Strategies for Being Candy Smart this Halloween


So it’s that time of year again when us gluten-free folks have to weed through the candy bags before our little minions, witches and ghosts devour something glutenous. For all of you who also have to manage diabetes and/or other food allergies, these festivities can be down-right dangerous.

Many parents also struggle with the fact that not only do they have to deal with reading ingredient labels (which will hopefully be made easier with our Gluten-Free Candy Lists), but also knowing your kids are ingesting a lot of something that is truly, pretty bad for their healing bodies. We won’t go into all the horrible reasons you should avoid candy because most people already know-it has little to no redeeming qualities. However, we also wanted to give you some fun and alternative ideas for this Halloween season to maybe decrease the angst altogether.

Happy Haunting and Be Safe!

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project, which was started by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education). Visit their website to learn more about painting your pumpkins teal this year and supporting children in your neighborhood with food allergies and celiac disease.

Create a type of fake cash for your house and give it a name. For example, “Carter Cash,” or Barberi Bucks.” Then chat with your kids prior to going out and tell them that for every pound of candy they come home with, they will get a certain amount of that family cash to spend on fun things to do in the house (more TV time, or something else you all agree on).

Create the “Switch Witch” in your home. When your kids come home from trick-or-treating, they leave their candy on the porch or somewhere in the house. You make the rules, which is the fun part of this newer tradition. Then overnight, the “Switch Witch” comes and replaces the candy with something non-food related such as school supplies, a craft set, a book, stickers, shiny pennies; money is not necessary to buy something in place of the candy, just creativity. - Save a couple of pieces of candy for them to eat at a later date and then send the rest to the troops. Go to this website to learn more.

Some dentists buy candy from children so check with your local dentists or put in your zip code on this website to find one near you. Candy Buy Backs are not always for cash but toothbrushes or other similar tokens might be traded. 

You can find a local Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop to donate it for them to throw out during local parades in the upcoming months.
Bring leftovers into work, give to neighbors or friends, or I hate to say it, trash it. I’m a conservationist, however, if it means saving other people’s waste-lines and healthy insides, throwing the candy away is sometimes the best alternative.

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