Monday, October 11, 2010

Allergy-Free Candy Corn Hunt 2010

by Kelley Lindberg

It’s time again for the annual candy corn hunt. But first…

Sometimes the best ideas come from kids. I have a dear friend who lives in the Washington D.C. area. Her family keeps Kosher (which brings its own set of food issues to the table each day), and during the Jewish holiday Sukkot (which just finished), her community holds an annual “sukkah hop” where the kids visit a set of predetermined families. At each house, they sit down in a “sukkah” (a structure covered in branches) to have a snack, hear a story or learn about the holiday, then move on to the next one.

This wonderful tradition prompted my friend’s youngest daughter to think of kids with food allergies and trick-or-treating at Halloween. She asked her mom to ask me if I’d write about her suggestion – telling food-allergic families that they could pre-arrange “safe houses” where allergic kids could go trick-or-treating and be certain to get “safe” candy or treats. I think it’s a great idea, and easily accomplished. Thank you, Miriam! It’s people like you that help kids with food allergies feel “normal” and welcomed in this world. We really appreciate you!

Now, for the candy corn news…

Every year, one of the most common questions I hear is: “Where can I find nut-free candy corn?” I have found two sources for nut-free candy corn this year, but they both contain egg, soy, and corn syrup.
  • Kroger brand – sold in Smith’s here in Utah, and possibly in other Kroger stores elsewhere. They sell nut-free candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins, and Autumn Mix. Yummy!
  • Sunrise Confections, labeled with either the Blueberry Hill or Sunrise brand. You can order the Sunrise candy corn from Peanut Free Planet.
  • Dots candy -- Okay, they're not really candy corn, but they're colored like candy corn, and they're milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free, soy-free, and I think gluten-free, so hey, they're worth a shot! I found them at Shopko yesterday!
I’ve been shopping locally for candy to see what types of allergen-free candy we can find in stores. Next week, I’ll post a list of what I found and where I found it. Most of it contains corn syrup and food colorings, of course. So if those are your issues, you’ll probably want to order candy online, and you’ll want to do it this week so it arrives in time for Halloween. There are also some good online resources for Halloween chocolates and gluten-free candy, so this week I’ll focus on online candy sources.
  • Yummy Earth. Yummy Earth candies (lollipops, drops and gummy bears) are corn-free, as well as being free from the big 8, and they use natural colorings and flavorings. They’re sometimes available in health food stores, Toys R Us and Babies R Us, but I don’t know if they’re here in Utah. However, you can buy them online at and on Amazon.
  • Allergies and Me:  This is a great online grocer who sells gluten-free and allergy-friendly products, including candy, including gluten-free licorice twists in several flavors (for those of you who miss Twizzlers!).
  • Amanda’s Own Confections: They offer chocolate in some fun Halloween shapes, as well as jelly beans and other candies, all dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and gluten-free!
  • Divvies: Nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free chocolate ghosts, jelly beans, gummy stars, and chocolate chips! Oh my!
  •  This online grocer sells allergy-friendly foods from several vendors, including Enjoy Life! Foods’ Boom Choco Boom chocolate bars in a variety pack of six bars. (Enjoy Life! Foods are free from the top 8 allergens.) They also sell some candy manufactured in Canada’s nut-free and peanut-free factories, so it’s worth checking out.
  • Vermont Nut Free: Their chocolates are peanut-free and nut-free, but they do have milk and egg warnings on them. Their huge selection of nut-free chocolates includes caramel and chocolate pumpkins, chocolate-covered marshmallows on a stick, and foil-wrapped chocolate shapes (like bats, witches, and ghosts).
  • Chocolate Emporium:  Read the ingredients carefully on this website, but they do offer a lot of allergen-friendly goodies. Call before you order to ensure you get what you need.
  • Peanut Free Planet: This site sells candy from lots of different manufacturers, including Vermont Nut Free and Amanda’s Own. You’ll find chocolate, jelly beans, and all sorts of allergen-friendly groceries. And most importantly, THEY HAVE NUT-FREE CANDY CORN!
  • Oriental Trading Co.: Remember, trick-or-treats bags don’t have to be filled with candy. Oriental Trading Company offers a bazillion (I counted them) novelty toys, many that you can buy in quantities of 50, 144, or more.

Happy shopping!


juliea said...

Thanks, Kelley! Great info!

judith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Also, just came across your blog, (as I am mom to a Feingold Stage 1kid who is also allergic to dairy, eggs, and malt!) and wanted to add this source too - They have wonderful candy choices and the owner is really nice and started this business due to her own allergies, as well as her child's allergies. She makes her own confections in-house as well as carrying the best of the allergen free candies curently on the market, particularly those from independent makers. She has wonderful homemade gummy candies that my kid loves!! And cute halloween suckers too. Just thought I would share. Thanks for the awesome list!

Kelley J. P. Lindberg said...

Thanks for the new website to check out -- the candy on looks really great, and it's all free from the big 8. What a find! Thanks again!