Baby showers are not my thing. As much as I love a party, my parties usually put the emphasis on wine and music instead of baby presents and cutesy games.
As a vegan, baby showers are extra dicey. I’ve heard the usual horror stories from fellow vegans who spent the party snacking on plain baby carrots while everyone else enjoys “real” food, receiving leather and wool products as gifts and having to explain why they have to reject a certain gift. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you get through your baby shower – the vegan style…
If you’re planning your own shower, food isn’t a huge problem – you can plan what you want and recruit some help to make it. Finger foods, Vegan party foods or buffet style foods where guests can pick and choose what they like are probably your best option, especially if many of your guests are not vegan. For myself, I’m planning fresh cut vegetables and dips, “crab” cakes, veggie tacos, mini-“tuna salad” sammiches, individual fresh fruit tarts, and of course CUPCAKES!
If you’re not hosting your own shower, make sure you discuss menu planning with the host. While you may not get a completely vegan shower, its your day and its only fair that you have a variety of options to choose from. Offer suggestions that you’d like to see and be willing to help “proof” recipes to make sure they’re vegan. Going potluck? Make sure to request vegan dishes on the invitation and include some helpful web sites that non-vegans can scope for recipe ideas.
If you’re really lucky, a vegan catering company may also be a great choice. If you’re not lucky to live in an area that has a solely vegan caterer, check into caterers that offer vegan options for your menu, or discuss the possibility of vegan options with a non-vegan caterer.
You might also enjoy these related articles:
- Vegan Party Food – the Safe Choices
- Vegan Since Birth: Meet Saun Durrance
- Dealing with Cravings (Vegan and Non-Vegan) During Pregnancy
For invitations, I’ve gone the crafty route and designed my own – I’ve sourced a printer that uses vegetable inks. If you’re not in the crafty mood or would rather go with a pre-designed invitation, check with the company to make sure they use vegetable inks and paper manufactured without the use of animal byproducts. Etsy.com is a great place to find cute, custom, animal friendly invitations for a low cost. Vegetable inks are fairly common, and it’s an easy thing to check to make sure your invites are cruelty free.
Party favors, if you’re giving them, are a great opportunity to showcase some fun vegan products to your guests. Vegan lip balms or lip-sticks, trial-size bath products, vegan chocolate (the best kind!), cookies, or other small treats in cute packaging (reusable bags would be great).
And what about the kind of gifts people bring? For me, being vegan isn’t just about food options. Wool, silk and leather are not vegan, however to many people wool seems to be associated with the crunchy vibe normally ascribed to vegans.
Most women create a baby registry, which is an excellent idea – it allows you some control over the kind of products you’ll be getting, which gives you a chance to sift through and weed out potential offenders. Registries are easy to create and shop online or in a store. While Target and Babies R’ Us are popular options, Amazon.com is a great and very flexible registry with good prices on a lot of vegan friendly options and items you might not be able to find elsewhere. But you can always research the registry options in your local shops or online strictly vegan brands.
Ask people to bring you gifts from your registry only, and tactfully try and remind people who might be tempted to stray (“handknit wool booties are so cute though!”) that you’d love a thoughtful gift, especially one that adheres to your ethics. No matter what, assume there’s going to be something that isn’t quite vegan, and if you don’t feel like rejecting the gift, you can always suck it up, say “thank you very much”, and get the gift receipt if you can…!