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Nearly every parent worries a little at Halloween – whether it’s about high fructose corn syrup in their kids’ candy, stranger danger, or food coloring. But parents of kids with celiac disease have a whole lot of extra worry this time of year. Their child’s pail of seemingly innocuous candy corn and chocolate bars is a minefield of hidden and not-so-hidden gluten, the ingestion of which is dangerous for a gluten-sensitive gut.

Even older gluten-savvy teens may not know which popular candies are safe and which aren’t. In this post, we’ll try to take some of the worry out of Halloween by identifying safe gluten-free candy options for kids and adults alike.

Keep in mind that this post is based on the best information we could find at the time we wrote it. Formulations and manufacturing processes for candy change frequently, so I always advise to check with the manufacturer on the candy’s gluten-free status…


Gluten-Free Candy for Halloween


Although not an exhaustive list, here are some popular gluten-free candies for Halloween:

    • Hershey’s – The only milk chocolate bars considered reliably gluten-free are the 1.55 oz. (mini) plain milk chocolate and 1.45 oz. (mini) milk chocolate with almonds. Other bars have risk of cross-contamination but gluten-containing ingredients will be revealed on packaging. Chocolate kisses, York Peppermint Patties, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (except some seasonal shapes) are safe.


    • Jelly Belly– All of their jelly beans, including licorice flavor, are gluten-free. Not all (non-Jelly Belly) jelly bean candies are.


    • Mars – The following are considered gluten-free but may sometimes be made on shared equipment so you should always check the packaging label: M&Ms (except pretzel), 3 Musketeers, Milky Way (midnight and caramel only – not original), Dove, and Snickers.


    • Nestle – Nestle USA calls products gluten-free if there are no gluten-containing ingredients, and it is not made on shared equipment with gluten. Potential cross-contamination should always be listed. Gluten-free options include Baby Ruth, Butterfinger (original only), Raisinets, Oh Henry!, and others.


    • Smarties – Smarties (the American variety of “pill” shaped candies, not the European/Canadian chocolate candy by the same name) are gluten-free but are rebagged by companies where they can be exposed to cross-contamination. Visit their site to learn how to distinguish rebagged Smarties from those which are guaranteed to be gluten-free.


  • Tootsie Roll Industries – The only product they make with gluten is Andes cookies. Their other products, such as Junior Mints, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Charm Pops, Sugar Daddy, Sugar Baby, Charleston Chew, and others, are gluten-free.


Halloween Candy that is NOT Gluten-Free


Also a non-exhaustive list, here are a handful of the most popular gluten-containing candies to avoid this Halloween. Did you find any of these surprising? We sure did!

  • Milky Way Bars
  • Butterfinger Giant Bars
  • Hershey’s Special Dark Bar
  • Butterfinger Snackerz
  • Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Bar
  • Butterfinger Medallions
  • Hershey’s Air Delight
  • Butterfinger Pumpkins (and other seasonal shapes)
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops
  • Wonka Nerds
  • Hershey’s Miniatures
  • Sweetarts
  • Hershey’s Nuggets
  • Wonka Bar (all flavors)
  • Mr. Goodbar
  • Chewy Spree
  • Symphony Bar
  • Wonka Gummies
  • Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate
  • Wonka Kazoozles
  • Mounds
  • Everlasting Gobstopper
  • Almond Joy
  • 100 Grand Bar
  • Altoids Chocolate Dipped Mints
  • Twix
  • Altoids Small Peppermint Mints
  • Kit-Kat
  • Hubba Bubba Gummi Tape Candy
  • Butterfinger Crisp Bar

Have a safe, spooky and gluten-free Halloween!


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