Posted October 26, 2018
By Melissa Herrmann Dierks, RDN, LDN, CDE
Halloween fun shouldn’t be cut short for children with diabetes. With a little planning, kids can have fun and keep blood sugars under control. Since sugar is not a good source of fuel for any child, the same recommendations work for siblings that don’t have diabetes. Where to start?
Plan a healthy, balanced meal to eat prior to trick-or-treating to prevent lows from extra activity.
Make an agreement on how many pieces of candy that your child will keep, with the rest going to work with mom and/or dad the next day.
Think about how many pieces of candy will be consumed at the time of trick or treating, and how much insulin will be needed to cover the carbohydrate. If you don’t have a label, look up carb content on www.calorieking.com.
Consider handing out non-candy treats such as stickers, pencils, erasers, popcorn, tattoos, bouncy balls etc. at your house.
Keep in mind how many pieces were agreed upon to eat during trick-or-treating to prevent grazing and high blood sugars. Dose insulin to cover candy consumed as appropriate.
Carry a water bottle or other sugar free beverage to stay hydrated, wear your diabetes alert bracelet and carry a flashlight-stay safe!
When available, choose the non-candy handout option that some houses offer.
Consider hosting a candy free party next year.
Check blood sugar when you get home, and if appropriate have a balanced snack that contains protein.
After trick-or-treating, count out the number of pieces of candy that were agreed upon to keep and send the rest to work with mom and dad.
Set aside candy that could be used to treat lows. Examples include Pixie Sticks, Smarties and Skittles. Place them into small baggies of 15 grams of carbohydrate portions.
The remaining candy can be consumed as agreed upon, such as one piece in a lunchbox each day, counting the carbohydrate content into the total carbohydrate content of the meal.
Think about what went well and what you might want to do differently next year.
For help with ideas on how to handle meals and treats at holidays, contact your local Certified Diabetes Educator or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist-they are happy to help!
Melissa Herrmann Dierks RDN, LDN, CDE is owner of Huntersville, NC based Supermarket Savvy, and has held a current Certified Diabetes Educator credential for over twenty years.