Newswise — While children with type 1 and 2 diabetes may not be able to splurge on Halloween candy like most others, they don’t have to miss out entirely, says Dr. Steven Mittelman.
“Let your child enjoy some candy, making sure they monitor their blood glucose and take their medications as prescribed,” says Mittelman, chief of pediatric endocrinology at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. “For children who take insulin with all meals and snacks, combining candy with a meal can reduce the need for extra injections, and helps reduce the blood glucose spikes from candy alone.”
There are plenty of other strategies parents can use to help their kids have a healthy Halloween, he says. For instance, add some low-carb and low-sugar snacks to their treat bags, such as popcorn and sugar-free candy.
Here are a few other strategies to ensure that the child doesn’t feel left out:
- Focus on Halloween activities, such as pumpkin decorating, arts and crafts, and creating costumes.
- Plan ahead with your child to come up with reasonable rules for the evening. Make sure you ask your child for his or her input and including that idea in the plan.
- Make sure to treat all kids in the house with the same guidelines.
- Have your child pick out his or her favorite candy, and get rid of the rest. Many dentists will buy back extra candy. Look for a buy–back location here http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/. Or offer to pay your child for candy they give you. This can be with stickers, coins and toys.
But be wary, Mittelman warns.
“The candy you don’t know your child is eating can be particularly concerning,” Mittelman said. “Make sure you and your child are on the same page with the plan and why it is important. For children who have a hard time resisting, remove extra candy to a safe location your child can’t get to. And consider checking your child’s blood glucose an extra time or two during the night, to make sure you can get them back on target.”
Also, be sure to call your doctor if your child appears ill or is vomiting, or if you are concerned for any other reason. Most of all, he says, “make sure that you and your children have fun.”
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