Chanukah starts this week (wow, how did that creep up on me so fast?), and Christmas is less than four weeks away, so it’s a good time to think about finding safe holiday treats for bright-eyed little tykes (and neighbors, and teachers, and co-workers, and…).
Because holidays and treats go hand-in-hand whether we want them to or not, I like to hunt through online sources to find the latest in allergy-friendly treats that can help make your food-allergic family members or friends feel a little more special and a little less excluded at this time of year.
So here is a list of ideas for this holiday season. It may be too late to order for Chanukah unless you’re willing to pay for express shipping, but there’s still time for Christmas. So check out these online grocers and manufacturers who are dedicated to making our lives a little… um… sweeter, and help them have a happier holiday, too.
- 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 http://www.yummyearth.com/ and on Amazon.
- Allergies and Me: This is a great online grocer who sells gluten-free and allergy-friendly products, including candy. My latest find there: ice cream cones that are free from the Big 8! This is also the place for gluten-free licorice twists in several flavors, lollipops, gum, etc.
- Amanda’s Own Confections: Looking for safe Chanukah gelt bags? Amanda’s own offers gelt bags with 10 gold and sliver foil-wrapped chocolate gelt, and they’re free from dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, and gluten, plus they’re Kosher certified! For Christmas, they have chocolate Santas, snowmen, snowflakes, and other fun shapes. Order by Dec. 16 for Christmas. (Chocolate contains soy lecithin, but they say “the soy protein has been removed.”)
- Divvies: Nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free chocolate bars and jelly beans for both Christmas and Chanukah (contain soy).
- AllerNeeds: This online grocer sells allergy-friendly foods from several vendors, including Enjoy Life! Foods’ Boom Choco Boom chocolate bars. They also sell some familiar 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 for both Christmas and Chanukah (non-Kosher) includes lots of fun shapes and a nice selection of gift baskets. You’ll also find treats like chocolate-covered pretzels, peppermint crunch bark, and ornaments filled with candy-coated Skippers chocolates.
- 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. They have an Iced Gingerbread Cookie that’s free from peanuts, tree nuts, diary, egg, and gluten! The also have Kosher, nut-free, and dairy-free chocolate gelt, and Sun Cups (like Reese’s) that are peanut-free, tree nut-free, gluten-free, and Kosher Dairy. You’ll find chocolate, jelly beans, and all sorts of allergen-friendly groceries. I found some nut-free Kit-Kats there (from Canada), so I bought some for my son’s stocking!
- Indie Candy: One of my blog readers introduced me to this site – and it looks like a real find, although I haven’t ordered from them yet. They have a large selection of confections and let you search by your specific allergy needs. The Gummi Christmas Trees look wonderful (and you can order them corn-free), as do the Big-8-free Christmas Lights Lollipops and the gorgeous Giant Snowflake Lollipops.