Finding the right candy for Halloween and all those holidays in between!
When you have digestive problems, one of the hardest things to adjust to is celebrating holidays that revolve around food. This month’s post is dedicated to Halloween – that time of year in the states when we get loads and loads of candy!
Of course, candy around this time of year typically isn’t that different from the ones you see regularly in grocery stores. So unless you miss having candy sold to you in orange and black wrappers, this guide can help you throughout the year.
1) Assess your inflammation level.
If you are having a bad day, don’t just eat sweets because you can. A lot of the time, certain foods like nuts and corn trigger digestive problems, even if you are not sensitive or allergic to them.
2) Check the label of your make-up, face-paint, and/or fake blood!
Make-up can have gluten or oils made with allergens, so make sure to read the label before you place a potential trigger all over your face.
3) Be cautious, but courteous, when given handmade sweets.
People mean well, but they don’t always understand how certain types of food can trigger inflammation. And for those of you with allergies, be sure your treat comes from a kitchen that doesn’t have cross-contamination issues.
4) Don’t trust the “_____-Free” label.
Always, always, always read the full ingredients list! Also look for the little note at the bottom that will let you know if the candy factory is made in an allergy-free facility. Never overlook the possibility of cross-contamination!
5) When in doubt, divvy it out.
If after you follow reminders #1-3 and you still don’t think that a candy will be good for you, don’t take the chance. Unless you are under direct supervision and have permission from your doctor(s), you don’t want to test your limits. I’ve had seconds where I thought, “I’ll just have a bite” that turned into days of agony. Give the candy to your family member or friends who don’t have inflammation issues.
6) Make your own treats!
It does take time, but you could make your very own treats to ensure that you have a fun dessert too!
Websites with ideas so awesome it’s scary: http://foodallergies.about.com/od/multiallergenfreerecipes/tp/Allergy-Free-Halloween-Recipes.htm
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=119 (read full instructions for substitutions)
7) Find safe candies.
Here are two awesome websites that try to keep up to date with what manufacturers use in typical Halloween candy. These are by no means a replacement for checking the ingredients level, but it should help you narrow down trigger foods:
a) List of Candies and their Allergens:
b) Gluten-Free Candy: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshopping/a/GFcandies.htm
c) Online grocery stores that have allergy-free candy:
8) Host an Allergy-Free Halloween Party.
Host a safe Halloween haven for kids (or adults) with allergy or trigger food issues! You could make it a party at your house or do it block-party style! If you’re looking to organize a large event, be sure to reach out to your community leaders and local vendors. Often times they’ll be willing to help with your Halloween party, especially if it’s for a good cause.
Links to get you started:
In the end, it’s important to remember that your inflammation issues shouldn’t prevent you from having a fun Halloween! You just have to be willing to compromise and seek out safe candy.
PS – I am not a medical professional. Any treats that you choose to consume are make are done at your own risk
PPS – ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!!!!!!