Halloween is the kickoff to a season of sweet indulgences. For parents of children with diabetes, nothing can be more frightening than a holiday full of sugar-laden treats. But with a little planning and creativity, it’s still possible to have a healthy Halloween and holiday season.
The following tips can help you and your family enjoy the holiday season and still keep diabetes management on track.
1. Include your child in planning. Come up with a plan for dealing with sweets and treats that your child with diabetes agrees with. Children are more likely to be on board when you include them in planning because they know what to expect. A popular choice is to ration candy or desserts for a period of time. “You can have one or two pieces of candy each day for a week.” Make sure this plan goes equally for everyone in the house, parents too!
2. Buy treats your child does not like. Your child is less likely to overindulge if the sweet treats you have in the house do not tempt them–or you! Also, make sure to have healthy snacks available to give your child an option instead of Halloween or other seasonal candy.
3. Purchase treats on the day you need them. Buy treats the day you plan to eat or distribute them. If you are buying candy or goodies for a holiday or gathering, keep them in the house for as short a period of time as possible and give away the leftovers.
4. Consider some alternatives. Work on arts and craft projects, play Halloween games, watch a Halloween movie, visit a haunted house or make a special Halloween snack with your child. These activities are fun and do not revolve around sweets.
5. Choose non-candy treats. Instead of candy give out Halloween-themed pencils, bookmarks, stickers, small plastic bugs, glow-in-the-dark rubber balls, or glow sticks.