Halloween Tips for Kids with Celiac

Published on in GI Updates

When most people hear ‘Halloween’, ‘candy’ tends to be a word that follows. But for many kids, in particular those with a celiac disease, Halloween can be tricky.

Janel Steinhoff, RDN, LDN, a clinical dietician with the Center for Celiac Disease and the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), shares some tips to help families.

Have a plan

We know how much kids tend to look forward to putting on their costume and going trick-or-treating. While there are still many gluten-free candy options, it’s important to establish a plan before heading out. For example, a family may consider establishing an exchange program with their child so they can swap their non-gluten free candies for something else when they get home. For families with younger children, we also recommend packing some gluten-free snacks while trick-or-treating so that when the temptation to dig into the candy bag arises, they have something to pick on.

Check ingredients

Families of kids with celiac disease know how important it is to read labels and check ingredients. When it comes to candy, there are many gluten-free options available. But, parents should still make sure to always check the labels and read the ingredients, as seasonal items may vary. There are also several resources available online to help identify gluten-free candy, like this "Gluten-free Halloween Treats List" from the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Have fun

When people think of Halloween, one of the first things that comes to mind is candy! But we try to remind families that they can still make Halloween fun and memorable by putting the emphasis on other Halloween and fall activities, like painting pumpkins, picking out costumes, hiking and apple picking.

Contributed by: Natalie Solimeo