If your kids are anything like mine, then you have been asked a time or 2 to have a candy buffet at a party. I tend to shy away from them because it seems these days everyone has a different allergy. Thanks to the folks over at Sweet Services who have brought us some tips on setting up a Candy Buffet when guests have food allergies.
Candy buffets are very popular right now, They are fun and beautiful, and they replace the cakes at a party and the goodie bags filled with plastic. However, even with something as easy as a candy buffet, there is an unseen danger. That danger is food allergies. If you are a parent of a child with allergies, you know that heartbreaking look you see when the other kids are indulging on things they can only dream of. With that in mind, let’s try to make a cool candy buffet that all the kids enjoy.
First, as a responsible parent, inquire with each if your guest and see who has allergies.
You will probably find several children who cannot have peanuts or tree-nuts or their products. Some children will not be able to eat chocolate or any candy with milk products. Gluten (wheat) free products are also very important. While a lot of people reach for sugar-free, there are a few people who cannot eat artificial sweeteners.
Armed with your list, contact your favorite bulk candy supplier and let them awe you with a solution list that is equally impressive. How you stage your candy buffet is your choice. It is wise to use a two-color scheme and a theme of the table. It is wise to set up one section of the table with food-allergy friendly foods. Labeling is essential, so the front of the table is a good choice. Unless you intend on making the entire table allergy-free.
Provide a few anti-allergy goodie bags for children to take home (Consider labeling the back of the bag, “candy made without tree-nut products, artificial sweeteners, and milk products”)
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Tree-nut / Peanut-free candy
Natural gummy candies and jelly beans
Wonka’s Nerds and Nerd Ropes
Dum Dum Lollipops
Tootsie Rolls (or any product made by Tootsie)
Now and Laters
Gluten & Casein Free Candy
Haribo – Gold bear minis
Variety of flavors of pops and suckers
Hard candy such as life savers
Orange and Cream Chews
Super sour straws
Use clear jars to display candy. Cover boxes with fabric or foil and use the boxes to raise or lower the jars. Read the labels and keep them in a spiral notebook for anyone else to read. Use scoops in the jars for easier retrieval. Consider keeping some dried fruit on the table for an all natural treat. Gluten free cereals make a pretty display and many parents consider this a staple item. This gives younger children a few options too.
With a little planning and the right supplier, your candy buffet will make any party beautiful and exciting. Use colorful balloons or ribbons or color hung behind the table for a beautiful backdrop. Use designer candy on display for your centerpiece or any bright theme item.