Finding ideas for vegan food at children’s parties can be difficult. A lot of parents will simply confuse vegan with vegetarian, while others may not understand how strict a child’s diet might be. However, there are lots of options for parents to try, which if successful can become a staple of children’s parties.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to be creative with food choices. People are often surprised by how much you can do with vegan food, from mixtures through to tasty sides and cakes. In this way, everything from table food to hotter meals and cakes can be easily prepared for different party sizes, while some easy tips can be followed to suit a range of children.
The easiest, if not always the most creative, solution for vegan children is to use lots of fresh vegetables. Carrots, cucumbers and peas cut up or mixed into salads can be served in bulk, or mixed into sandwiches. Spreads like vegan margarine, marmite and hummus can also be added to bread. It is also worth checking though to see if a child’s diet restricts particular types of bread.
Vegan ham, Tofurkey slices, Smart Bacon and Sheese (a hard vegan cheese) can be bought from most supermarkets and stores, and can be used to provide an alternative to meat based products. Vegan sausages, sausage rolls, fish fingers and fish pieces are also generally good ideas, although it is worth trying a few brands beforehand.
More Savoury Options
Most kinds of biscuits, from Hob Nobs through to chocolate digestives, are suitable for vegan parties, as are pretzels and different kinds of crisps. However, always check labels beforehand to make sure that they don’t use any meat byproducts. Indian food like dairy and egg free samosas and onion bhajis can be popular with older children.
If looking for something more substantial, think about mixing together potato salads, rice, pasta and couscous. For hotter meals, vegan Shepherd’s pies, and lasagna are good options, although you should avoid Quorn, as it is not suitable for vegans. Pizzas made from French bread and topped with puree, peppers and oils can be grilled, while black bean tamales and nut butter squashes, as well as fried tofu, can significantly add to a party.
Cakes and Desserts
Dairy and egg free cakes and cupcakes are essential for children’s birthday parties. These can be made using egg substitutes and other ingredients, and can be enhanced by vegan approved sprinkles. Ready made vegan cakes can also be bought, as can dairy free ice cream. Soya desserts that don’t use milk are similarly recommended, while vegan jelly sweets can be found that are free from gelatine.
Most drinks will be fine for a vegan children’s party as long as they don’t include dairy milk. Soya milkshakes are particularly popular, as are most types of natural fruit juices.
Always do research before preparing vegan food for a children’s party. A parent might want to see ingredients beforehand, and don’t take a risk on something that may or may not be vegan. Similarly, check to see if vegan and other children also have an intolerance to certain types of food.
Written by Christina Appleworth of DNA Kids