Every Halloween millions of kids look forward to trick or treating and bags filled with an abundance of sweet, sugary candy treats, But what if your child is diabetic and has to watch their sugar intake? Do children who have diabetes have to give up Halloween and trick or treating? According to the American Diabetic Association the answer is a resounding no! Even children who have diabetes can participate in Halloween activities. To help your diabetic child get the most out of Halloween and stay safe here are eight tips for celebrating Halloween with a child who has diabetes.
Eight Halloween Trick or Treating Tips For Parents of Diabetic Children
1. Go The Extra Mile
One of the best things about Halloween is deciding on what to dress up as and then putting a fabulous costume together. to help your diabetic child get the most out of Halloween go the extra mile and help them to put together the best Halloween costume possible. Don’t forget things like make up and accessories which can really add to the overall look of your child’s Halloween costume.
2. Throw A Party
One great way to help your child avoid the sugary treats and carbohydrate packed snacks associated with Halloween is to throw your own party where you can control the menu rather than going to someone else’s party where you have no control over what is served. Let your child participate in the party planning and menu selection to help get them involved and excited about your Halloween party. Remember just because you are serving a healthy mean doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are several websites that offer healthy Halloween themed recipes that kids will enjoy.
3.Be Safe While Trick or Treating
Children with diabetes can go trick or treating just as other kids do.However depending on their age there are some safety precautions parents should take to make sure their Halloween is a safe one, Parents should accompany a younger child trick or treating, both for general safety and to be there to test their blood glucose if necessary. If you live in safe area older children can go trick or treating without a parent but should go with a group of friends or older siblings. If your child does go trick or treating without a parent they should either carry there testing equipment or bring along a cell phone so they can call a parent if they start feeling ill.
4. Swap It Out
According to the American Diabetic Association children with diabetes can have a few sweets with their doctors approval. The key to any Halloween candy consumption with diabetic children is moderation. After your children have finished trick or treating have them go through their treats and pick out a few of their favorites and then swap the rest of their candy with you for a special gift or money.
5. Save Some for Later
Most candy has a long shelf life and can be safely stored for months.Buy a special jar or container to store their candy in and allow them to pick one to enjoy from time to time. You can further extend the shelf life of Halloween candy by storing it in the freezer or refrigerator.
6. Skip The Candy
Many children enjoy getting small toys instead of candy in their Halloween treat buckets.If you plan on handing out treats instead of going out trick or treating you can reduce the risk of your diabetic child sampling your bowl of treats too often by substituting small toys such as stickers, spider rings, temporary tattoos, bracelets and small balls for Halloween candy.Oriental Trading Company has a great assortment of inexpensive toys you can use in place of sugary treats for your trick or treaters.
7. Get Physical
Often physical activity can reduce the impact of sugary sweets and allow your child with diabetes to enjoy a few pieces of Halloween candy without having to take extra glucose. To be effective have your child engage in extra physical activity on Halloween and a few days afterward.
8. Do Something Different
Instead of going trick or treating do something different with your child on Halloween. Visit a haunted house,see a scary movie, go out to their favorite restaurant or visit a theme park.Make whatever you decide to do a tradition by doing it year after year and it will definitely be something your child looks forward to more than they do a bag full of candy.
These are just a few tips to help the child with diabetes enjoy Halloween just as much as the next kid. However I am not a medical professional and parents should make sure and consult with their child’s doctor or dietitian before allowing their child to eat any Halloween candy. A safe Halloween is better than a sick one.
American Diabetic Association