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Kids with Diabetes and Halloween Treats

Tricks For Good Treats On Halloween Night

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Updated October 10, 2007

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Halloween is a favorite holiday for kids. Costumes, parties, and candy are all part of the fun. But Halloween can be tricky for kids with diabetes. Exercise, food intake and insulin levels need to be balanced for good blood glucose control. The Halloween "season" opens a floodgate of tempting goodies, especially if other kids are enjoying the bounty.

What can parents of diabetic children do to provide a great Halloween experience?

  • Redirect the focus away from bags of candy. Host a party. Your child can help plan the festivities, design costumes and devise a healthy menu.
  • Explore neighborhood Halloween festivities such as haunted hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and haunted houses. Make it a family outing, or bring a group of your child's friends.
  • Ideas For Halloween Parties

If your child wants to go trick-or-treating, talk to your child's doctor to see if you can allow some candy into the meal plan for this holiday.

  • The good aspect of Halloween candy that it's good for weeks or months. Allowing small treats over the course of many days after Halloween is one way to manage an overflowing "stash."
  • Or, some parents "buy" the candy from their trick-or-treater at the end of the evening, exchanging it for money or non-food presents.

Kids who trick-or-treat should bring all their candy home for a "safety inspection" before eating any of it. While you inspect the goodies for general safety, decide with your child which few items he would like to have now and which ones he would like to put away for another time.

Many small Halloween treats are equal to about 15 grams of carbohydrate and can be incorporated here and there for snacks. One fun-size candy bar, a half a pack of M&M's, 3 small Tootsie rolls, 15 Skittles each weigh in at 15 grams of carbs. Joslin's Pediatric and Adolescent Services offers a complete list of 15 gram Halloween treats.

With forethought and inventiveness, Halloween can still be a holiday of tricks and treats.

Photo courtesy of Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Sources:

"Halloween Tips for Parents & Kids." American Diabetes Association. ADA. 10 Oct 2007.

"Programs for Kids & Teens." Support Groups and Special Events. Joslin Diabetes Center. 10 Oct 2007.

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