Halloween, one of everyone’s favorite times of year, is just around the corner. And so are all the candies your kids can’t eat. Never fear, here are a few tips to help your kids enjoy All Hallow’s Eve.
1. Safe Candy
Sure Foods Living, a wonderful gluten-free blog by Alison St. Sure, is always a great resource for the do’s and don’t of gluten-free Halloween candy for those of us who are riddled with food intolerances and allergies.
I don’t know about your kids, but dyes affect both of my kids in the form of nausea. At the end of the night when the kids are horse-trading candy with their friends, we move all candies containing dyes to the “trade” pile.
Lots of children dealing with Celiac Disease and gluten issues also deal with an over-production of yeast in their systems, which can take the form of Candida. I know it sounds like slaying a dragon with a flyswatter, but you can help by re-focusing Halloween onto less sugary endeavors. This is one of the reasons we throw a kid’s Halloween Party each year. The candy we do have is always gluten-free and there is not an abundance of it. There is, however, tossing of bean bags, catching of mini candy bars in a plastic bucket duct-taped to the children’s waists (try this - it’s really fun), and eye-ball in a spoon races.
4. Fun in the Kitchen
Pizza making, using gluten-free rice tortillas, can be a great way to enjoy Halloween fun and nutrition at the same time. Using bloody tomato sauce beneath Daiya non-diary cheese, olives for eyes and red peppers for scars, your kids can produce a work of art they can eat with devilish abandon. Throw in Hard-Boiled Egg Spiders and you’ve got a bit of protein to boot. A sweet, but not overly sugary item to bake with your kids is Pumpkin Spice Cookies, because really, if you eliminate all sugar on this favorite fall day, your kids might chase you with pitchforks.
5. Give Back
My nine year old delights in handing candy out to kids. He does a lap or two around the neighborhood with his friends, but then he always comes back and hands out candy with me. Getting your kids to refocus from the receiving to the giving allows them to take a break from all the stuff they shouldn’t be eating anyhow, while experiencing the joy of other little expectant faces when placing treats in their bags.
6. The Set-Up
If your kids have horrible reactions to sugar and dyes, take the opportunity to touch base with your neighbors, giving them a few diet appropriate packaged items (pretzels, energy bars) to hand out to your child. You could supply them with a little box with a dollar in it, or a small toy. This way, they get a treat AND a trick, and they’re none the wiser.
7. The Giveaway
Most schools have a candy drive where kids bring in all their leftover candy, which is shipped to our troops overseas. It’s a great way to purge and feel good about supporting our military. If your school doesn’t have such a program, set one up of your own!
Wishing you a Happy and safe Halloween!