I love black cats, pumpkins, and kids in adorable costumes, but I hate Halloween. As the parent of a child with food allergies, it is truly a terrifying holiday. I know that some parents of children with diabetes feel the same way. Because… how do you keep your child safe when sugar and allergens are everywhere?
Last year the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) launched a national campaign, the Teal Pumpkin Project™, that raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season by encouraging families to give out non-food items, such as stickers, to children with food allergies.
My favorite solution, however, that doesn’t keep my son from missing out on (a very limited amount of) candy, is to map out a trick or treating route ahead of time. I talk to my neighbors and let them know my child has a food allergy. In the past, I’ve provided treats (without my son’s knowledge) to neighbors so they (and I) can feel safe when they hand my son candy.
Whether you have food allergies in the family or just want to have allergen free food available for trick-or-treaters, the following list provides you with 8 options for allergy friendly Halloween candy. Just remember that manufacturers can change ingredients at any time, so always read labels and double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only. Those with diabetes should always check labels as well. If ingredients change, carbohydrate counts may also change. *These items are not low carb.*
1. Gimbal’s candies are peanut-free, tree nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free. And to top it off, they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup. With 41 flavors of gourmet jellybeans, you really can’t go wrong. The mini sampler pack comes with four different candies and the snack-size pouches are perfect for trick or treaters.
2. Amanda’s Own Confections started making chocolate that is totally dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free, egg free and gluten free for their daughter and she
loved it. They shared their chocolate with friends who have children with food allergies and the response was overwhelmingly positive, so they decided to offer these treats to everyone. Check out their Chocolate Pumpkins and Happy Halloween Chocolate Bar.
3. Surf Sweets Gummy Bears are made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners and are fortified with Vitamin C. They contain no artificial colors or flavors, no corn syrup, they’re free of the 10 most common allergies, made in a nut free facility, and dairy, casein, and soy free. These small bags are an ideal treat for trick or treaters.
4. Looking for chocolate scaredy cats or chocolate coffins complete with mummies, Premium Chocolatiers has the cutest allergy free Halloween candy around. Their products are suitable for those with allergies to milk, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and gluten. They’re also suitable for vegans. Premium Chocolatiers creates their milk free and nut free chocolates using a signature blend of roasted cocoa beans and cocoa butter- no shortenings, or coatings. Each piece of their lactose free, vegan chocolates is hand crafted.
5. Glee Gum is produced by Verve, an independent, certified woman-owned business, dedicated to linking world communities and creating environmentally and socially responsible products. Verve is based in Providence, RI, in a newly rehabbed, solar-powered building.
Verve’s products include Glee Gum and Glee Gum Pops. Glee Gum does not contain any of the eight major food allergens: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soybeans. However, soy is present in the facility where Glee Gum is made. Glee Gum is also non-GMO. Perfect for Halloween, Glee Gum Pops come packed with 10 pops in a mix of three flavors: Sweet Strawberry, Crisp Green Apple, and Juicy Orange.
6. Divvies specialty chocolates are hand molded in their own dedicated bakery using their unique blend of gourmet semi sweet chocolate. The Sandler family founded Divvies because their youngest son, Benjamin, can’t eat anything that has even a trace amount of peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs. Knowing that there are millions of Benjamins out there, Mark Sandler, an entrepreneur and owner of a successful business and his wife Lori, who spent 13 years as a marketing and communications executive, turned their complete attention to the creation of Divvies. Divvies cookies, popcorns, and cupcakes are made in the company’s-own dedicated facility where no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or milk enter the doors. [Note: their baked goods are NOT gluten free.] Divvies candies, frosting, and sprinkles are certified by their manufacturers to be peanut-free, tree nut-free, milk-free, and egg-free and are packaged in Divvies Bakery. Divvies conducts routine testing to minimize the risk of any cross-contamination in their certified allergen-free ingredients. For Halloween, try Divvies chocolate bats and ghosts (contain soy)
7. Spangler, maker of Dum Dums pops, is one of the most affordable options for allergen free candies. A 120 count box of Dum Dums is available for $4.40. Dum Dums Original Pops do not contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat or gluten. They have been manufactured on dedicated equipment. Another Spangler choice is Saf-T-Pops. These pops have a specially engineered cord loop handles meant for little hands.
Note: There is a trace amount of soy oil in the lubricant used cooking kettles. This soy oil has been refined, bleached, and deodorized and all of the proteins have been removed.
8. Indie Candy specializes in gourmet candies that are naturally allergen free, and confections are created in-house. There is a terrific selection of Halloween candy, including jack-o-lantern gummies (corn-free version), and a life-size edible gummy brain. Best of all, you can search the Indie Candy site by allergy, which makes shopping so much simpler.
Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time, so always read labels and double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only.