Having Celiac Disease or a gluten intollerance as an adult is inconvenient, but when you have a gluten free child, whatever the reason, it can be down right heart breaking.  Especially when the holidays roll around.  They just want to be able to be a kid, like their friends.

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I’d give you some tips, recipes, and gluten-free candy options to help you with your little ones celebration.

When you are choosing your halloween candy to hand out to the little ghosts and goblins, be sure to buy only those that are gluten free.  That way you don’t have to worry if your little trick or treater comes home with only gluten laden candy, or candy that is questionable.  Besides, if your household is anything like mine, we all have a hard time keeping our hands out of the treat basket.  😉

Make sure your child knows and understands not to eat anything from his or her treat bag until they get home.  Not only is this a good policy to keep your child gluten free, it is also just good sense, in this day and age of “bad guys”.

Check out the treats.  When your child gets home from trick or treating, make a game out of going through the “booty”.  Make a pile for candy known to be gluten free, a pile for candy known NOT to be gluten free, and a pile for candy that you just aren’t sure of.  It may or may not be gluten free.  If you want to take the time you can contact the manufacturer, give it away, or just throw it out.

Remember the old adage:  “When in doubt, throw it out”, because nothing is more important that keeping your child healthy and safe.

Keep it positive.  I know from experience how easy it is to get angry and depressed about not being able to eat the foods that you know and love, but that don’t love you back.  If your child is on a gluten free diet chances are pretty good that he or she will remain on that diet the rest of their lives.  Now is the time to teach them that it’s not the end of the world.  Yes, there are some restrictions, and they will always have to be diligent, but new and better tasting gluten free foods are coming out everyday.  If you show a positive attitude your child will too.

Over the next week I will be telling you about popular candy that is gluten free and also giving you recipes that are gluten free that can be used for school parties or your own Halloween Ghoul Party.

Here’s one such recipe:

Halloween Haystacks

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 (11 oz.) package butterscotch chips
  2. 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 (12 0z.) jar dry roasted peanuts (optional)
  4. 1 (4 02.) package of (gluten free) potato sticks

How to make the Haystacks

Place the chips into a large heavy saucepan.  Add the peanut butter to the pan and place the pan over low heat.  Stir constantly and heat the mixture for 5 minutes or until very smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanuts until well coated.  Add the potato sticks and carefully stir to coat them well with the mixture.  Line a pan with wax or parchment paper and drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls onto the paper.  Chill the haystacks until firm.

These sweet and salty stacks will have them begging for more.  For school treats wrap tightly in plastic and tie with a Halloween bow.  If you want a more peanut butter cup flavor, substitute semisweet chocolate chips in place of the butterscotch chips.

Hope you and your little goblins enjoy them.

Mary Blackburn

Living Gluten Free