Things I Wish They Gave Out Trick-or-Treating
Comments (3)Posted by Erica Dermer
As a former chubby, sugar-obsessed youth, Halloween was my absolute favorite. Not only could you dress up as something fun and creative, but also by the end of the night you came home with sacks of chocolate and candy. I spent hours meticulously sorting through all of my winnings – organizing based on type and brand, just knowing they would satiate some craving during the days after October 31st.
However, as an adult with celiac disease and other food sensitivities, I don’t envy those children running around with sacks of candy anymore.
As a celiac (much like someone with food allergies would do), I have to pour over every label, studying the manufacturing processes of the item over and over again to assure its safety. So this Halloween, I need to be thankful that I won’t have to deal with a sack full of unknowns. I would worry that the smaller items (like fun size candy bars) wouldn’t have the full nutritional, ingredient list, or allergen panel on them, so I’d probably have to look up every single one online. Unlabeled candy? Forget about it. That would be too much of a risk. I’m sure at least 3/4 of the bag would be utterly untouchable – given to the neighbors or put out at the office candy dish.
Luckily, things do seem to be shifting towards our favor. With so many children with food allergies, food sensitivities, and/or celiac/NCGS, people are opting to give out non-food treats so everyone can have fun this Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project is just one example of the changing landscape of Halloween for those with food allergies.
However, as an adult, I’m still envious that there’s a holiday that people receive free things from neighbors just for dressing up (the most fun part of Halloween). Here are some things I wish were given out as “treats” this Halloween, so we didn’t have to deal with so many tricks in our Halloween bags after October 31st!
1. Organic and Allergen-Friendly Treats
Browsing the aisles at Whole Foods or my natural grocer this time of year gives me hope that there can be candy made by people who care about ingredients. These fully labeled allergen-friendly treats are great for Halloween…and every other month after that.
- Yummy Earth Organics/Naturals Sour Beans, Organic Lollipops, and Gummy Bears – individually wrapped for Halloween
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Cups – individually wrapped for Halloween
- Surf Sweets – individually wrapped for Halloween
- Enjoy Life Foods crunchy cookies – individually packaged
2. Floss and/or a Toothbrush
I know, as a child I hated the houses that gave me free oral hygiene items. “But tonight’s about candy,” I would protest. However, my cavities as a child told me that I should have probably been more thankful for those houses (probably occupied by dentists). Good oral hygiene is something that should be practiced regularly – especially if you have to deal with the ramifications of celiac disease (enamel loss, etc.). We should probably advocate for more of these types of “treats” instead.
3. Gluten-Free Food Coupons
There is nothing more exciting than finding a gluten-free or food-allergy-friendly coupon in the newspaper or online. I’m sure you’re like me – hoarding these precious coupons like they were a treasure themselves. Even though the true value of a coupon is only 1/100th of a cent, saving $1.00 off of my Daiya dairy-free cheese or Udi’s bread or Enjoy Life Foods cookies far surpasses the face value.
What are you passing out this Halloween? Also, what do you wish came home in your child’s (okay, or your own) trick-or-treat bag?