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Handling halloween

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Halloween my fellow DM warriors!

Halloween can be scary, especially for us diabetics…

I’ll start out by saying, if you can resist all candy today, you are my hero and you deserve a metal. Diabetes is hard all the time, but especially during Halloween (well, and the rest of the holidays). This does not mean that we cannot be successful in our glucose control while still participating in this holiday! It is especially important for parents who have kids with DM to plan ahead so that your betesbabies can have an enjoyable and healthy day!

First, it is important to emphasize that this day is not all about candy. My favorite part of this holiday has always been the costume parties (as you can see below), but there are so many other fun activities to enjoy as well (trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, jack-o-lanterns and contests of all sorts). If you focus more on these aspects of the holiday, so will your child.

Second, makes sure to plan. Instead of eating all the candy, eat only your favorite candy and encourage your child to do the same. I call this, “picking your poison”. When I was a kid my mom would keep my favorite sugar-free treats at home so that I could trade in the candy I got while trick-or-treating for something I truly wanted. Keeping non-food items at home for “trade-in” is also helpful. Kids loved temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, movie tickets etc.

Use this opportunity to practice carb counting! Sit down with your child and practice label reading and converting carbs into insulin dosages. Compare different candies to each other and to other healthier options. If your child can better understand why they should make the healthy choice, then they are more likely to do so! Lastly, set limits for the days following Halloween. For example; everyone (parents and siblings included) is allowed 2 pieces of candy after dinner and carb counting and insulin dosing is required beforehand. You can also save some of the candy for hypoglycemia (but be careful not to over-do it).

Here are some candies with their carb counts (notice, chocolate is typically the lower carb option).

Hershey’s Minibars: 5 grams

Jolly Ranchers (1): 6 grams

100 grand fun-size: 8 grams

Kit Kat fun-size: 10 grams

Gummy bears (11): 30 grams

Dots (12): 35 grams

Tootsie roll: 10 grams

M&Ms fun-size: 13 grams

Nerds fun-size: 14 grams

Butterfinger fun-size: 15 grams

Does anyone else have tips for getting through this holiday with diabetes? If you do, please share!

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