Healthy Gluten-Free Options for Halloween

By | Oct 27, 2011

Halloween CandyParents may have different concerns depending on their child’s dietary needs, but one thing they all fear is the onslaught of sugar on Halloween night. Gluten-free or not, Halloween candy yields little nutritional value, and having kids haul a pillowcase full of chocolate, taffies and bubblegum into the house is an invitation for overindulging.

It may be tough to peel your child away from their favorite gluten-free candy, but by offering some creative and healthy Halloween treats, you can help your child maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Here are some ideas:

Set a good example

It’s hard to tell your child to take it easy on the candy when you’re handing out the sweet stuff. Opt for mini bags of gluten-free snacks like Froose Gummies, which offer a good source of fiber, or Kay’s Naturals, which are packed with protein. Bags of microwave popcorn are another healthy and gluten-free option (just don’t buy the ones loaded with butter!)

You can also go the non-food route and hand out things like glow sticks or festive erasers, as one parent noted.

Play with your food

You eat with your eyes first, so make it a festive scene. Try making a Taco Dip Dragon or Haunted Forest Platter  to entice your child with some real food. Remember to make the necessary swaps to ensure it’s gluten-free. (Peel a zucchini into strips to replace the spaghetti!).

Pump up dessert

Give brownies a healthy boost by making them with pumpkin puree. Best of all, you can still use a gluten-free box mix! Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Brownies. If you’re not a fan of pumpkin, try mixing in applesauce or black beans instead.

Repurpose your sweets

Candy doesn’t have to be enjoyed straight out of the wrapper. Crumble a peanut butter cup over low fat yogurt, or melt a chocolate bar and drizzle it over some sliced apples. The kids will still be eating sweets, but they’ll be part of a “better for you” treat. Plus, it’s a chance for your gluten-free child to help in the kitchen.

For a list of Gluten-Free Candy, visit CeliacCentral.org.

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