Kids love celebrating Halloween. It is one of the most 'fun' celebrations of the year – right up there with Easter and Christmas. Why? Is it dressing up in ghoulish costumes, or carving out funny faces with pumpkins? No – it is because of the chocolates, candy and sweets that they will get!! For kids with celiac disease, though, Halloween can be a difficult time as they may not wonder why they can not eat all the candy that their friends eat.
Luckily, Halloween celebrations are getting easier as there is lots of gluten free candy and sweets on the market, and with a little bit of research and preparation (which can be fun!!) your child will have the best time ever.
Why not host your own Halloween Party and invite all your children's friends over and then you can 'control' what food is served. Your children can research gluten free recipes from the net and you can have a cooking day where they can help cook the food. They may become little “Halloween Masterchefs”. Some recipes that sound like great fun are:
Gluten free Caramel Corn; Deviled Ghoul Eggs;
Chocolate Brownie or Ghoul Cup cakes
It is suggested that you have a 'shopping malls' visit and select lollies that are gluten free. Fortunately, many major candy manufacturers such as Hershey, Cadbury and Nestle produce great gluten free candy. Just because it is not marked 'gluten free' does not mean it may not be gluten free. Look at the ingredients listed. Reading and understanding labels. Get your children to make a list and then when the “Trick or Treating” is under way your child will know what to bargain with and what to give away!!
When the children arrive for the Halloween party, all dressed up in costume, you can start having a few gluten free snacks available for them to eat, and you can play a few games to set the mood. Why not get them to 'dress” up some gluten free marshmallows on an icy pole stick with funny faces?
Dads can become involved and accompany the children trick or treating whilst the ladies (moms) can stay behind and enjoy a little bit of piece and quiet before the goblins return with all their treats.
Greet the returning goblins (with their pillow cases filled with lollies/candy), with hot chocolate (if it is cold where you live) or a nice cool lemonade (colored with a little bit of food coloring would be fun!!) if you live in an area that is hotter.
Then let the trading begin. Get all the kids to dump all their candy on the floor into stacks, sort it and then they can start negotiating. This way you (the parents) can identify any non-gluten free sweets or candy and put them into a different pile. You will be amazed how many lollies or sweets out there are gluten free.
As a back up – always have some spare gluten free sweets or candy in your own pantry that you might be able to trade with your child (or any other child that is a celiac) if they do get some non-gluten lollies.
If your child is going to a friend's Halloween party then, apart from ensuring that there is some food available for them to eat (Celiac Children invited to a Party), get them to take along some gluten free sweets that they can eat at the party and get your child to bring home all their sweets and then you can have fun at home dividing them up into different stacks.
Please, as always, double check the ingredients of each candy, sweet or piece of chocolate before your child eats them. Ingredients can change year from year so just because they were gluten free last year does not mean that they are this year.
Gluten free Caramel Corn
Homemade caramel corn is buttery, crunchy, sweet and best of all it's naturally gluten free. It is an easy treat you can make at home that will be a delicious snack for your Halloween Party.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 5 quarts fresh popcorn
- 1/2 cup agave syrup OR light corn syrup
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250°
- Pop 5 quarts of popcorn and place in a large roasting pan.
- Put butter, sugar, agave syrup OR corn syrup and cream of tartar in a saucepan. On medium heat, stir the mixture to melt the butter and prevent it from burning.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Add vanilla and baking soda and stir the mixture well.
- Carefully pour this mixture over the popcorn. Gently stir to thoroughly coat the popcorn.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove and pour on a large baking sheet to cool. Use a spatula to separate the warm clumps.
Cool caramel corn completely. Caramel Corn can be made a few days before Halloween and can can be frozen in tightly sealed containers. Bring to room temperature to serve.
Deviled Ghoul Eggs
Choose between candy or fresh cooked eggs!! Of course you would like to provide some good old fashion healthy food for your little goblins, witches or wizards to eat at Halloween.
Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
- 12 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/3 cup gluten free mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons prepared gluten free mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 24 black olives
- 1 ounce of white cheddar cheese that you can stuff in the black olives
- 3 cucumber slices
- 1 peeled carrot
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and scoop yolks into a bowl.
- Use a fork to finely mash the yolks.
- Add mayonnaise, prepared mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Use a spoon to blend all ingredients into a smooth mixture.
- Use a melon ball scoop to place a rounded ball of egg filling on each egg white.
- Cut cheese in small sticks to fit in each olive. Stuff cheese inside olives and cut olives in half. These are the ghoul eyes.
- Carefully use a knife (or vegetable peeler) to slice long, thin carrot strips. These are used to make the ghoul mouths.
- Cut cucumber slices in small wedges. These are used to make the ghoul noses.
- Lightly sprinkle with smoked paprika.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.