Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! The costumes, the parties, it’s all just so fun. Do you know what’s NOT fun? Accidentally getting “glutened” after eating Halloween treats. Have no fear, Coral is here! Today I’m sharing my top 3 tips for staying gluten-free this Halloween season. (Make sure you are following Serving Celiacs on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for even more holiday tips)
Tip #1: Skip the Candy
Ok, stay with me here. Candy is probably the most traditional Halloween item and I’m not saying you have to skip it all together but here’s the thing: Even if a candy does not have gluten listed in the ingredients or allergens, that does NOT mean it is gluten free. My rule of thumb when something is not certified gluten free is to call the manufacturer and ask them, but who wants to do that for every piece of candy in their kids trick or treat bucket?
There are a few different ideas here for how to skip the candy and still have fun! Amazon has SO many fun trick or treat goodies like puzzles, notepads, pencils, skeleton paratroopers, flashing rings, slap bracelets, bouncing balls, and more! If you really don’t want to skip the candy, find a certified gluten free candy like these hard candies or these gummy bears.
Tip #2: Bring Your Own Food
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I don’t go anywhere without my own snacks! They’re in my purse, my car, my kids backpacks…if there’s ever a natural disaster just come find me and I can probably feed us all. Whenever a friend invites our family over for dinner, I kindly let them know that we would love to and then offer to bring a couple of side dishes that I know will be safe for those of us with Celiacs. And you know what? My friends are always so understanding about it!
This same idea applies to holidays, where food and gathering go hand in hand. If you’re going to an event where food is out but not served, you can eat ahead of time and skip the food when you get there. If it’s more of a sit down event, let them know you are gluten free and see if there are gluten free options available or offer to bring your own food. My kids will have Halloween parties throughout October and I always give the host a pack of my favorite donuts or gluten-free cupcakes for my kids to eat. Having food allergies is hard on a regular day, but especially during the holidays, and I want my kids to be able to participate with the rest of their class.
Tip #3: Sharing is Caring
With the holiday season comes lots of neighbor gifts and treats, and that’s no different during Halloween. Have you ever been “Booed” before? It’s a tradition where a neighbor will anonymously drop off treats on your doorstep with a note saying you’ve been “Booed” and then you keep the fun going by delivering treats to another neighbor… and so on. Not all of our friends and neighbors may be aware that we are a gluten-free household, and even when they make gluten-free things, the risk for cross-contamination is too high for our family.
So what do you do? We certainly don’t want to be rude, so what I typically say is, “Thank you so much for thinking of our family, you are the sweetest and this looks delicious! You may not know, but some of our family members have Celiacs Disease and do not eat any gluten. We won’t be able to eat this, but thank you so much for your love and friendship, and we will make sure this goes to a good home. Then you can deliver it to your neighbor, friend, sister, coworker, where ever! Or you can offer to give it back to the person who brought it over so their family or another family can enjoy it.
Living a gluten-free lifestyle at Halloween can be tricky, but it can be done! How do you stay gluten-free through the holidays?