First, my apologies… I’ve been sick for over a week with a really nasty case of bronchitis, and it hasn’t let up yet. So I have not been able to go out and shop for Easter candy like I do every year. So this year, I have only bare-bones advice.
Believe it or not, it is possible to celebrate Easter without loading up on unsafe candy. Here is my post from 2 years ago with ideas for non-food Easter Egg and basket ideas: Creative Easter Egg Fillers.
But if you want to include Easter candy in your child’s Easter basket, there are safe versions you can look for.
Remember to always check the ingredients – some companies use different manufacturing plants around the country, so the same product may have different factory warnings. In addition, some varieties of candy may have safe versions or sizes, and unsafe versions and sizes. For example, I found Cadbury mini eggs that are nut-free, but the larger sizes had nut warnings. So always double-check!
For nut-free and egg-free chocolate bunnies, your best bet is Hershey’s. I found several Hershey’s chocolate bunnies at Target (including Speedy Bunny, Snapsy Snap-apart Bunny, and a Hollow Bunny) and a package of 6 Hershey’s solid chocolate bunnies (but avoid the package of 6 “cookies and cream” flavored Hershey’s bunnies, because they have a nut warning). Some flavors of Hershey’s kisses are also nut-free, as well as Hershey’s mini foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. But double-check labels – many Hershey’s products have nut warnings, so don’t assume they’re safe until you check. And remember, all Hershey’s chocolate includes milk and soy. Those Cadbury mini eggs contain milk, soy, and corn, but they’re nut-free (I found them at Smiths and Target). If you need milk-free chocolate bunnies, your best bet may be to make them yourself by melting safe chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life Foods) and filling bunny-shaped candy molds. Unfortunately, it’s probably too late to order safe chocolate bunnies online.
If you are looking for jelly beans free from the Top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, shellfish, fish, and soy), look for jelly beans made by Starbursts, Jolly Rancher, LifeSavers, Mike & Ike, and Wonka (several Wonka jelly beans were safe last year, but double-check ingredients from Wonka because their labels change every year). Last year Kroger’s brand of jelly beans were also safe. If you’re a fan of Jelly Belly jelly beans, check out the Daily Chef Gourmet Jelly Beans from Sam’s Club. They have 41 flavors, and advertise that the beans are free from nuts, peanuts, dairy, egg, soy, gluten, trans fat, gelatin, and high fructose corn syrup (although they do contain regular corn syrup). You also get twice as many for the same price as Jelly Bellys. Again, I found Daily Chef jelly beans at Sam’s Club the last couple of years, but I haven’t been able to go look for them this year. Let me know if you find them!
If you need to avoid corn as well as the Top 8, I found these options last year, so look for them again this year:
- Pixy Stix (usually available at Target or Sam’s Club, for example)
- Charms Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy (found this at Smith’s last year)
- Wonka Springtime Fun Dips (also found these at Smith’s last year)
And finally, remember to register for the Utah Food Allergy Network's (UFAN’s) annual toy-filled, candy-free Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday, March 30, 2013, from 9 – 11 am at Southwood Park (6150 S. 725 E, Murray, UT). It’s for kids ages 0 – 12, and the Easter Bunny will be there, along with crafts and lots and lots of kids with food allergies just like yours! It’s always an amazingly fun and fantastic day. Register and pay $3 per child in advance at https://www.wepay.com/events/2013ufaneaster. (Or you can pay $5 per child at the door, but it’s better to register in advance so they know how many children to plan for and don’t run out of toy-filled and sticker-filled eggs!)
Have a safe and happy Easter!