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The “worst” time of year to be a GFCF parent has got to be Hallowe’en.  So many treats, so many pitfalls. We all know our kids shouldn’t eat junk food, but “it’s just one night!” – is the argument you will hear (and possibly have with yourself).  So, what’s a concerned, careful parent to do?

The options, as I see them are as follows:

1.  Refuse to participate in the Hallowe’en candy begging.  This works if your kids have never “done” Hallowe’en and don’t know that they are missing out.

2.  Hallowe’en Fairy – have the kids leave their candy out for the Hallowe’en fairy who magically trades their candy for a coveted toy.  (My kids would rather have the candy)

3.  Sort the candy, once it is home & pick out what is “safe”

4.  Pre-distribute treats to the places you’ll be visiting.

Of the options, I have used both #3 and #4.  The problem with pre-delivering is that you have to stick to a pretty defined list of houses.  In my tiny town, the kids know everyone and like to vary their houses from year to year.  Plus I have to be very organized to help make this one happen.

Sorting the candy works pretty well, except you have to keep them from diving into the bag on the journey.  One way I solved this was to have a small pocketful of approved treats that could be enjoyed en route.  My kids were well trained by then to ask before anything went in their mouths.

Ideas for Approved GFCF Hallowe’en Treats that are annually distributed in our town (not sugar, soy, artificial or anything else free)

Sunmaid Raisins
Coke, Pepsi or other
Juice boxes
Old Dutch Chips (they say “Gluten Free” right on the package!)
Starburst candy
Sour Patch
Nerds & Runts
Jelly Belly jelly beans (but not the unknown kinds!)
Most gum
Jolly Ranchers
Welch’s Fruit Snacks (and they don’t get their cars egged either.  go figure….)

If you want chocolate, you’ll have to look to Enjoy Life for their chocolate bars. They are pricey but so worth it!

There are lists on the internet of safe treats, but often they are just GF, not GFCF.  Also, has anyone actually ever gotten some of those weird candies on Hallowe’en night?  (Except from the creepy, cheap old lady in the house that smells like cats??)  The above list is the real deal Moms & Dads.  My kids get most or all of these things in their treat bag every year.

If you aren’t sure about a treat, my advice is to not feed it to your kids.  Maybe set it aside for grown-up testing….or phoning the company the next day.  You know, whatever works best in your house.