I am in the middle of writing four articles; one is a food dye article requiring extensive research. While researching items to help families trying to eliminate food dyes from their diets I came across some really interesting finds.
I tend to check Amazon first for things I want or need because I have a Prime membership with them and use it frequently, although sometimes the items I need are just not there. That was the case today. I did find quite a few items but it was definitely a hunt and peck mission. (I’ve listed links for each item I found later in the article.)
So, what exactly was I looking for this morning? Christmas candy! Christmas is right around the corner and the cornerstone of a healthy, happy and fun holiday is planning. Boring, I know, but it is the truth. Dye free, all natural candies aren’t readily available in most places, at least not in any sort of variety. We did have a nice health food store the last place we lived that would order anything they didn’t already carry, but again, planning was involved.
The other thing that makes finding these foods difficult is ingredients. There are quite a few special diets out there for children and adults that have very specific ingredient restrictions or requirements. Some of the diets I’m referring to are Gluten Free (GF), Casein Free (CF), Nut Free, Kosher, Vegan, Feingold, and allergen. There are also low residue diets and those fit in nicely with the GF and nut free categories for candy. Reading and deciphering ingredients on food labels should almost be its own degree program!
Ok, so here are some of the candies I am excited about and this first group was all found on Amazon.com. These all looked fun and Christmassy.
• India Tree Food Colors and Decorations (Baking Christmas cookies is an awesome tradition and kids with allergies or special diets shouldn’t be left out!).
– Snowflake Sprinkles
– Colored Sprinkles
And then it happened, as so often does when you step out of the realm of the known. I did a general search for the candies I wanted. I hit the MOTHERLOAD of all natural, dye free, special diet approved candies . . . www.NaturalCandyStore.com. You’re welcome. If I had a candy store, a boutique, anything like that (which I wouldn’t because I have ZERO will power), this would be my supplier. As it is, they may have just become the dealer for my addiction: candy.
Not only does this site offer Made in the USA candies, non-GMO, and special diet candy but they also feature Fair Trade candies. (Importance of Fair Trade will be addressed in another post). The absolute BEST part of the site outside of their unusual variety is they have categories for the difficult special diets and icons throughout the site to denote organic, GF/CF, etc. So well planned!
This is a special diet momma with a sugar toothy kid’s dream website. Now, here is my moderation disclaimer and the sticker shock explanation:
*Step up on soapbox.* These candies are more expensive than regular, mass produced candies. Why? Fair trade, natural ingredients, made in the USA all require more money to produce. Plants have to be grown, nurtured, harvested. Employees have to be paid fair wages, work in safe environments and be trained. Put yourself in their shoes: would you want to work in near slavery conditions so someone else can have cheap candy? These are also often small companies that still must abide by safety regulations set forth by our government and this costs money.
The moderation disclaimer fits in this way: yes the candies are expensive, but how much candy do we really need to be eating? We, personally, bought and gave out waaaaaay to much junk candy at Halloween. We won’t be doing that anymore. Why do it to your kids on Christmas? All you are doing is setting up everyone for a ridiculous sugar rush, crash and the associated behavior or GI issues, not to mention empty calories taking the place of the beautiful and healthful dinner you will be eating later. *Stepping off soapbox.*
In closing, at least check out the list I made for you on Amazon.com and then go look at that other website, www.NaturalCandyStore.com. Order early and if shipping is crazy, go in with another family. Cost sharing is always good. I hope your Christmas is merry and bright (thanks Bing, you, too!) and remember, it isn’t about candy, it’s about sharing the Love brought to Earth by a tiny baby.