Just imagine, your child is all dressed up in their Halloween costume. They have spent the last several hours with their friends, going door to door getting candy and treats from people in your neighborhood. Everywhere they look there are pumpkins, witches and Jack-o-lantern. They’ve been watching Halloween cartoons on television for weeks and Halloween candy is all anyone in school can talk about.
Gluten-Free Alternatives for Halloween
Now just imagine that they get home with their bag full of Halloween candy and you take half of it away from them. This is what happens to many children with food allergies and gluten intolerance. Much of the traditional candy given out for Halloween is not safe for kids with food allergies. After years of dealing with food allergies, I have come up with some gluten-free alternatives for Halloween.
- Non candy treats. You don’t have to give out candy. There are a lot of non candy treats that my kids would have been thrilled with growing up. Try stickers, pencils, spider rings, rub on tattoos or erasers.
- Healthy Halloween treats. Again, candy doesn’t have to be the only choice for Halloween. Raisins and dried cranberries come in individually wrapped boxes. You can also get individually wrapped bags of pretzels, popcorn and pistachios.
- Healthy candy. There are many organic brands of candy that are marketed for food allergies including gluten intolerance. These choices tend to be free of artificial preservatives which cause allergic responses in many children. A few gluten-free choices we enjoy are products from Surf Sweet and Yum Earth Organics. Check websites for up to date information on what is and is not allergy friendly as ingredients to change over time.
- Traditional candy that is gluten-free. If you want to give out traditional candy, there are several gluten-free choices. Be aware that they may contain other ingredients that are a concern to some parents. A few gluten-free choices we have used in the past are Smarties (in the US), Ring Pops, Jelly Bellies, 3 Musketeers and Raisinets. Verify on each website that these are still gluten-free at the time you buy them.
Whether your child has to deal with food allergies or intolerances or not, children in your neighborhood may have to. Save parents a few tears by choosing candy or treats that are gluten-free. Since this is becoming more and more of an issue each year, it’s wonderful to have an alternative.