IE Grapevine Updates

Celiactive: Safe candies for your gluten-free little ones

As we all know, Halloween is quickly approaching, and when that day comes it’ll jump start the year’s Gastro-Obstacle Course!

Isabela Moreno

Isabela Moreno

First stop is Halloween candy!

I loved Halloween as a child. There was no better holiday. I loved the decorations, the night smell, the costumes and most importantly the candy. I remember when I was little I would hide from my mother under the kitchen table with my pillow case o’ candy. I’d sit there all day eating the stuff until she found me. I never learned how to discipline myself.

Nowadays, I will go to the store and I can’t help but stare at the checkout aisle stands. Even while I’m telling myself “no,” I’ll find myself reaching for the nearest candy bar.

It’s almost eerie, like someone acting for me… Obviously, this happens a lot during the Halloween season and sometimes I’m surprised to find that I’ve picked up something I can’t eat.

There were times when trick-or-treating that I’d find Rice Krispies treats in my pillow case. And trust me, I have nothing against Rice Krispies treats — what’s not to love about marshmallow covered, rice goodness?

Nothing except malt flavoring! That’s right, Rice Krispies treats contain malt flavoring. Malt comes from barely which is a source of gluten, making the treats un-digestible for those who have Celiac’s Disease. It’s a sad day for candy.

Beware of licorice! Licorice is a lot like soy sauce because both are made with a large amount of wheat. This goes for all brands including Twizzler, Red Vine, and generic brands.

Milky Ways are also a small source of gluten because they contain malted barely, which is effectively a double dose of gluten.

100 Grand bars are especially depressing to me because they happen to be one of my favorite candy bars. They contain trace amounts of wheat gluten as well as malt and barely in the rice crisp. It’s a loss that I’ll never get over.

KitKats also have contaminate in them. That’s because all wafer candy are made with wheat and therefore contain gluten.

Finally, Crunch Bars follow the route of most candy containing rice crisp. They too are not safe for consumption.

There is good news for candy, however! Many favored and beloved brands of candy are gluten-free.

Nearly all gummy candy are safe. Candy like Starbursts or any Trolli product would fit this bill. They contain gelatin, which is a by-product of the meat and leather industry. While that doesn’t sound too appetizing, we all know how delicious they can be.

Many candy bars are gluten-free too. 3 Musketeers are gluten-free, as well as Toblerone, Snickers, Dove, Butterfinger and many others.

Most chocolate is safe. In fact, candy like Ghirardelli, Hershey’s Kisses and candy bars and M&M’s are fine.

Preztel M&M’s and Crispy M&M’s are not gluten-free, however, so watch out for these. They are both made with wheat, though the crispy kind has been discontinued (still, you never know when Mars might bring “crispy” back).

All these products may have been manufactured with equipment that processes wheat, so always check labels even if you know for sure that a candy is gluten-free.

The number of options for candy is staggering to me. There’s so many different options for us to choose from and even if a brand name isn’t safe, there’s almost always a similar candy that is.

So this Halloween, do not harbor fear for your little trick-or-treater. You won’t be needing to weed through too much of your little one’s candy.

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