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Health Column: Are candy hearts gluten-free?

Angela Wetzel
LIVING AGAINST THE GRAIN
Free Press Health Columnist
heart candy
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Ah, Valentine’s Day. It’s a day for love, romance, and candy.

I don’t think any child out there can forget the candy hearts that say “Be Mine” or “UR4ME.” They were usually taped to a Valentine and dropped in a shoebox decorated just for the party. These were a staple at my childhood Valentine’s Day parties and I’m sure they are just as popular for today’s kids.

But are those heart candies gluten free? What other Valentine’s Day candies are OK to consume?



Here is a listing of the most popular Valentine’s Day candies that are safe for your kids and for you, courtesy of http://www.celiacfamily.com:



Charm’s Blow Pops and Valentine’s Pops

Dove Heart Promises

M&Ms

Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares

Melster Chocolate Covered Hearts

Smarties Valentine’s Love Hearts rolls

Peeps

Hershey Bliss Chocolates

Marvel Lollipops

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Skittles, including the Valentine’s packs

Life Savers hard candy, gummy candy and lollipops which includes the Valentine Pack

Locally, the Enstrom Toffee has been tested recently and is gluten free

And last but not least, the Sweetheart Conversation Hearts!

There are other options if you are trying to stay away from sweets. For the kids, have them make bookmarks for their classmates or give out stickers instead of candy. They could also make a Valentine’s Day trail mix in a festive bag.

The adults can have a fun, healthy Valentine’s Day as well. While chocolates are a standby for a lot of people, you can find great, thoughtful gifts that won’t ruin the healthy train you’ve been riding.

Gift cards always make great gifts and you can choose from a favorite store, a local coffee shop or go the Visa/Mastercard/American Express route. Gift cards are the right size, color and style for any loved one.

If you want to get a little more personal, a massage is a great gift. Not only is a massage relaxing, but it’s a very healthy way to rejuvenate the body (especially for the athlete in your life).

Want to get out? Take a dance lesson. It’s a great way to get a workout and have some time together.

However you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day, have a great day filled with love and health!

GJ Free Press health columnist Angela Wetzel has celiac disease and is president of Gluten Free Grand Valley, a support group for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. Contact her at glutenfreegrandvalley@gmail.com or visit Gluten Free Grand Valley on Facebook.


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