Halloween Is Coming!

Halloween has come a long way for kids with diabetes over the past 10 years.  With the increasing popularity of the insulin pump, and the almost univeral use of fast-acting insulin to cover the carbohydrates, the days of forbidden foods have virtually gone by the wayside. 

Treats of all kind are allowed.  But they're still not all ideal. 

No matter how carefully covered, a package of candy will behave differently in my child's body than it will in her friend's.  Or maybe it won't but I have the tools to see exactly what happens to all that sugar. 

Candy will certainly behave differently than a slice of whole wheat bread with the same number of carbohydrate grams.  The candy will produce a spike in blood sugar soon after it's eaten. A healthier alternative will be slowly absorbed by the body, keeping her numbers on an even keel.

Since, however, I'm unlikely to convince my daughter to trade in her halloween candy piece-for-piece for slices of whole wheat bread, we'll have to compromise.

Every family with diabetes has a different Halloween game plan, but here's what we do:

Keep 9-10 favorite pieces.  She eats one per night for dessert.

Keep a supply of "fast-acting carbohydrate" candies to use to treat low blood sugars.  Smarties, sweet tarts and starburst are among those that get stashed in the pantry.

Donate the rest.  We have a dentist in town who collects candy to ship to the troops and pays kids $1 per pound for what they bring in.  A good deed is done, and the cash is usually spent for sugar-free gum on the way home.

Lastly, we focus a bit more on the other fun aspects of Halloween.  We have often gone to great lengths to procure or create the ideal costume.  We spend an afternoon carving a pumpkin and roasting its seeds.  We choose carefully the friends we trick-or-treat with so it's a fun outing. 

It all comes back to diabetes being a balancing act.  Fortunately, on Halloween, there are some really fun things to balance the candy with!

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