Hosting a Vegan Kid’s Slumber Party for Non-Vegan Guest

anzia bdayLast night we hosted our first slumber party for the little vegan, Anzia’s birthday. We have had birthday parties before, but knowing that if there were finicky kids, they could simply go home and eat after the party, has always been comforting. Knowing that I had six other kids which we were going to be responsible for overnight and needed to make sure they weren’t starving was a little overwhelming.

I asked our friends on Facebook for food ideas and received some great responses which I will share on the bottom of this post. The most popular suggesting was make your own pizza. We had considered this, but had other crafts planned and were worried about running out of time so we went for something a little simpler.

Our menu:
chick’n nuggets
tater tots
veggie tray w/carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and bell peppers
hummus
fruit tray w/strawberries, grapes and melon
a large selection of chips that didn’t get opened
black olives
juice boxes
cupcakes
Mighty-O donuts for the morning

There were a few girls that were super excited about the idea of chicken nuggets, so I let them believe they were chicken. One of the girls was very concerned about tater tots because she had never eaten them. After that discussion I decided I wasn’t going to touch the subject about the nuggets being vegan.  It worked, they all went back for seconds. The parents all know we are vegan and can break it to them later that what they ate wasn’t real meat. My main concern, as I mentioned before was getting them to eat, and as I often do with my own child, I explain what she is eating after she has decided to like it.

If you plan on hosting a slumber party for girls in the 8/9-year-old bracket in the future, here is some advice I can offer:

  • Make sure everything is the same color. There were a few things that I was unable to get all in the same color and one of the girls almost didn’t participate because she didn’t get the color she wanted.
  • Have a few different crafts available and be prepared for them not to want to do the same thing at the same time. I gave everyone all the crafts at once and let them work on them when they were ready. It worked out perfect.
  • There was a moment where they were getting tired and started to bicker. The major complaint was that they weren’t being respectful to each other and not giving one another the opportunity to speak. I sat them done in a circle, gave them a timer, said we were starting with the birthday girl and they would each have a minute to speak with no interruptions. The timer moved around the circle to the right. After this activity, they were all pretty mellow and the rest of the evening was fine.
  • Find a dollar store near you for party supplies. One of the highlights for the girls was getting their own clipboards that they got to keep. It was a great surface for them to do their crafts on, giving them the ability to find a spot wherever they were comfortable. We had bought stickers and decorated the backs of them to give them a little pizzaz.

Have any other tips? Please share, especially for other age levels and for boys.

We try to be as subtle as possible about our veganism in our daily lives, especially where our daughter is concerned, but small things make it apparent that people are understanding where we are coming from. Anzia said her favorite gift of all was the donation one of the families made to the Pigs Peace Sanctuary in her name. Hubby and I were extremely moved by this gift, but I wasn’t sure how a kid would take it. I guess her love for the pigs outweighs her need for physical possessions, which I have to say as a mom makes me very proud.

One dad had dropped off his daughter and couldn’t get enough of the nuggets. This morning we had sent him home with a Mighty-O doughnut. His daughter had forgotten something and when his wife came back to get she told us that we might be converting her family because all her husband could talk about was the food last night and the doughnut this morning. Of course we sent her home with a doughnut also!

Below are other food ideas from our Facebook friends. I must add that Anzia is one of the few kids I have met that doesn’t like spaghetti, but when she saw the spaghetti tacos she decided that she needed to try it again. Let us know if you have anything other suggestions.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Anzia's picks-a young vegans perspective, Random info. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hosting a Vegan Kid’s Slumber Party for Non-Vegan Guest

  1. Great post! I have a 9 yr old daughter, and it’s always worrisome if I make something and have uber-picky eaters over. The only real comment I’d make is regarding food allergies. They are really common (my daughter has severe nut allergies), so I’d definitely advise against the major allergy players (peanuts, tree nuts, gluten) unless getting the all-clear from the other parents.

  2. This looks awesome!! LOVE LOVE the chicken nuggets nd mighty-O doughnuts! PERFECT!!

    I’m really surprised so many people suggested pizza, when vegan cheese is (sorry) just NOT ALL THAT TASTY to most non-vegan pizza connoisseurs (which, in my experience, MOST non-vegan 9-year-olds are).
    I’ve tried serving it to non-vegans, even NON picky, very polite adults and they just did not care for it at all.And I make really awesome pizza (or so I thought!).
    I definitely try to keep our veganism low-key for my kids too, though now that they are teens, most of their friends know and don’t care, but there’s always the odd accidentally hurtful comment that I wish I could have prevented…
    Seriously though – who, in their right mind would suggest kale chips or lentil sloppy joes for 9-year-old NON-vegan kids? Do they WANT their child’s party to be the butt of jokes for years to come?
    My kids like kale chips, but even they had to be convinced to try them the first time, and they’re used to eating a LOT of “weird’ things…Lentil sloppy joes, they have NEVER been a hit as the lentil texture is just too different than “burger”… you CAN however make very “realistic” and convincing ones with crumbled Boca (or your brand of choice) vegetarian burgers. Provided your crowd LIKES Sloppy Joes to begin with – I discovered that in my circle of (adult) friends, out of 12 Moms, only one ever had served her family Sloppy Joes.
    Crumbled burger works the same with tacos.
    Which brings me to my original point, HAHAH!
    A “Mexican Bar” is ALWAYS ALWAYS my go-to for my kids’ parties now. They’re in their late teens, and their friends remember it from years past and actually BEG to come to their “Taco Party”….
    I have all the fixins for burritos and tacos laid out – tortilla chips, taco shells and flour tortillas, salsas mild and hot, vegan sr. cream, (homemade) vegan ranch dressing, guacamole, lots of colorful veggies, black beans and refried, jalapenos, green chiles, olives, some of the jarred vegan “queso” sauces instead of shredded (questionable-tasting) vegan cheese, fancy Fiesta-type paper plates, colorful napkins,even the fixins, fancy glasses and drink umbrellas for (NON-ALCOHOLIC!!!) “margaritas” when they were older – a HUGE it!
    I make “taco meat’ from crumbled burger, browned with a good taco seasoning. NO ONE knew the difference for years until one kid put the fact that we were VEGAN and serving “the best taco hamburger meat EVER” together, and asked about it…Even so, the “Mexican Bar” or “Taco Bar” has been the go-to for years and is talked about long afterwards…

  3. Pingback: Don't Fear the Vegan - Life in Michigan

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