As part of birthday party week, Amy writes in with her techniques for safely navigating invitations to non-vegan friends’ celebrations:
“We always pre-eat. For my kids parties, we have decedent all vegan spreads, if people want to help and make a dip or dish, they know vegan is required. For family parties, I always offer to make the cake, I am a cake ninja, want a vegan Elmo cake, or a stand up rubber ducky, I am your girl. People are shocked my vegan cakes taste better than a costco cake, plus they are cuter. I also always bring a dip or other snack to go out before the meal, we also bring a sidedish. I always ask the host what to bring.”
So many great tips here:
Pre-eat. This is the advice you see even for grown-up parties so you don’t overeat, but guess what? It’ll also save your child from going hungry if it turns out there’s nothing to eat (and that’s not gonna happen, because this week is going to ROCK OUT with tips and tricks!)
Ask what to bring. Instead of starting off with a whole “Oh, little Jimmy’s vegan, so here are a bunch of rules blah blah blah” (and I do mean blah blah blah because your host might well be thinking that by this point) start off with an offer to help.
This is another one of those things that work for all kind of parties, not just the ones with Dora and Spongebob all over the place. The key is that you’re bringing something to help the host out. You’re not rejecting their food (by saying it’ll be vegan you’re being even more helpful because it’s something that more people will be able to enjoy) and you’re not taking over the catering (which some parents might welcome, but might threaten others.) You’re helping them, and you’re helping you and/or your child.
Make the cake. The cake is central to a birthday party, and the best way to make sure the cake is vegan friendly is to make a vegan friendly cake. Amy does this for family parties, but I’m wondering if one could actually get away with bringing a cake to someone else’s party.
This is advanced stuff, so I’d recommend you definitely ask the host first! It might turn out to be a huge help to the parents who are on the hook for making everything else work out. If you can swing the Elmo cakes and other fun designs, be sure to take a few pictures and put them on a free Flickr account so people can know what an amazing offer they’re getting.
Like I said, this is an advanced technique that won’t work in all cases, but vegan cake is a HUGE outreach tool – people really can’t believe that baking’s possible without milk or eggs, and it’s going to plant a lot of seeds in a lot of minds.
What about you? Have you ever brought a cake to someone else’s birthday party? Do you think that could work? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo by stevendamron)