The average American eats 24 pounds of candy every year, and most of that is eaten right after Halloween. This time of the year can be especially difficult for kids with diabetes who aren’t able to enjoy the same trick-or-treat sweets as all of their friends. Even though children with diabetes can enjoy candy, they have to be more careful as to how much sugar they ingest. It is important to integrate chocolate, lollipops and other candy into diabetic children’s meal plans to reduce the unbalance in their blood glucose control, but in small amounts.
Here are some tips to help your diabetic child enjoy Halloween:
- Take the focus off candy by helping their child create an exciting and creative Halloween costume.
- Before taking your child out trick-or-treating, explain to them that they should not snack on candy until they get home. Since walking a lot can alter blood glucose levels, it is best to pack a healthy snack to battle lows instead of eating Halloween treats on the way.
- Exchange candy collected while trick-or-treating with a small toy or money. Kids might like this because with the money they get, they can buy something more permanent than candy.
- Donate some of the candy collected to a children’s hospital or other organization. This may make kids feel rewarded for helping others.
- If you hand out candy, choose something your kid can eat. There’s a chance you might have leftovers at the end of the night. According to the American Diabetes Association, hard candy, gumdrops, and lollipops work better than chocolate and higher-fat treats to treat drops in blood glucose levels.
- Choose to give out non-candy treats. Halloween-themed items, such as pencils, plastic bugs, glow-in-the-dark rubber balls, and other small toys can be popular as a replacement for candy.
All of these tips can ensure that children with diabetes are able to enjoy Halloween, too.