Gluten-free conversation hearts framing the text: Gluten-Free Valentine's Candy

Gluten-Free Valentine’s Candy 2024

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day should be happy. It’s a holiday that celebrates love and candy, after all. And nothing about celiac disease or gluten intolerance lessens our love for Valentine’s sweets.

My daughter and I both have celiac disease, and I’m fully convinced that those on a gluten-free diet can fully join in on the happiness of this, and any other, holiday.

Whether you are looking for gluten-free Valentine’s candy to satisfy your own sweet tooth or to make this day special for your little one, you are in the right place.

Happily, many of your favorite Valentine’s treats are gluten-free. I’ll walk you through how to handle candy exchanges, which popular Valentine’s candies are gluten-free, which conversation hearts are gluten-free, and the very best gluten-free chocolate.

Some of the links on this post are affiliate links. To learn more, visit our Disclosures.

Four Essential Tips for Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Candy Exchanges

Food holidays at school can feel like a minefield for children with a celiac diagnosis. The annual Valentine’s card and candy exchange is no exception.

While it takes a little advance planning, your child absolutely can participate in the fun!

Here are my top four tips for navigating Valentine’s Day candy exchanges:

Gluten-free conversation hearts framing the text: Tip #1 Use an Up-to-Date Gluten-Free Candy List

Start with an up-to-date Gluten-Free Valentine’s Candy List from a reliable source. My candy lists are updated with the current year after I re-check the products. Ingredient lists and manufacturing processes change, so you want to rely on a list that has been recently updated.

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Candy List

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    That said, manufacturers correctly advise you that the most reliable and current information is the actual package. Never rely on any list, including one from me, over the information on the label.

    Which leads us to the even more important Tip #2… 

    Gluten-free conversation hearts framing the text: Tip #2 Research in the Valentine's Candy Aisle

    Visit the Valentine’s Day candy aisle at your favorite big box store. 

    Spending five minutes looking at packages of candy in Target will save you time and frustration when you go through your child’s candy Valentines after school.

    Many popular brands, like Hershey and Tootsie Roll Industries, will say “gluten-free” right on the package, helping you quickly identify safe candy.

    Equally valuable is a label that states “contains wheat” making it easy to identify obviously unsafe candy. 

    One mega-chocolate-brand, Mars/Wrigley, does not make a gluten-free claim on any of its chocolates. It does, however, have an allergy policy to declare all ingredients, which means no hidden barley. You can read the list of ingredients to easily determine if a product contains gluten. Original Milky Way bars clearly list barley in the ingredients, while plain M&Ms have no gluten ingredients.

    If your celiac child is old enough to read, I think it’s worth taking them with you to the candy aisle. You’ll be impressed at how well they retain which candies are safe to eat. Not really surprised… but impressed.

    Label reading is an important step in self-advocacy!

    Gluten-free conversation hearts framing the text: Tip #3 Visit the Manufacturer Website

    Go directly to the manufacturer’s website.

    Sure, a simple google search, “is _____ gluten-free?” is a quick solution, but the most reliable information will be found on the manufacturer’s website and on the product’s package. 

    Hershey’s website will absolutely delight you. There were 283 gluten-free products the last time I used Hershey’s “gluten-free” filter.

    Gluten-free conversation hearts framing the text: Tip #4 Make a Plan for the Unsafe Candy

    Involve your child in a plan for the unsafe candy. Talk to your child in advance about the plan. Get their input and buy-in. Here are a few great options:

    • Share the love. Have a few Valentine’s cards ready to go. Let your child regift the unsafe candy by attaching it to the cards and then personally delivering the valentines to neighbors.
    • Trade with friends or siblings. Often your child can score their favorite gluten-free candies by trading popular varieties they can’t eat.
    • Switch out the unsafe candy for something better. This could be a sweet treat your child loves, a new toy, or money. Trust me, money is always popular.

    If you are unable to determine if a particular candy is safe, add it to the trade or giveaway pile. It is not worth the risk of an accidental gluten exposure.

    For more help with gluten at school, read: 10 Strategies to Keep Your Celiac Child Included and Gluten-Free at School.

    For easy-to-find gluten-free Valentine’s candies, the following popular brands are readily available.

    They also make frequent appearances in classroom Valentine’s Day exchanges, to the delight of gluten-free students!

