By, Heather Stern
As Halloween draws closer, take the opportunity to prepare for an exciting gluten-free celebration by planning ahead. Trick or treating, holiday parties and school festivities can be easy with a few simple steps!
- Use Halloween as a great excuse to spread awareness about celiac, sharing information with neighbors, teachers and friends ahead of time. Though people may know to stay away from cupcakes and cookies, it’s easy to forget that wheat flour can be hidden in some of your everyday treats.
- If you live in a smaller neighborhood, ask people what they are planning to hand out and suggest or provide gluten-free options for your child. If you plan on covering more ground, make sure to pack safe snacks for the evening, and plan to go through their bags together at the end of the night, to ensure safe eating.
- Plan to donate any gluten items to those who are not able to go trick or treating, or swap out with pre-stashed candy at home that are safe to eat.
- Swap candy out for other types of treats, including money, small toys, or “home coupons” like 5 minutes of extra playtime or TV.
- Print out the list of gluten-free candy from our website to share with classroom parents and for teachers to have on hand. Remember that many times, the “fun-sized” candies, which are often used for trick or treating, don’t carry nutrition labels on them! So researching ahead helps for a lot of unanswered questions that may arise that evening. Offer to provide gluten-free versions of recipes to your favorite Halloween sweets, including cookies, pumpkin pies or caramel apple dips-all found through gluten free websites, books and blogs.
- Throw your own Halloween parties with friends so that you know everything served will be safe! Don’t want to go it alone? Check out your local Celiac Support group for ideas, events and new friends!
For more tips on how to have a happy, healthy, gluten-free halloween, check out abcnews.com.