Halloween Tips for Little Ones: Trick-Or-Treating With Diabetes

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By : Suvarna Sheth

As you know, children with diabetes can celebrate Halloween, just like other kids.

However, parents with little ones need to do a little extra planning to make sure their child has a happy and healthy Halloween.

We offer a few tips and tricks to handle your little ones’ loot:

  • Plan ahead with your child so they know what to expect. Consider (if they are old enough) involving your child in a plan for what to do with the extra candy. Finding a great cause to donate the candy to such as a local hospital, community organization or troops overseas will make your child feel good about their decision.
  • Participate in an activity that doesn’t entirely focus on Trick-or-Treating for the night. Host your own Halloween party and do other activities such as play games, or do arts and crafts. Make a d-friendly Halloween treat or snack together. Look for local activities such as hayrides,  haunted houses, and costume contests to participate in.
  • Give your child the option to “trade-in” their candy for other things such as a small toy, a night out to their favorite restaurant, or any other activity they enjoy.
  • Limit the number of houses you and your (young) child visit on Halloween night. Encourage your friends and neighbors to hand out stickers, pencils, or small toys instead of candy. Start the tread by handing out these alternatives at your house first.
  • Make sure you have a healthy dinner before you head out for the night.
  • Have your child pick out their favorite pieces and get rid of the rest. For the stash that you and your child have decided to save, but them in a special location an use it once in a while as a treat or to treat lows. Divide the extra in servings of 15g carbohydrate, and check the nutrition labels before consuming them. Make sure the candy is factored into your child’s meal plan.
  • Most importantly, have fun with your little one!

Here is a useful guide for candy to carbohydrate ratio from the Joslin Diabetes Center:

Candy equal to about 15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • One fun-size chocolate bar
  • 11 candy corns
  • 4 Starbursts
  • One-half stick Twix
  • 2 sticks Kit Kat
  • 30 Reese’s Pieces
  • 1/2 pack of M&Ms, plain or peanut
  • 1 piece of Fruit-by-the-Foot
  • 6 Hi-C gummy fruits
  • 5 LifeSaver Gummy Savers
  • 3 Twizzlers
  • 3 Tootsie Rolls (small)
  • 6 Junior Mints
  • 16 Good & Plenty’s
  • 15 Skittles
  • 9 Sweettarts
  • 2 Jolly Ranchers
  • 1 Tootsie Pop

Also, check out our article on Halloween Candy Carb Counts.

Sources:

  1. “Halloween Party.” Retrieved from: https://www.joslin.org/phs/halloween_party.html
  2. “Halloween and Diabetes.” 2012. University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Retrieved from: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/PedEndocrine/Diabetes/HalloweenandDiabetes.pdf