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Tricks or Treats—Tips for Surviving Halloween

A little candy is okay, but make sure you supervise and count the carbs!

It seems every year, the run-up to Halloween gets earlier and earlier. Like any major holiday, the push of merchandise and candy is constant. For a child with diabetes, this can be an unwanted temptation and reminder that they can’t eat unlimited amounts of sweets.

But Halloween does not have to be all gloom and doom for the child with diabetes. With a little extra planning, parents and caregivers can make the spooky holiday a fun-filled event—without the sugar hangover.

Here are some tips from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF):

  • Trade candy for cash. Candy can be exchanged for a toy, money, or donated to your favorite charity or organization.
  • Plan alternative activities and treats. For example, host a party and offer fun toys like glow-in-the-dark spiders and Halloween-themed stickers. Popcorn balls and sugar-free candy and other sugar-free treats can replace the usual sweets.  "By placing the focus on fun and not food, the holiday can be better and healthier for everyone involved," noted JDRF.
  • Inform teachers at your child’s school. Prepare your child as well as faculty and staff with information about type 1 diabetes before Halloween events begin. "The holiday can be an opportunity to teach about health, science, and diet. Some schools have used Halloween as an occasion to calculate the carbohydrate counts for varied serving sizes of sweets before classroom parties."
  • Take inventory. If you are going to allow your child to eat candy, be sure to have them pick out only a few pieces at a time and eat them according to a supervised schedule.

For more information on counting the candy carbs, visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Updated on: October 31, 2014
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