Making Halloween a Treat—Not a Trick—for Your Diabetic Child

For children with diabetes, Halloween is often a difficult time. Diabetic children must refuse much of the abundant candy being offered to them persistently during the Halloween season. As a result, the holiday can lead to feelings of deprivation for these children. Although Halloween planning for parents with diabetic children can seem daunting, there are many ways to make the holiday a great treat for everyone.

A wonderful Halloween for you and your diabetic child begins with forming a game plan. Medical ID bracelets are essential to a happy, safe Halloween. If your child doesn’t have medical alert jewelry already, now is the time to get it.

An important step is to refocus the holiday from candy to imaginative fun. Involve your child in spooky decorating activities. Conjure a scheme with them to scare someone.

Be ready to avoid feelings of punishment on Halloween night by setting up some type of substitution plan. Trading candies for fun toys as you trick-or-treat is one option. Toys to consider for trade might include glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, rubber eyeballs, glow jewelry, and/or stickers from a dollar or seasonal store.

An alternative to trading toys on Halloween could be trading candy for small amounts of money. This way, a child can look forward to picking something out at the store after the holiday.

Children might also enjoy exchanging candy for a donation to a charity of their choice, transforming some of the self-indulgence of the holiday into a spirit of goodwill.

Keep in mind, though, that candy need not be scary in itself. With moderation and a closely followed meal plan, a child with diabetes can enjoy the treat of candy. Many candies at Halloween time come in miniature ‘fun’ sizes. Do some research to find out what types of candy are the safest for your child’s meal plan.

Some candies that are relatively low in carbohydrates:

Wonka Pixi Stix, 1 stick: 2g
Bubble Yum: 6g
Jolly Rancher: 6g
Dum Dum pop: 5g

Some candies with high carbohydrate counts:

3 Musketeers, 2.13 oz bar: 46g
Gummy Bears, 11 pieces: 30g
M&M’s, 1 bag, 1.69 oz: 34g
Snickers, 2.07 oz bar: 36g

In addition, of course, it will be necessary to prepare a diabetic testing and treatment supply kit for Halloween night. As always, but especially on Halloween, it is vital for children with diabetes to wear medical alert bracelets. This will insure that, in the case of an emergency, your child will receive the appropriate treatment for their symptoms.

With careful planning, you will be able to enjoy a spooky, exciting Halloween night with your diabetic child. Focus on your child’s costume and the spooky schemes you have encouraged him or her to cook up. When you go out, have fun with whatever trade system you organized in advance, whether toys, money, or a charity donation. Make sure to check your child’s blood glucose level when necessary and make adjustments, if needed. Because your child will be wearing their medical jewelry, you will feel reassured that he or she will get the correct treatment if an emergency occurs.

Take the steps outlined above, and you will be set to have a treat-filled Halloween with your diabetic child.

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