Students in my preschool class, and some of my seminar attendees (parents) want to know what to do about CANDY. Some of them want to know if it's whole food, and how much to allow their children to swallow.
But outside of the question of chemicals and sugars, if you've Celiac Disease, candy can be a minefield. ...because heaps of it, being processed, is full of malts, malt syrups, wheat crunches, and any other scramble of gluten you can imagine.
When I lived in the States as a 6-9 year old, I loved Kit-Kats. Each Halloween, I traded friends and siblings for Kit-Kats (and 3 Musketeers), and wondered why the Musketeers liked me better, though I liked the Kats.
But without digressions, here are some quick "safe" candies you or your kid can crunch if you're Celiac. Afterward, a few substitutes for candy. After all, naturally gluten-free food is safest on a safe-list. And on small tummies torn-up by wheat, often a whole-food and chemical free sweet is safest too (and still delicious).
(Although one of preschoolers told me: "Miss CJ. Apples isn't candy. But they are my favourite." "They're sort of candy," I told her, "They're sweet. But a tree made them instead of a machine." "Nope," she told me, "Candy is only made by machines. Apples isn't."
(This next week, we're going to make our own candy. With our hands. Using apples. But I doubt I'll change her mind. At least not on terms. I will change her experience though.)
Safe Candy (both free-from gluten and made on safe equipment):
Smarties! (my preschoolers love these -- and they're made in an exclusively gluten-free environment)
Indie Candy (made in top allergen-free facility)
Organic or Low-Processed Safe Candy Brands:
Annie's Fruit Snacks
Surfin' Sweets - Free of all top 10 allergens, these gummy treats are sweet sans chemicals, and gluten.
Enjoy Life -- Chocolate bars! Even as good as Crunch Bars. Rice Crisp Chocolate Bar, Dark Chocolate Bar, Mini Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Chunks
|Choc Sunflower Seed
Recipe on Enjoy LifeWeb Site!
Yummy Earth Lollies
SunCups! (oy, better than Reese's, and nut and gluten-free)
Homemade or Alternatives to Candy:
Candied, Chocolate-Covered, Caramel Apples
SunflowerSeed Butter Chocolates (see insert photo ->)
Rock Candy (easy and fun to make with small peeps)
Frozen Grapes (pop them in sparkling cider like eyeballs)
Ghost-Bananas (dip in melted chocolate, chill; then dip in yogurt and freeze! I stick chocolate chips in like eyes after the yogurt)
(click for recipe!)
...and we be bobbin' for apples this All Hallows. Apples poked through with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips!
Candy That DOES Contain Gluten:
( Important note: Most anything on Hershey's or Mar's GF list IS processed alongside wheat.)
CONTINUE ON TO ORIGINIAL BLOG POST FOR FULL LIST
Make it a creative, tumbling free sort of All Hallow's Eve -- for yourself, or the kids in your life. Don't stress over can't-have's. Recovery from Celiac Disease requires fun, and a focus on freedom in food. Focus on the fun! Making something new, sorting out candies that aren't safe to consume, and finding the sweet-spot in playing games, experimenting, and perhaps passing on the candy you can't eat to someone who would enjoy it.
No, kidlet, that ain't gluten-free, I told a child of a client recently. So let's go find something that is. It took the focus right off the can't and restriction -- and most people, not just kids, have fun when they realize they have a huge array of new options.