In today’s installment of dealing with birthday parties, Joanne wrote in with her experiences.
When she’s hosting the party, it’s not much of an issue making it a vegan event. By now, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see yet another mention of cupcakes – I had no idea these things were this popular before starting this series! Joanne credits Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule with making it easy, and while I’ve never hosted a party with cupcakes from the book (possibly because they don’t survive long enough for guests to arrive!) I will concur that the book’s opened up a whole new world of ideas for desserts.
When Joanne’s boys attend non-vegan parties, they stick to the vegan savory foods, but she’s opted to let them have the birthday cakes or cupcakes if they want them – as she puts it, it’s once in a blue moon and she doesn’t want them to feel singled out.
That said, it looks like Joanne’s done a good job building awareness within her community of parents, so most of them make sure there’s something vegan to eat for them – in fact, at the last party her son told the hosts he was vegan and they ran out to get him a falafel. I wants me some birthday falafel!
Thanks a lot for the input Joanne! A few takeaways here:
Cupcakes cupcakes cupcakes. That’s just in case you haven’t read the 39,431 references to cupcakes on this site yet. Are they the vegan parent’s secret weapon? I need to run a question that doesn’t have anything to do with food to see if they come up.
Do what you do. I’d like to acknowledge Joanne for saying she lets her sons eat non-vegan food from time to time (“lets” might be replacable with “doesn’t stop them from” – I just have the context from the one mail to go from.) I know a lot of vegans who might skip that part out of concern for backlash, but this is one of the reasons I put this site together – so vegan parents could share their stories and learn from each other.
You probably don’t like it when people tell you how to raise your kids, so I’m guessing the same goes for people telling you how to raise your kids vegan. It’s complicated enough that I made a site about it. Do what you do, learn from each other, and if something works or doesn’t work for you, go with it.
Keep in touch with your extended community. Joanne’s kids’ friends’ parents (whew!) for the most part seem to know that Joanne’s famiy is vegan, which is bound to make things a lot easier in social situations. Just introducing yourself to other parents can be enough to make a personal connection that can boost their awareness for a successful “away team” party.
What do you think? Have you ever had, made, or fetched a birthday falafel? How has the reception been at other people’s parties for your child? Let us know in the comments!