Tips to help you unwrap the truth about gluten-free Halloween candy and treats.
Guest Post By: Molly Hodul, Dominican University Nutrition Student
As a parent of a gluten-free child, finding yummy, safe Halloween treats can be frightening – not to mention the sugar overload. How can you be sure your child’s goodie bag is really gluten-free? Is there a trick to reading candy labels? Fear not! Here are some devilishly easy tips and festive treats to help you make sure your little gluten-free goblin can join in all of the Halloween fun.
Label Reading: Truth or Dare?
Truth: If a company voluntarily puts a gluten-free claim on their label, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it legally must be. That treat is safe for your child to eat, in moderation of course.
Dare: Companies are not required to make gluten-free claims, so you will need to carefully read the ingredient list. Make sure it does not include any of the following ingredients as they contain gluten: wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. While oats are naturally gluten-free, if they were processed at a plant that uses the same equipment to process wheat, rye or barley, some residual gluten could find its way into the oats. So, unless the label states the oats are gluten-free, your child should avoid candies and sweet treats made with oats.
Not-So-Scary Halloween Candy
Finding gluten-free, kid-friendly Halloween treats does not have to be a hassle or stressful task. The Celiac Disease Foundation recommends the following popular, gluten-free candies for your little trick-or-treater to enjoy:
- Almond Joy
- Butterfinger Bar (original flavor only)
- Charms Blow Pops
- Dubble Bubble
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
- Hershey’s Milk Duds
- Laffy Taffy (including Laffy Taffy Rope)
- M&M’s (plain, chocolate M&M’s)
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (original shape, no seasonal shapes)
- Snickers Bars
- Three Musketeers Bars
- Tootsie Pops
- Tootsie Rolls (chocolate and fruit flavor)
- Wonka Pixy Stix
- York Peppermint Patties
Healthy Halloween Party Treats
Halloween without candy is . . . not likely. Even though your child is having fun, it’s important to incorporate moderation and balance into that crazy sugar binge. Try hosting a trick or treat party and serve some festive, gluten-free goodies such as DIY Pumpkin Seeds and DIY Popcorn Balls. For these and additional healthy Halloween recipes, download my FREE app Eat Healthy Homemade Meals from iTunes or Google Play!