holes in it and inserted candles for her to blow out. Her favorite part of birthdays is singing and blowing out the candles so she didn’t even seem to miss eating cake. In fact I think she loved this foodless cake even more because she can keep it and we can relight the candles and sing over and over again (although she might think she is 300 years old by now).









The moral of the story is that food restrictions don’t have to stop you from giving your little one a happy birthday. When it comes down to it, birthdays are not about the cake but about the effort that goes into making your little one feel special on their day. With a little creativity, you can still have a great time celebrating another year and milestone.


Have a great allergy-friendly cake recipe to share? Please do! We’d also love to see pictures of your creative foodless cake ideas!


Allergy-Friendly Birthday Party Recipes and Activities

Posted 6.11.15 | Nutrition Specialist

Are you hosting a birthday party for your food-allergic little one, or maybe you’re expecting food-allergic guests? No need to reinvent the wheel! In this blog, you’ll find links to several blogs we’ve previously created which include a number of allergen-free party activities and recipes/snacks!


We like some of these recipes so much that we’d even serve them to non-allergic guests. Nobody would know the difference!

Here’s a delicious alternative to your traditional birthday cake:

Is your child receiving his/her nutrition via a feeding tube and unable to eat by mouth? Check out this “foodless birthday cake” that our colleague Mallory created for her sister:

If you’re a parent to a child who does not have food allergies, however would like to learn more about food allergies in order to host a “food-allergy friendly party”, try reading this blog:

This post has it all, including information on hosting a party with guests who have food allergies, sending your food-allergic child to a party, and various recipes:


Non-Food Activities

In our society, we tend to center most of our celebrations around food, however this does not have to be the case! We can enjoy our birthdays (and any other celebration) without involving food at all! Check out these links for non-food related party activities:

These web sites suggest party activities for school celebrations; however these ideas can easily be adapted for home celebrations as well!

How have you celebrated your little one’s birthday in an allergen-friendly way? We’d love to hear your ideas!

-Kendra Valle, RDN

Description: C:\Users\valleke\Pictures\Birthday Party _ Explore ND Strupler's photos on Flickr. ND … _ Flickr - Photo Sharing!_files\3855680283_a29f17f771_b.jpg

Image by ND Strupler

Food Allergies and Birthdays. 9 Creative Birthday Celebration Ideas

Posted 5.26.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Your child’s birthday is a fun and exciting day for the whole family!  There are many things to consider when planning a celebration for your Little One, whether you’re having a small family party or a huge birthday bash. And planning can be a little more challenging when food allergies are involved; but we are here to help with a fun roundup of some of our community’s best birthday cake recipes and ideas!


For allergy-friendly cake recipes, check out our “Neocate Food Allergy Cookbook” for several different recipes. Here are just a few to get you started!

1. Yellow Cake with Frosting (Submitted by: Jessica Snell)


  • 1 box suitable yellow cake mix (e.g. Cherrybrook Kitchen)
  • 1/3 cup melted “tolerated” butter or margarine (e.g. Earth’s Balance dairy/soy free butter)
  • 3/4 cup water

Follow baking directions on cake package.


  • 1/2 cup “tolerated” butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp water
  • Add powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency
  • 1/4 tsp almond flavoring, optional
  • 3 drops pink food coloring, optional

Melt butter, mix in powdered sugar to make clumpy. Add water to smooth it out. For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. Once desired consistency is reached, add almond flavoring and 3 drops of pink food coloring, if using.

This recipe makes ~12 servings

2. Eggless, Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake (Submitted by: Daphna Finn)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients together. Combine all wet ingredients together in another bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients, and beat just until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13” pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan. When cool sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

This recipe makes about 15 pieces of cake.

3. Banana Cake (Submitted by: Anne Medsker)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick suitable unsalted margarine
  • 2 eggs, or suitable substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup organic rice beverage or other milk substitute
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl add sugar and margarine and beat with mixer until blended. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Mix in rice beverage, vanilla and banana. In a separate bowl combine baking soda, powder, salt and flour and whisk together. Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet and beat 1 minute, just until combined. Grease a 9 x 13” baking pan with canola oil or baking spray. Pour in batter. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

And Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) also has a good variety of cake and icing recipes to try. Here's a recipe from their website:

Basic Buttercream Icing (Created by Laurie Carson)

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
Beat all ingredients together thoroughly. To make it thinner, add a little light corn syrup. 
You could add cocoa or carob powder to the icing to make it chocolate, if desired. I also added a drop or two of almond extract to take away some of the sweetness, but it's fine without it, too. Please note that margarine typically contains milk or soy, but there are milk-free and soy-free versions available. Corn Substitutions: Corn is a common ingredient in products. Starch, modified food starch, dextrin and maltodextrin can be from corn. Consult with your physician to find out which corn derivatives you need to avoid. Many corn-free options are available in the US. Find out more about corn substitutions in this KFA article.

Cake Alternatives:

Sometimes a traditional “cake” isn’t the best option for your child. That’s ok!  Let’s face it, it's not about the cake anyway. Our team came up with a few alternatives to that traditional cake in this blog post:

Delicious Trifle “Cake”

“Non-Cake Cake”

Cake Decorations:

Once you’ve decided on your cake, get creative and have fun decorating! We found some fun ideas to help you get started:

Better Homes and Gardens: Creative Birthday Cakes for Kids


Unique Birthday Cakes Gallery (from

You can even use Neocate cans to decorate creatively like @senstivemommy!
When feeding your guests be sure to pick allergy-friendly foods and snacks, or have a separate area designated for “safe” treats to avoid any possible cross contamination with allergens. Think about providing the kids with goody bags that do not contain food items. Some creative goody bag ideas could include crayons, stickers, pencils, erasers, and other age-appropriate toys. And finally, have fun celebrating your child’s birthday!
Share with us: What you did to make it the best birthday party ever?


About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.