It’s no surprise that kids love Halloween. After all, it’s a fun holiday that fosters creativity and imagination. Besides, what other night of the year can a youngster ring a stranger’s doorbell demanding candy with the simple but effective words, “Trick or treat”?
But what about children with diabetes? Do they have to miss out on this fun-filled candy-fest? Diabetes experts agree that although Halloween can be tricky for diabetic kids, with careful planning they can enjoy the treats in “trick-or-treating” too.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) emphasizes that parents of diabetic children can let their youngsters participate in Halloween and other holiday celebrations, as long as they plan in advance. Something that parents can do to plan ahead is count carbohydrate grams.
This allows a diabetic child to enjoy a sweet treat without sending blood sugar levels skyrocketing. Often, people mistakenly think that diabetics must avoid all types of sugar, but this is not totally true. Once in awhile, a diabetic may indulge in a small piece of candy as part of his daily carbohydrate allowances — as long as the sugary treat is later replaced with another non-sugar type of carbohydrate, like potatoes.
While it is true that your child shouldn’t gobble the entire contents of her trick-or-treat bag with gleeful abandon, there are some creative and tasty alternatives to the typical sugary Halloween sweets they can enjoy. Healthy alternative treats are:
“Ants on a log” — celery sticks spread with peanut butter and raisins Carrot sticks and ranch dip Pretzels Party snack mixes Fresh apples
Or give these frightfully healthy recipes from the ADA a try – they’ll leave your spooks howling for more:
Devilish Eggs: http://forecast.diabetes.org/recipes/devilish-eggs
Ghoulish Pumpkin Mousse: http://forecast.diabetes.org/recipes/ghoulish-pumpkin-mousse
Swamp Dip: http://forecast.diabetes.org/recipes/swamp-dip
And when handing out goodies, there are plenty of fun alternatives to sugary treats. Kids love small containers of Play-Doh, trinkets such as pencils, spider rings, bouncy balls, temporary tattoos and glow-in-the-dark stretchy skeletons.
Bag ‘O Treats
But what do you do with that bulging bag of sweets that your child drags home from another successful trick-or-treating raid? Have your child choose a few of his favorite treats from the bag, and incorporate them into his overall diet plan. Another option is for parents to “buy” back some candy so their kids can get a non-food treat, like a game, a small toy or even money. We don’t want children to feel deprived or that they have to sneak candy.
Sweets in Moderation
The ADA agrees that sweets in moderation are okay. To get their list of the carbohydrate content of popular Halloween treats please visit:
Do you have a favorite Halloween treat? Please share it!