Halloween is quickly sneaking up......only 11 days away now!! I know that Halloween and Trick-OR-Treating can be a BIG source of stress for parents of kids with food allergies and intollerances. There are lots of ways that you can handle the holiday. Here are a few that I like:
- Following trick or treating sit down and pick out all of the unsafe candy. Set the candy out for a "Candy fairy" and overnight the candy fairy replaces the non gluten free candy with a toy or with a bag of safe candy.
- Again sit down and pick out all of the unsafe candy and "trade" with your child for candy that is safe. Keep in mind that you will have to buy that candy in advance so that you can do the swap right when you get home. That way they don't feel "cheated"
- Allow your trick or treater to go around getting their candy, when they get home trade out the entire bag for a "safe bag" until you can go through it.
- Have a bag of "safe candy" in the car or while you are walking around your neighborhood. That way if your child wants to eat a piece of candy while they are trick or treating, you will KNOW it is safe. It is awfully hard to read those candy labels in the dark and most candy that the kids will be getting is not labeled with ingredients.
The other issue is WHAT CANDY IS SAFE!?!?!!Thankfully there are people out there who keep lists. Bless their little hearts for doing this. It sure saves the gluten free community from having a meltdown! Seriously, candy is important!! Keep in mind that the lists are a guide. You should always double check for yourself by reading the label or calling a company to verify the gluten free status.
Celiac.com's 2011 GF Halloween Candy List: http://www.celiac.com/articles/22704/1/Gluten-free-and-Gluten-safe-Halloween-Candy-2011/Page1.html
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness 2011 Candy list (link goes to a PDF File): http://www.celiaccentral.org/SiteData/docs/NFCAGluten/b722688930c37dce/NFCA_Gluten-Free%20Candy%20List%202011.pdf
I hope that this gives you a couple of ideas so that Halloween can be a less stressful holiday for you and your family!