It's coming - the diabetes horror holiday. Pumpkins are in the yards. Candy fills the aisles in the supermarkets, pharmacies and superstores. The celebration of sugar is about to commence! What do we do with all that candy?
Here are some tips for outsmarting diabetes and Halloween:
- Make the Halloween about the creativity of the costumes and the fun of dressing up.
- Get creative about decorating the house, the pumpkins, the yard, etc.
- When the Halloween loot does come home, harvest all the candy that is useful in treating lows (like smarties and hard candy). Keep it available to treat lows in the months ahead. We stash some in the car, the medicine cabinets and the backpacks. FYI - Chocolate is not good for treating lows because the fat slows the absorption of the sugars.
- Have your child rank the candy and sort it into their absolute favorites. Don't eat a marginally good piece of candy and chance high blood sugar! Save the treats for the kinds you REALLY like. Save only the top tier of the candy. You can even freeze some of the "good stuff" for later. Definitely dispose of the rest.
- Don't assume carbohydrate counts will be on all the labels. Some of the smaller "fun" size candies have the carb counts on the bags and not the individual wrappers. The Children with Diabetes web site has a list of the carb counts on all these "fun size" candies.
- Work some of the candy into your child's regular meal plan. Let them enjoy a few pieces in the days after Halloween. Then use your teachable moments, and show them how to cover the carbs with insulin, and if they're old enough show them the affect on their blood sugar.
Now help all of us parents beat the candy horror on Halloween night by handing out cool stickers, Halloween plastic spiders, Halloween theme pencils or tiny pads. Halloween stores sell candy alternatives and you can buy in bulk online at sites like this one. Kids love this stuff!
In a quick google search of Halloween Candy and diabetes I found some great sites and more good ideas. Over the past four Halloweens I've probably used ideas from these sites. Check them out: The ADA's tips and Children with Diabetes from above.
I definitely think more places should copy the Columbia University's Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center's Halloween Candy Trade in Party on November 1st. November is Diabetes Awareness Month - let's start it with a Candy Trade in!
For more information on a healthy diabetes diet, see here.
Published On: October 25, 2007