For parents of young kids with type 1 diabetes, Halloween brings new meaning to the phrase “Frightfully Fun”. On the one hand, you don’t want your child to miss out on the fun, but on the other hand, managing blood sugars in the midst of so many high-carb treats, excitement and running can be downright scary. Here are five tips to help parents of toddlers and grade school-age kids manage Halloween night:
It’s not all about the candy
Candy doesn’t have to be the sole focus of Halloween. Play up the other fun aspects of Halloween, such as pumpkin carving, decorating your home, costume parades, and Halloween carnivals. If your family is up for some pre-trick-or-treating fun, join Carb DM and Brave Buddies at this year’s JDRF Silicon Valley walk on Halloween morning!
Make a trick-or-treat plan
Agree beforehand how much candy your child gets to eat. If your child has siblings, make sure the candy rules apply to them as well. If you know which houses around the neighborhood plan to offer non-food treats, plan your trick-or-treating route around those houses (check out the Teal Pumpkin Project map to see if a family offering non-food treats lives nearby). Finally, serve a healthy dinner before going out to trick-or-treat. Nourishing foods will sustain your child through the night and will leave less room in his or her belly for sweets!
Factor in exercise and excitement
Halloween night is a big deal for kids, so remember that adrenaline and excitement can affect your child’s blood sugars. Also, running around from house to house takes up a lot of energy, which can lower blood sugars.
Let kids be kids
Halloween happens only once a year, so allow your child to enjoy their Halloween treats (subject to your predetermined candy limits!) and plan to cover them with the appropriate amount of insulin. Check out the ADA’s list of carb counts for popular Halloween candies.
Check out our post from last year featuring 6 great ideas to use up all of your excess Halloween candy. A great suggestion is to donate it to troops overseas. If you’re in the East Bay, Carb DM is hosting a Candy Swap on Saturday, November 7. Children can trade in their candy for a toy, and the candy will be donated to the troops!
What about older kids? Teens and tweens love Halloween too, but their parents have a whole new set of monster issues to deal with! Stay tuned for our tips to help teens and tweens have a safe and happy Halloween.