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Children’s Birthday Parties

Birthday parties can sometimes be a concern for parents who have a child with PKU. You don’t want them to feel ‘different’ or left out. However with a little planning, there is no reason why your child cannot enjoy low protein party treats and have as much fun as everyone else.

Party Time Tips

Parties at home
  • Plan the food well in advance. Involve your child where possible in choosing the menu and make sure to include some of their favourite low protein treats.
  • Have a selection of regular foods low in protein, such as fruit skewers or veggie sticks that everyone can enjoy.
  • Make both regular and low protein versions of different foods (e.g. fairy bread, mini pizzas, muffins, biscuits). Ensure that your child is aware of which ones they can eat – mark these out with different coloured flags or cocktail umbrellas.
  • If any games are played, use non-food related items as prizes such as stickers, pencils or small toys.
  • Make a low protein birthday cake (or cupcakes)!
Parties at friend’s house
  • Tell the hostess what foods your child can have in advance.
  • Avoid buffet lunches where children can help themselves.  Ask your hostess if the buffet lunch can be served from the kitchen so you can keep an eye on what your child is eating.
  • Provide your own food, but drop it off before the party to avoid making too much fuss over your child’s special diet in front of the other children.
  • If you don’t stay, give the hostess clear instructions (depending on the child’s age); leave a number where you can be reached.
Birthdays at School
  • Try to always have several appropriate low protein treats in the teacher’s cupboard or the school’s refrigerator or freezer.
  • If children hand out birthday cakes or treats that your child is unable to eat, they can choose one of their own ‘treats’ instead.
Party Recipes

Visit our recipes section for some inspiring birthday ideas.

Reference source: PKU Handbook [2005]. Australasian Society for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (ASIEM) (Australia and New Zealand). Chapter 10: The PKU Diet.

Please Note: The dietary treatment for PKU varies for each person so all information presented here is for guidance only. Your own dietitian and/or doctor will advise you on all aspects relating to management of PKU for you and your family.