    • Tootsie Rolls – They will state gluten-free on the package. This includes Tootsie Pops!
    • Dum-Dums – They will state gluten-free on the package.
    • Some Hershey’s chocolates – Some are gluten-free, including Rolo Valentine’s Caramels in pink & red foils and 1.55 oz Hershey’s Bars in Valentine’s wrappers. Hershey will put the words “gluten-free” on the back of the bag if the product is gluten-free. Sometimes, a candy that is normally labeled gluten-free by Hershey is not labeled gluten-free in the miniature or holiday version, due to those items being produced on shared lines. Read the labels to familiarize yourself with which are safe/unsafe or visit Hershey’s website and filter by “Hershey’s” brand and “gluten-free” diet.
    • Some Hershey’s Kisses – Many are gluten-free. Plain kisses and hugs are gluten-free, including when wrapped in seasonal foils. Some varieties contain gluten, such as Cookies & Creme Kisses. Look for a gluten-free claim on the bag.
    • York Peppermint Patties – As a Hershey product, they will state gluten-free on the label. Even the seasonal heart shapes are labeled gluten-free!
    • Most Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (another Hershey line)– Most Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten-free (including the ones with pretzels), and will say so on the label. Seasonal varieties/shapes are not gluten-free unless indicated on the package. Unfortunately, the heart-shaped and rose-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are not labeled gluten-free, due to possibly being produced on shared lines. The “love cups”, which are a standard shape with Valentine’s Day messages on the wrapper are labeled gluten-free.
    • Charms Valentine’s Pops and Charms Blow Pops – These popular bubble-gum-filled lollipops are gluten-free, and will state gluten-free on the package.
    • Skittles – New this year, Mars/Wrigley has erased all doubt and started labeling Skittles gluten-free!
    • Starburst – Also, newly labeled gluten-free by Mars/Wrigley. Look for the gluten-free claim on the package.
    • Yum Earth – All Yum Earth products are gluten-free and top 9 allergen free, making its Valentine’s Day Giggles, Choco Yums, Gummy Fruits, and Organic Pops ideal for school Valentine’s Day exchanges.

    These products are gluten-free at the time of writing and most have been for many years. However, things can change. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the safest thing to do is to always check the label for the latest and most accurate information. 

    Now, let’s talk about the most pressing Valentine’s Day candy question…

    Are Valentine’s Conversation Hearts Gluten-Free?

    According to Spangler Candy, the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts are gluten-free. The website states, “These conversation hearts are gluten-free and are a great choice for your next Valentine’s Day event!”

    Brach Conversation Hearts contain “natural and artificial flavors” and the company does not make a gluten-free claim. Without a gluten-free claim, the questionable ingredient that has the potential to contain hidden barley means this brand requires contacting the manufacturer every year for up-to-date information. We personally stick to the Spangler brand.

    Purple bag of Hershey's Conversation Kisses with 3 kisses on the front: purple foil wrap with words "a kiss 4 u", blue foil wrapped with no visible words, and pink foil wrapped with words "sweet KISS".

    A couple more fun (and gluten-free) twists on conversation hearts are Jelly Belly Conversation Beans and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Conversation Kisses.

    As always, read the ingredients on the package when you purchase candy hearts or conversation kisses for the most up-to-date information.

    The BEST Gluten-Free Valentine’s Chocolate

    See's Candies Store Display of gluten-free Valentine's Day Candy

    Looking for “gift-worthy” gluten-free chocolate? See’s Candies is the perfect Valentine’s Day present for the chocolate lover.

    Choose from heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, cinnamon lollipops, red licorice medallions, individual heart chocolates, and more.

    Miss E has already put in a request for the gluten-free red licorice medallions, reminding me that she has “never had licorice”, which traditionally contains wheat.

    package of Gluten-free red licorice medallions at See's Candy... black & white checkered floor background

    Note See’s important disclosure regarding gluten: Candies produced in See’s Candies facilities do not contain gluten, and these products are the vast majority of those we sell. We sell a small amount of specialty candies that we purchase from other partner confectioners. Although these don’t contain gluten, they are manufactured in shared facilities or in shared equipment with gluten-containing products. These products are candy canes, peanut butter bites, lemon drops, apple pie bites, Hanukkah hard candy, hot cocoa, chocolate-covered coffee beans sold in our retail shops and online at

    Now, you are ready to have a very HAPPY Valentine’s Day!

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