Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gluten-Free Halloween

It's only about a week until all of the neighborhood children transform themselves into witches, goblins, and probably Star Wars characters and the occasional mini-Donald Trump, and descend upon our doorsteps to dare us to "trick or treat!" With this time-honored tradition comes concerns about trick-or-treating safety, and if you are a parent of a child who is Celiac or has gluten sensitivity, you have the added challenge of what exactly can they eat from their trick-or-treating haul?

Many Mainstream Candies Are G-Free
On Halloween, it's all about the candy, right? The good news is that many mainstream candies that are likely to be doled out at Halloween are actually gluten-free. has put out an updated list for October 2015 of the latest U.S. gluten-free candies, plus a handy 'Company Allergy-free Key'.  Stay one step ahead of the inevitable question, "Hey mom, what can I eat?" by checking this list of gluten-free candies likely to end up in your child's trick-or-treat bag this season. Reminder that this list is a guideline and it's best to double check the packaging information and ingredients list prior to consuming any candy, even if it is on the list.

Trade Up!
Buy a secret stash of gluten-free candy that you know your child likes, so you can broker a trade with any non-g-free treat they may have received on Halloween night. It's a great way to deflect disappointment about any candy they received that they cannot eat. Feeling more creative than that? Try your hand at making your own secret stash of g-free candy to surprise your child with for a trade. This gluten-free caramel corn recipe is easy and delicious and will make you nominee for Mom of the Year. Plus, it is easy to freeze so you can make it in advance. I am working my way up to attempting the homemade candy corn and the homemade toffee bars, the latter of which, let's be honest, is mostly for me and will likely never make it to the trading floor.

Throw a Party
Take some of the emphasis off of trick or treating by planning and throwing your own Halloween shindig. You can prep the menu to be chockfull of g-free goodies ("severed finger" cheese sticks are always a hit), and you can enlist the kids to help make scary decorations or plan games to play. (Be sure to have your camera ready for the Donut Chomp!) Include a costume parade and contest to help redirect the focus from the candy to the costumes or buy some extra pumpkins and host a pumpkin decorating contest. Prizes, of course, can include g-free candies or desserts or even a Halloween gift bag stocked with inexpensive toys.

And Speaking of Non-Food Goodies...Take the Teal Pumpkin Pledge
In 2014, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) launched their Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters at Halloween. You've likely already seen teal pumpkins showing up around your neighborhood or being posted to social media—they represent families who are advocating for a safer, happier, more inclusive Halloween by providing non-food items for trick or treaters, such as Halloween-themed pencils, spider rings, glow sticks, bracelets, or stickers. This year, show your support of children with food allergies and take the pledge to join 100,000 households who are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

With a little extra preparation and diligence, you and your kids can enjoy this Halloween with little worry about getting tricked for a treat. Happy haunting!

Friday, October 2, 2015

iBGFree Update

Who We Are
Taken for granted so often in this day and age is one’s ability to eat on the go. Options are all around us, from grab-and-go choices in your pantry, to fast food chains, to the snack aisle at your local gas station. Also taken for granted? That those on-the-go choices are good for us. Hint: they’re usually not.

Enter iBGFree. iBGFree serves the gluten-free community as a resource for healthy, convenient food and informative, fun content. iBGFree was born out of the necessity for gluten-free, on-the-go snacks in venues where they traditionally do not exist. We provide fun, great-tasting, easy-to-access food for those living a gluten-free lifestyle.

Why You Should Care
New iBGFree vending machines will be popping up within shopping centers, tourist destinations, entertainment venues – you name it. They might be situated next to a candy or movie dispenser, but what you’ll get from an iBGFree machine won’t be processed goop or the latest box-office smash.

Instead, within iBGFree machines you’ll find health-focused, great-tasting options for those seeking a quick meal. Dispensed like candy bars or bags of chips, iBGFree machines ensure millions seeking healthy food choices will be able to have anytime, anywhere access to quality, individually packaged, gluten-free food and drink.

What We've Accomplished
iBGFree is growing! We are thrilled to share that we currently have three up-and-running machines in Illinois, with additional expansion efforts in the works! So stay tuned...we hope to have one of our fabulous, brightly colored g-free vending machines available near you, very soon.

And, we are so delighted that our iBGFree community is growing as well. As we continue our mission to provide access to healthy gluten-free foods on the go, more than 2,000 followers have joined us on our journey! We are so glad that you are part of our g-free community. Stay tuned for more updates and helpful tips on living gluten-free.

And be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and on for even more exciting news and tips!