Safe Gluten-Free Candy Brands

Find Candy Brands That Are Safe for Your Gluten-Intolerant Child

Items in a candy store.
Items in a candy store. RD Whitcher/Getty Images

Wondering which treats are safe to give your gluten-intolerant child, and which have sneaky wheat ingredients lurking within? It's not only Halloween that provokes this concern, as there are also Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, and other candy-centered holidays when a parent must be vigilant of the candy their child might be ingesting. Gluten-free candy resources online include those provided by manufacturers, experts, and some that are assembled informally by parents.

Gluten-Free Candy List for Parents

Check the comprehensive gluten-free candy list that details the latest U.S candies, plus links to manufacturers' websites. It is regularly updated. That said, as with any food intolerance resource, use this list only as a guide, since ingredients and formulas can change at any time. In some cases, a product made at one location might be listed as gluten-free, while the same product made at a different location might not be gluten-free.

Also, candy listed as gluten-free on the U.S. list may not be gluten-free in other countries. Always check the packaging and ingredients before consuming any candy, even if it does appear on this list.

You may want to stick with candy from a company such as Tootsie Roll Industries that certifies that all of its products are gluten-free as well as being peanut, tree nut, and nut product free. For more sophisticated options,  See's Candies says all of their candies are gluten-free as of 2016 and they also have a listing of other allergens and food sensitivities in their candies.

Trader Joe's lists its gluten-free candy as well as bakery items, beverages, cereal, and cookies.  St. Claire's Organics makes certified organic hard candies in an allergen-free facility that are wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, corn-free, and fish and shellfish-free, as well as being low-carb.

  Necco also lists their gluten-free products.

You might think Claeys old-fashioned hard candies are safe, but many bags note that they are processed in facilities where cross-contamination may occur.

Holiday Specialty Candy Concerns

Some candy brands normally do not contain gluten, but there is a risk of a change in the recipe and cross-contamination for the brand's holiday specialties. For example, a pumpkin-shaped, Santa-shaped, or orange-colored version of a candy or a special flavor may be available for the holidays. These candies may not be made in the same facility as the usual candy, increasing the risk of cross-contamination. The recipe that is usually gluten-free may include some wheat in the holiday variation.

You need to read the packaging to be sure, as some companies do not list these specialties on their website and some have a disclaimer directing you to check the label of each item. This can be a challenge if your child brings home candy from trick-or-treating or encounters it at a holiday party. You may have to make a trip to the supermarket to check for yourself. Or, you may need to offer your child replacement "safe" candies for any that can't be verified.

Keeping Your Kitchen Gluten-Free

When making any gluten-free food dish, always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten.

When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.