With Halloween just around the corner, many of us have visions of gluten-crazed zombies dancing in our heads. For those trying to eat healthier, Halloween candy is a temptation. For those with food allergies, gluten can be truly scary.
Gluten is a protein found in many grain products, and it can wreak havoc on those with genetic sensitivities. Never fear! As more and more people are diagnosed with celiac disease, there’s been an explosion in the variety of gluten-free snacks available. We’ve rounded up a list of tasty and healthier Halloween treats to pass out to trick-or-treaters, plus gluten-free treats you can safely eat from healthy vending machines long after Halloween is over.
Fruit snacks – kids love ‘em. Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are a favorite with kids, and are even available in individual Halloween snack sizes. All varieties of Welch’s fruit snacks are gluten-free.
Dark chocolate. Need we say more? Okay, we will. It’s heart healthy in moderation – plus moms love it when it comes time to pay the Halloween candy tax!
Nuts are gluten-free, tasty and paleo-friendly. Check with parents about nut allergies before handing them out to kids.
Pumpkin seeds are full of flavor and crunch, and are a tasty source of protein.
Trail mix: The combination of nuts, raisins and a bit of dark chocolate satisfies both sweet and salty cravings. Toss with a handful of popcorn for a flavorful mix.
Dried cranberries and raisins deliver natural sweetness with the added bonus of no added sugar.
Popcorn is a tasty gluten-free option available in many flavors and single-serve packages. For an even healthier take on popcorn, look for non-GMO corn and check the ingredients list for flavor additives.
Gluten-free pretzels. We bet you weren’t expecting to see pretzels on the list, but certain brands, such as Snyder’s of Hanover, offer gluten-free pretzels that pack plenty of flavor. Added bonus, pretzels are low in fat.
HealthyYOU Vending operators Pete Ambrosino and Terrie Matz became experts at stocking their healthy vending machines with gluten-free treats when Terrie was diagnosed with a gluten allergy. Begin watching the video below at 4:30 to learn how they have been able to accommodate their customer’s dietary needs.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness updates an extensive gluten-free candy list each year for Halloween. Always read the manufacturers label or check with the manufacturer for the most up-to-date and accurate information. The information and links contained in this article are not intended as medical advice.