Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Candy Round-up

I was hoping to go shopping for holiday candy ideas before today, but as usual, life had other plans. The human whirlwind is on the couch with a sore throat, I hosted one party Saturday night, I’m hosting a party tonight, I have family coming into town on Wednesday (not staying here – staying at my parents’, but we’ll still spend most of our time together)… you know how crazy things get this time of year.

So I didn’t get a chance to do much in the way of candy shopping. So I’m going to list a few things here that I found, but I’m hoping the wonderful readers of this blog will post other “finds” so that we can all save some trips and some brain cells looking for those last-minute treats.

One great member of UFAN wrote to tell me this good news: “I found candy canes at Walmart by Spangler Candy Company that say ‘This product does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat or gluten. It has been manufactured on dedicated equipment.’” I LOVE it when manufacturers go the extra mile to be proactive. So if you’re hunting for candy canes, support this company! Their website says the equipment contains a trace amount of soy oil, but that the oil is processed to be free of proteins, so read the allergen statement on the website for the exact wording and make your own decision accordingly if you're soy-allergic: Spangler Candy Company Candy Canes.

If you’re not fond of peppermint, I’ve also found that some of the fruit-flavored candy canes are safe, so check labels carefully and you may find some that tickle your fancy.

If you’re looking for chocolate, try the great online vendors that make our allergic lives a little sweeter, like:
Vermont Nut Free
Amanda’s Own Confections
Chocolate Emporium (This site has both Christmas and Hanukkah chocolates)

I also heard that Walmart in Layton is now carrying the complete line of Enjoy Life! Foods, including the Choco Choco Boom chocolate bars. (They have crisped rice in them, so they’re like Nestle’s Crunch bars). Enjoy Life! Foods are free of the top 8 allergens, and I haven’t found these chocolate bars anywhere else, so this is good news! I haven’t been to Walmart to check it out myself, though, so let me know if you find them there.

If you’re only avoiding nuts, some Hershey’s kisses are safe this year, but some of the flavored ones aren’t – check the packaging carefully. I’ve bought the caramel, the dark, and the cherry cordial flavored kisses, but the peppermint and some others aren’t safe because they’re made in a different factory.

Looking for one of those fun ornaments filled with candy? My son received a “Smarties Chewies” tin ornament ball that doesn’t contain any of the Top 8. A Nerds Rope is fun for a stocking stuffer, as are the usual standbys like Starbursts and Skittles.

Okay, that’s my starter list. Anyone have any great finds that are fun, different, unexpected, or holiday-themed? Share with us!

And one last thing… Since candy tends to be everywhere this time of year, especially in little bowls on the service desks of just about everywhere you go, including dentists, car repair shops, and boutiques, you might tuck a few safe candies in your purse or coat pocket to stave off a temper tantrum when your little one gets offered a treat and you have to decline. You’ll be the coolest parent around if you can whip out a safe treat to offer instead. Yeah, I know, candy isn’t a healthy treat, but it’s the holiday season, right?


Infant Bibliophile said...

I buy the boom choco boom bars at Whole Foods in Salt Lake City (just bought one for each of our stockings tonight!). I probably won't need much more candy than that; my son is only 2. I got a bag of starburst brand jelly beans for my husband's stocking. I may place a couple of dum-dums in my son's. I thought about getting the Spangler candy canes too, but we still have a lifetime supply of dum-dums and smarties to get through from Halloween, and he'll be happy with stickers and little books. We had our first experience of him wanting cake he couldn't have at a birthday party last weekend (usually he doesn't care much about food). He was perfectly delighted when I whipped out a pack of smarties instead, which I just had by luck in my purse. Definitely going to take your advice and start carrying them as rule.

Infant Bibliophile said...

PS I keep hearing about divvies and was excited to try them, but saw that they contain a "may contain wheat" warning, so they're out for us.

-Lynn (2 year old son is allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, sesame, and nuts).

Valerie said...

Just found your site - so cool!

My 8-year-olds twins can't have gluten or dairy. The other day they got candy canes from Santa, and when I saw that they were Spangler, I told them they could keep them. One said to me, "Mom, we get to keep so many candy canes this year!" Yay for Spangler and for all the grocery stores carrying them!

Kelley J. P. Lindberg said...

So glad you all posted! Thanks for the ideas and for sharing your experiences!