Do you or someone you love have a food allergy? Valentine’s sweets are everywhere right now, but before indulging make sure you check out the ingredients to avoid a potential gluten or dairy disaster. Even if you read the ingredients, gluten could be hiding in those heart shaped boxes. Here is what you need to know about gluten-free candy this year.
If you or your child has a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease you already know you’ve got to be careful when giving them treats. But when learn which goodies are great and which could have gluten it makes your Valentines Day that much sweeter.
- Dove Chocolate (which also makes M&ms) – is almost always gluten free when it is milk chocolate. Therefore, you can feel reasonably confident buying Dove chocolate products for Valentine’s Day, provided you check the label. Mars Corporation labels wheat, barley, or rye sources if they are in the product. However, Mars’ seasonal items may be problematic according to about.com’s Gluten & Celiac expert Jane Anderson .
- Hershey’s Kisses - Hershey’s reports that plain milk chocolate Kisses are safe
- Junior Mints
- Lifesavers Candy
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups - These peanut-y treats appear on Hershey’s current gluten-free list and come in a variety of Valentine’s Day-specific wrappers. However, the heart shaped ones are NOT considered gluten-free.
- Starburst Candy
- Sweethearts Conversation Hearts - Conversation hearts made by Necco, and are considered gluten-free. When buying conversation hearts, make sure to AVOID of Brach’s or Mayfair’s versions of the same candy, as those are not considered gluten-free.
- Tootsie Rolls
Valentine’s Candy That’s Definitely Not Gluten-Free
The following candies marketed specifically for Valentine’s Day are not gluten-free. Look on the label if it was made in a facility that could have cross contamination.
- Balmer Cuddly Cuties chocolate teddy bears and dogs -made on shared equipment
- Air Heads -“Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour.”
- All Brach’s candy (including conversation hearts) – Packaged on equipment that also packages products containing traces of milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and/or soy protein.”
- Bubblicious Bites - “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, milk, wheat and eggs.”
- Dove milk chocolate Rose on a stick – no gluten listed in ingredients; however, it does state “Allergy Information: May contain peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat.”
- Dove dark chocolate raspberry Truffle Hearts – no gluten listed in ingredients; but it does state “Allergy Information: May contain peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and eggs.”
- Elmer Chocolate boxed Valentine’s candy - made on shared equipment
- Ghirardelli boxed chocolates - contains wheat and barley ingredients
- Godiva chocolates including the Gems – All Godiva packaged products I have found, as well as the chocolates displayed in their stores, have a warning: “May contain tree nuts, peanuts and wheat.”
- Guylian chocolates – “May contain traces of nuts and gluten.”
- Jube Jel Cherry Hearts (Brach’s cinnamon jelly hearts) – “Allergen Information: “Milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
- Lindt Lindor truffles -they contain barley
- Mrs. Field’s assorted chocolates in a heart-shaped tin – contains wheat flour
- Nerds, boxes and ropes (Wonka) – “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.”
- Russel Stover chocolates – “Products have been produced on shared equipment with peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.”
- Sassy Hearts treat packs (Brach’s) – “Allergen Information: Milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and fish may be present in the manufacturing or packaging area.”
- Spongebob Squarepants Heart Shaped Gummy Krabby Patties & Lollipops – “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, almonds, wheat and eggs.”
- SweeTart Hearts (Wonka) – “Made in a facility that also processes egg and wheat.”
- Treat Street Google Critters – “Processed in a facility which also processes milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy protein, eggs.”
- Whitman’s Chocolates – “Products have been produced on shared equipment with tree nuts, eggs, and wheat.”
- Wonka Valentine Mix Ups – Bottle Caps and Laffy Taffy seem to be gluten-free, however the Nerds in these packages have a cross-contamination statement that states “Made in a facility that also processes wheat and egg.”
- Wild About You Chocolate Decorative Hearts – “Made in a facility which also processes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and egg.”
Be mindful that any chocolate candy with “crisps” “crunch” or “cookies on the label is likely to have wheat flour or barley malt, so check carefully.
- Crunch (Nestle) – snack-size and hearts contains “barley malt“; “Made on equipment that also processes peanuts, nuts and wheat.”
- Ferrero Rocher – contains “wheat flour.”
- Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Premium Assorted Chocolates in a heart box – contains “barley malt”
- Harry London assorted chocolates – contains “wheat flour, gluten”
- Hershey’s Miniatures – “contains malt.”
- Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Crème snack size treats – contains “wheat flour”
- Kit Kat – contains “wheat flour“
- Lindt chocolate candy – contains “barley malt powder“
- Reese’s peanut butter filled chocolate hearts (this refers only to the small, individually foil-wrapped hearts) – Contains “wheat flour.”
- M&M’s pretzel candies – contain “wheat flour, malt”
- Spongebob Squarepants Crispy Chocolaty Hearts – contains “malt extract“; “Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and wheat.”
- SweeTart Hearts Gummies – contains “wheat“
- Twix – contains “wheat flour“
- Twizzlers cherry pull ‘n peel candy – contains “wheat flour”
- Whoppers – contain “barley malt and wheat flour”.”
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day this year and consider making your own healthy treats at home with your partner or your little love bugs. Share yours below or on our Facebook page.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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