Halloween—T1D Tips for a Not-So-Scary Holiday
Witches and goblins and ghouls—oh, my! Snickers and Skittles and Twix—oh, no! Are you dreading Halloween and the influx of sugar-packed treats that are circulating the neighborhood? Don’t worry! Beyond Type 1 has come up with these type 1 diabetes (T1D) Halloween tips that will put you at ease and keep your pumpkin(s) grinning.
Talk About It
Make a plan of action with your child before the festivities of Halloween kick off. How much candy will he or she get to keep? What will be done with the excess candy if its not kept? Make sure you talk to teachers and nurses at school about your child’s candy consumption limitations and/or planned adjustments.
Change the Focus
Having a child with T1D doesn’t mean he or she cannot participate in the trick-or-treating circuit, but it also doesn’t have to be the focus of the holiday. You can plan a Halloween party, focusing on costumes and games instead of collecting the candy loot. Also, try serving healthier foods that aren’t sugar-laden that still encompass the spirit of the holiday.
Know Your Inventory
For the candy you keep, know the carb count and label it on snack bags. This way, you and your child are still aware of the sugar content in weeks to follow if/when it’s consumed.
- Check the Treats Without Tricks Candy Carb Chart for exact candy carb counts.
Opt for small sizes of candy, as the less sugar will not affect blood glucose levels as dramatically. They can also be added to the quick glucose stash for when your child’s levels get low. Hard candy can be especially good for lows as fast-acting sugar. Avoid chocolate for hypoglycemia because the high-fat content slows down how fast the sugars and carbs can get into the blood stream.
Do the “Trade-In”
Kids can trade in candy for cash or toys. Feel like expanding on your Halloween traditions? Introduce the “Halloween Fairy” or “Great Pumpkin” who (under the cover of night) collects your candy offering and leaves his or her own gift for your child.