I did this once, and te mom who hosted the party knew about our LF diet trial and so she was not offended when I asked about the food being served and me having made a seperate tiny 'birthday pie' for my ds. Ds himself was a bit upset first on seeing the BD cake served and me explaining (AGAIN) that it was full of milk products. But, there was also other food available which he could eat (but he didn't). Now my ds understands better if I tell him about ingredients and intolerance reactions, but find it's usually ok to leave it up to him now to decide if he wants to have a bite or not, and he knows the possible consequences for his body/(moods?). Usually he won't be tempted, sometimes he will. If there's a food I'm really concerned about, I'll make sure he knows this, and why.
Yes, I think it should be ok at all times to bring own food to a party, especially for a young child, especially when a specific diet is very important for the person, but the host should be informed so that he/she can understand what's going on. If you're really lucky, your host may try and do an effort to accomodate your dietary needs to some extent ;-).
Also, as a host of a (BD)party or dinner or afternoon tea I have no problem in asking in advance if a guest is following a special diet or has any food issues to accommodate their dietary needs or if they tell me (preferably in advance!)they have. So I can do my best to adjust the food served, or make a seperate dish, depending on the situation. I've cooked without red meats, made a pie that's suited for diabetics, have made a pie without bananas (bought ones here usually have those), baked LF, and anyway usually make 2-3 different pies for different preferences (fi some love chocolate, others fruit, some both :-). When I already know about a BD party having food sensitivities, I take that into account and make sure there's something he/she can have, and will help guide the mom and child through the offered snacks to show what's ok and go through ingredients if they want to know for sure.
And I would never host a toddler party in a fast food restaurant, I was truly shocked when I once saw a bunch of daycare toddlers aged 1-3 'throwing a party' at a hamburger restaurant...
My ds, who would sometimes go on outings with his preschoolclass, would never eat fastfood hamburgers or fries, unfortunately that was what they were planning for outdoor lunch, and they did not want to make an exception for him, they would not order a meal he would eat, I should not have him bring food from home, reason for refusal: 'all the kids will want a different food, too', so my child should basically stay hungry while everyone eats and until coming home after outdoor 'lunch', because he does not like the junk food they order and we need to pay for grrrr.
Ok, school lunch he did not always eat either, but we just live around the corner, and there would at least always be something at lunch he would eat or could have an extra portion of. But it makes a big difference for a child to have to stay hungry for an extra 30-60 minutes AFTER a busy, active, hunger-provoking outing.
Also, If I know someone who is VERY allergic/sensitive to a certain food and that person may even visit us just once a year, I would make absolutely sure not to have that item in our house.
I think when someone has a genuine reason to bring food, it should not be a problem. And of course adults, when following specific diets, can be more creative around this type of situation in regard to sensitive hosts.
Me:,loving HB,two active sons of 3 & 5,1 cat, nature lover,,extbf,occ,SAHM, multicultural/lingual family,+/-cl, :become a better parent/person by not expecting to be the perfect parent/person