Children with type 1 diabetes can still enjoy Halloween

Few times of year are more fun for children than Halloween. However, the season can turn into a nightmare for parents of young people with type 1 diabetes. All the sugar-laden candy can wreak havoc on individuals' blood sugar management efforts.

Yet, experts say that children with type 1 diabetes can still engage in many of the most appealing aspects of the holiday as long as their parents have a plan for preventing them from overindulging.

Kenneth McCormick, a pediatric endocrinologist at the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center, said that one or two small pieces of candy will not necessarily disrupt a child's blood sugar that much. The is key to prevent them from eating several sweets in one sitting.

"They can enjoy Halloween and enjoy some of the sweets the holiday offers - within reason," he said. "We give parents and kids three options and let them decide how they want to handle Halloween and the sweets that come with it."

The three options are to count carbs and limit intake, trade a certain amount of money for each piece of candy a child collects and only allow them to eat candy as a desert after a meal. These methods may be an effective way to restrict a young person's candy consumption during the holiday.

In theory, a person with type 1 diabetes can eat any type of food. The only reason why chocolate and candy may be a bad idea is because they contain a high level of carbohydrates for their volume. These nutrients get broken down by the body into sugars, which can lead to higher glucose levels. Filling up on candy, which is a poor source of important nutrients, may make it difficult to find room for nutritious foods.

However, as long as an individual takes care not to consume many carbohydrates in one sitting, they may be able to safely indulge. This may enable children with type 1 diabetes to enjoy a safe and happy Halloween.