Friday, October 29, 2010

Conquering the Halloween Sugar Rush

Halloween, the spookiest holiday of the year, can be especially scary for those of us who have Type 1 kids. But it doesn't have to be. Here are a list of tips to help make your Halloween a frightfully fun one that the whole family, including your T1 kid, can enjoy.

Generally, one aspect that is difficult with a T1 kid are class parties at school. They are filled with carb-laden treats that make it difficult to successfully manage diabetes. My personal belief is that no kid--diabetes or not--should be indulging in all the treats provided. We tell Sydney to look through everything and pick her most favorite treat and eat that at school and bring the rest home. She is ok with that and, honestly, it should be what every kid does during class parties.

One thing to remember is that, as a parent of a T1 kid, you aren't alone. Type 1 families aren't the only ones who struggle with Halloween, there are many people with food allergies or Celiac disease who also deal with these treat-centered holidays. Below is a list of things you can do to help make your Halloween, or other holidays, manageable AND fun.

1) Instead of YOU passing out candy that, if there are leftovers, will be tempting to your T1 kid, consider offering non-food items. You can generally buy these in bulk and they are a great alternative for kids with T1 as well as those with food allergies. Other parents will most likely be grateful for a little less sugar their kid will pack home anyway.

2) Fill-up First. Make sure your kido is full with a healthy dinner before starting trick-or-treating. Although it won't eliminate the need to snack, it will help.

3) Carry carb-counts with you. We all know there will be some treats too irresistible to wait to eat til you get home, know the accurate carb counts ahead of time to help avoid highs and lows.

4) Carry your supplies with you while trick or treating. This will also help you best manage diabetes during trick or treating.

5) Remember portion control and talk to your kids about it BEFORE you start your festivities If everyone knows what to expect then, hopefully, there will be less of a battle at home. Say, "Tonight you can pick out 3 pieces of candy to eat."

6) Don't leave the treats out in the open. Remember the important, wise saying, "Out of site, out of mind."

7) Consider doing a "trade" after Halloween. Let your child pick out a few of their favorite candy and then buy the rest from them to donate to a women's shelter or the food bank. You can buy the candy with money or a small toy. Make it a party and let your child invite several friends over and do an auction with their candy. Then the candy and temptation is gone and they have fun in the process.

8) Remember your kid is a kid. It can be very stressful dealing with holidays like Halloween but it's ok. Try not to spoil the fun for your kid. Let them enjoy the holiday within parameters. Their numbers won't be perfect...but are they perfect now? Probably not. So realize we can't achieve perfection but if we are prepared, we can do a pretty good job.

Good luck this Halloween and remember, although candy-filled holidays can be scary, with proper preparation and a positive attitude, you can conquer the holiday AND enjoy it. Below are some common carb counts for candy. If you can't read on it or click on it to make it bigger, feel free to leave a comment and I can email you the pages.

Happy Halloween!!

P.S. for those following my pregnancy stuff. I am doing well. Things are staying about where they have been which is great they haven't progressed. I will be 30 weeks tomorrow and we are beating how long my Dr thought I would be pregnant. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!


Misty said...

Great tips, Shamae! Thanks! I have been thinking about you. Hope you are doing well :)

wendys said...

I gave out playdoh once and the kids loved it!

The Lane Family said...

This was a great blog and I agree that even if you do not have child with T1 it is still wise to think about the best way to handle the amount of sugar kids get. We try to get either cheese and crackers or some other type of treats that are a little safer :)

I am glad that things are still holding on with the baby. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Wendi :)

Jen said...

Great tips Shamae! I have been wondering how you are ..glad to hear things are going well. I will be looking out for baby pics!

Wendy said...

Thanks Shamae! We are giving out vampire teeth and spider rings :) Thanks for the carb list. There are a few on there I didnt have so that will help tonight. Im SO glad you are proving the doc wrong and that your sweet princess is still cookin' ;) Ill call you soon! Love you.. xoxo