You know what’s spooky? Trying to manage food allergies or celiac disease on Halloween. But increasingly, companies are catering to customers with dietary restrictions so you and your family can enjoy the season safely, even if there are certain foods you have to avoid.
When it comes to food allergies, the most common allergens are to these eight ingredients, which are often referred to as the “top 8:” wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. For celiac disease, a trick-or-treater would need to avoid gluten, the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. We did some digging and found 10 candy options for Halloween night that are safe for visiting ghosts and goblins, even those that have certain dietary restrictions. Read on to see which of these might work for your family.
Before you shop, though, note this one very important caveat: no matter what, always read the label yourself in case anything has changed with the manufacturing process or because some companies may change ingredients depending on whether it’s a full-size or fun-size item or even from one manufacturing plant to another. Finally, if your child has a food allergy or celiac disease, teach them that if they’re given candy without a label on it that they should trade it with a friend for something else or toss it, even if they’re 99% sure the candy is okay, because the goal is to have a frightfully fun night, not a truly scary one.
Dum Dums Lollipops
Dum Dums are free of gluten as well as seven of the top eight allergens. There are trace amounts of soy oil in these but the soy oil has been refined, bleached, and deodorized and all of the proteins have been removed, so it should be safe for most soy allergic individuals (ask your allergist first!). Dum Dums takes their responsibility to their customers seriously and even contacts their ingredient suppliers to make sure there’s no chance of contamination with gluten or other allergens, so feel confident when you pick up a bag of these sweet treats that you’re in good hands.
These chewy, flavor-filled treats are gluten-free as well as top 8 free. Not to mention totally irresistible!
This hip business is a dream for anyone with a food intolerance or allergy. The company makes their gourmet candy in house, all of which is proudly gluten-free, top-8 free and free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Not only that, but they welcome questions about their food, so go ahead and stock up on Halloween treats and goodies for the holiday season today!
These classic, mouth-puckering hard candies are free of all top-8 allergens except soy which is present in the form of soy lecithin. Though no gluten is listed in the ingredients, they are not listed on Hershey’s gluten-free list, so avoid if you have celiac disease.
Another fantastic independent online company, Surf Sweets’ delicious gummies are gluten-free and top-8 free. They’re also made without artificial colors or flavors and are corn syrup free, too. Seven of their products (Fruity Bears, Sour Berry Bears, Sour Worms, Fruity Hearts, Peach Rings and Watermelon Rings) are vegan.
Strangely addictive, these cute ‘n’ chewy red fishies can put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces. They’re top-8 and gluten-free, too, so they’re a great Halloween option.
Sour Patch Kids
Made by the same company that produces Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids are, like their fish siblings, gluten-free and top-8 free.
These yummy lollipops are gluten-free, egg-free, peanut-free and tree-nut free. They do contain soy and milk, but if your kid is cleared to eat those items, they can finally answer the age-old question, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Divvies.com was started by the mother of a food-allergic child, and the company’s aim is to make egg-free, dairy-free and treenut and peanut-free treats for kids to eat, enjoy and share. They’re entirely vegan and are baked in the company’s own dedicated facility. Divvies also conducts routine testing to minimize the risk of any cross-contamination in their certified allergen-free ingredients. Note: their products do contain soy and gluten.
Parents love this brand because all their products are vegan and free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and are all gluten-free, too. Kids love ‘em because they taste great and come in fun shapes, like these Chocolate Coffins. And anyone hankering for a peanut butter cup who can’t eat nuts should absolutely try the brand’s Peanot Butter Halloween Pumpkin Cups. Soy is present, however, so soy allergic individuals should steer clear.
And come October 31st, don't be surprised if you see a teal pumpkin or two on your rounds instead of orange. Those homes are part of the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)'s Teal Pumpkin Project, and they've painted a pumpkin blue to show that they’ve pledged to provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters (think stickers, temporary tattoos, cute erasers, and more), which is an awesome and inclusive way to celebrate the day.