How We Handled it in Our House
Halloween is a tough time for diabetics. There are numerous articles written about how to help a diabetic child have a safe and fun Halloween. But if you are a diabetic adult with healthy children who will be bringing a lot of candy into the house you are going to struggle to have the control to resist the temptation to eat it. And it’s very hard to resist. If you are someone who has that self control then you are among the few diabetics who do not struggle constantly with the desire to eat sugar. It’s a battle most diabetics are fighting daily.
So how can you permit your children to go out Trick or Treating and still keep your own blood sugar within normal range?
For at least a month before Halloween the groceries are full of displays of candy. Don’t buy any candy before Halloween with the expectation that you will keep it until you give it out. It won’t be there to give out because you will eat it and have to buy it again. Wait until the last minute to buy any candy you plan to distribute.
A lot of sugar isn’t good for anyone. It certainly will cause a child to have an increase in their activity level and make them more difficult to manage. So if you need to restrict the amount of candy that comes into the house for your sake you will still be doing a good thing for them too. The smaller the child the less they will actually know how much candy they have brought home and the easier it is for you to dump it.
Most parents allow their kids to have some candy Halloween night and then give them a little every day. But if you are diabetic you will go crazy knowing that candy is in the cabinet and it is most likely that you will eat it – and probably get yourself sick. So, if you have a small child let them eat some candy when they come home and then throw the candy out after they go to bed. Really throw it out. Unwrap it and dump it in the garbage and then throw the garbage out. I know many people who have thrown away wrapped candy into a clean garbage bag and sought it out in the middle of the night.
Make a tradition in your home that Halloween lasts one day only and that whatever isn’t eaten that day goes into the garbage. As your children get older they may want to keep the candy in their room or hide it from you to protect you from yourself. But you will seek it out when they aren’t around. If your kids are healthy let them eat all the candy they want when they come home knowing the leftovers are going into the garbage. They may eat it all or they may start to feel ill before it’s gone. They will be more willing to let you dump it if they feel they have had enough. And healthy kids will not be seriously damaged by getting sick on sugar once a year. That’s how we handled it in our house and my adult children still talk about the fun they had eating all they candy they could on Halloween.
You may chose to give out pennies or fruit or other healthy snacks but you can bet your kids are going to bring home candy. You can make a Halloween party at home and not let your kids Trick or Treat but at some time they are going to want to go out with other kids and do this. You need to have your plan in place and make it a family tradition.
Part of the difficulty in managing diabetes is the fact that diabetics crave sugar and self control is a real struggle for even the most diet conscious. If your kids are grown you may chose not to participate in Halloween. Whatever you chose to do it is essential that you and your family respect your health issues and understand the importance of you being able to make it through Halloween healthy and conscious. You may not want your diabetes to affect the lives of your children but there is nothing wrong with teaching them to respect the needs of everyone they live with and love. If you had a child with a peanut allergy I am sure you would never have nuts in the house for anyone. Diabetes is a family affair no matter who has it. With a little planning and discussion Halloween can be a holiday the family can participate in safely.