How to have a gluten-free Halloween


by Mia Gradney/ KHOU 11 News

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM

HOUSTON – Kit Kats, Milky Ways and Nestle Crunch bars are Halloween staples! But for 18 million Americans who have gluten sensitivity, they’re off limits.

For kids that can’t tolerate gluten, being exposed to it can result in seizures, cramping and stunted growth. It can be anything but sweet, and more like a Halloween horror.

Personal Chef Linda Page regularly prepares gluten-free foods and offers some Halloween help.

“We’re making gluten-free caramel corn today,” she says while preparing in her own kitchen.

Page microwaves popcorn. Then she combines Karo syrup, butter, brown sugar and cream of tartar.

“It helps with keeping the caramel soft,” she explained.

Page then mixes until it goes somewhat smooth and pours it on the popcorn before popping it in the oven. She molds it and tops it off.

“There you go,” she said.

Between treats, Page also dishes out advice.

“You want to make sure all of your utensils and all of your pans have absolutely no gluten in them,’ she explained. “A good way to do that is to use a disposable pan.”

Page then moves on to Rice Crispy treats with a Halloween twist. She first adds butter to her pots and pans, followed by brown rice and gluten-free cereal.

She adds all of the ingredients to the pot along with marshmallows, vanilla and cocoa. Combined, she pours them into the pan.

Once cooled, she cuts them into squares and scoops some sherbet and voila! They’re sweet, simple and, most of all, safe.

Another tip for parents: read the labels! From Hershey’s Cookies and Crème to Twizzlers, many of your child’s favorites have traces of wheat flour.

For a list of more tricky treats to avoid visit Mia Gradney’s Facebook page.