And for parents of kids with diabetes, Halloween can be a real test of wills. Whether your child has diabetes or not, here are some tips from Health Mart Pharmacist Chad Condie on fun and effective ways to make Halloween treat rather than a trick on you!
What Parents Need to Know about Kids, Candy and Halloween
The best part of Halloween is “dressing up.” Put extra effort into costumes. And plan a party. That way friends and family can get together and you can plan a healthy menu. But if your child does go out to trick or treat, here are some suggestions
1) Buy overflow candy from your child’s trick or treat experience and allow him or her to use the money to buy something else like a toy or book. For example, if they just like the piece of candy, give them 5 cents. If they really love the candy, give them 10 cents.
Or they can trade candy in for non-candy goodies and swap sweets for non-edible treats.
2) Type I Diabetes: The biggest risk factor for Type 1 Diabetes is family history. It’s an autoimmune disorder that attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. About 10% of diabetics have Type 1.
Type II Diabetes: This form of diabetes is more common. Ninety percent of diabetics have this form of diabetes. It’s caused by overeating and being overweight. This type is on a sharp rise in this country and it especially affects children.
It’s important to remember that candy and sugar won’t give your child Type II Diabetes, so it’s ok if they enjoy some Halloween candy. The important thing to remember is to have a blaanced diet, maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regularly.
3) Kids with diabetes can have treats. Moderation is important. Sugar-free candy is better and there are several types of candy available from chocolate to gummies to hard candy.
4) Check your younger diabetic child’s glucose level before they go out Trick or Treating. Tell your child not to eat candy until he or she gets home for two reasons: First, make sure all the candy is safe to eat. Second, you can limit a diabetic child’s intake so that they don’t consume too much and greatly elevate their blood sugar levels. Older children should be able to check their own sugars, but remind them to do so after coming home.
5) There are fast-acting insulins that children can take that allow them to integrate some candy into their meal plan. There are four name brands: Novolog, Humlong, Apidra and regular Insulin. General ly one unit of insulin can cover 15 grams of carbs so parents can see how many carbs the child is eating and give fast acting insulin accordingly. Parents should not let their children eat all the candy they want and then give them insulin to cover. Moderation is the key and if their sugars get high, they can see what they ate and give an appropriate amount of insulin.
6) If your child does eat candy, check the carbs in their meal plan and plan for extra physical activity on Halloween and following days so they don’t have to take extra insulin.
Be sure to ask your personal healthcare provider or your Health Mart pharmacist about your child’s or your specific diabetic problems. Click on www.healthmart.com for your nearest Health Mart Pharmacist. Portions of these tips are excerpted from www.diabetes.org and www.dlife.com