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Halloween Ideas for Kids with Diabetes

Lisa Feierstein Children's Health, Diabetes Leave a comment   , , , ,

Halloween is a beloved holiday for most kids, especially those with a sweet tooth. However, if you have a diabetic child you may be worried about blood sugar spikes that Halloween candy can bring.

Despite your child’s diagnosis, there are ways for them to enjoy Halloween with their friends and family. All it takes is some preparation and some creativity.

Here are a few ideas for a fun, diabetes-friendly Halloween for you and your family.

enjoy halloween diabetes

Instead of Trick or Treating, try these ideas:

Start a new Halloween tradition: Try a family dinner or movie night for Halloween fun without candy. Even a family board game night can be a great Halloween tradition, especially if the whole family gets dressed up in costumes.

Have a Halloween party: By organizing your own Halloween party, you have control over the treats and activities. This will allow you you to substitute diabetes-friendly alternatives to candy and other sugary snacks. If you offer plenty of spooky games and crafts, even your child’s friends may forget the lack of candy on the buffet table.

Tips for Diabetes-friendly Trick or Treating

Every family and every child with diabetes is different. If you and your child want to make trick or treating part of your Halloween this year, here are some tips that may help avoid blood sugar spikes.

Give neighbors alternative treats for your child: Before Halloween, you can give your neighbors non-candy treats or small toys for them to give to your child. Then, your child can have the fun of collecting treasures around the neighborhood without the worries that over-indulging in candy could bring.

Have a protein-rich dinner beforehand: Protein can help mitigate the effects of excess sugar. So before heading out for trick or treating, serve a protein-rich dinner to get your child’s blood sugar in the ideal range.

Find another home for the candy haul: Even those of us without diabetes know that eating a lot of candy at once isn’t a good idea. Once your child has collected a bag full of candy, there are many opportunities to re-purpose that extra candy for a better cause.

Save for Low Sugar Days – Pack up excess candy and use to combat low blood sugar. This allows your child to enjoy some candy when they really need it.

Halloween Fairy/Sugar Goblin – Many families have invented an imaginary creature that will exchange candy for a toy at night when your child is asleep. This can be a great way to avoid tantrums from lost candy with the excitement of a new toy.

Donation – Help your community by donating your extra candy to a homeless shelter, assisted living center, or other organization in need.

Start Planning Early for a Memorable and Diabetes-Safe Halloween

Every kid deserves a fun and safe Halloween. With these tips, you can make your child’s Halloween one to remember.

Additional Resources

13 Halloween Ideas for T1D Families – T1 Everyday Magic
Added Sugar Amounts Now on Nutrition Facts Panel


New Recommendations from the ADA: Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents

Lisa Feierstein Children's Health, Diabetes Leave a comment   , , , , , ,

The American Diabetes Association recently shared an updated position statement on the management of type 1 diabetes in children and Adolescents. This statement is an update to their previous position statement issued in 2005. Their statement highlights the common sense idea that children are not just mini-adults. Treatment plans for children with Type 1 diabetes need to be tailored to both their current situation and their future growth and development.

The following areas were highlighted in the updated statement of recommendations for children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D):

  • Diagnosis of Diabetes
  • Blood Glucose Level Management
  • Lifestyle Considerations
  • Self-Management of Diabetes
  • Complications and Comorbidities
  • The Transition from Childhood to Adolescence and Adulthood

Diabetes Blood Glucose Testing

New Recommendations for Blood Glucose (BG) Management in Children and Adolescents

Most children’s T1D should be treated with insulin regimens with either multiple daily injections or via insulin pump therapy. Healthcare professionals should measure A1C levels of their non-adult patients at 3 month intervals. The target level of A1C should be 7.5 %. Patients or their caregivers should monitor BG levels multiple times a day, typically 6 to 10 times.

Medical devices such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM) can be very helpful in the management of T1D. The ADA recommends that the CGM be considered in all children and adolescents, even though not using insulin pump therapy. Studies have found that compliant use such devices correlates with better BG control, lower A1C levels and reduction in hypoglycemic events.

Adjunctive Therapies for Children with T1D

One highlight in their recommendations between the management of type 1 diabetes in children versus adults is in regard to adjunctive therapies. They do not recommend the use of adjunctive therapies, such as the medication metformin in children. Clinical trials showed that despite the advantages of such therapies to help with weight loss or other diabetes comorbidities, there are more risks than benefits for children.

Check back next month for our follow-up blog talking about the unique behavioral aspects of managing diabetes in children and adolescents. We’ll focus on the challenges of self-management of their disease and other related health and wellness concerns.

Additional Resources

411 on CGM
Exercise for Children with Diabetes
ADA Position Statement


Five Misconceptions About Diabetes

Lisa Feierstein Children's Health, Diabetes, Men's Health, Women's Health Leave a comment   , ,

There are many misconceptions about diabetes. Below are a few of them followed by the truth.

Myth: People get Type 1 diabetes from eating too much sugar

Reality: No one really knows how someone gets the disease.

It does not mean that the patient eats too much sugar. “Type 1 is like being hit by lightning, and it’s not anybody’s fault,” says Steven Griffen, MD who is a vice president for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Researchers still can’t pin down the real cause of this disease, but it means that the patient’s pancreas is not processing insulin the way that it should.

Myth: It is dangerous for people with diabetes to exercise or participate in sports

Girls Walking for Exercise

Photo from Shutterstock.

participate in sports and even thrive as an athlete. Professional athletes such as tennis star Bill Talbert, boxer Jersey Joe Walcott, and golfer Sherri Turner are all Type 1 patients.

Myth: Diabetics should avoid all sugar and carbohydrates

Reality: Diabetics can and should have some sugar and carbohydrates. 

Did you know that diabetics also experience extreme lows in their blood sugar?  Yes, it’s true.  When a diabetic has a blood sugar nosedive, this is called hypoglycemia.  The highs are referred to as hyperglycemia.  Hypoglycemia can make the patient feel just as bad as if their sugar is too high. Hypoglycemia can be avoided by a regular intake of natural sugars. Diabetics can try eating fruit and complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread and pasta to prevent hypoglycemia.

Myth: Diabetes is caused by being overweight

Reality: There are two very different types of diabetes.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that never goes away. Type 2 symptoms can diminish with weight management and dietary changes.  Being overweight puts you at risk for Type 2 diabetes, but Type 1 patients often find it difficult to gain weight.

Myth: Diabetes is easy to control.

Diabetes Blood Glucose TestingReality: Diabetes is hard to control, no matter how diligent one is with sticking to his/her meal plan and treatment schedule.

Treatment is ongoing. People often assume that the patient “has it all figured out.”  Stress, hormone changes, growth spurts, and illnesses can all cause a diabetic’s blood sugar to swing.

On the upside, there are so many more ways to combat Type 1 diabetes now than ever before. Patients now have many options available to them to make life with Type 1 diabetes more manageable including insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and even an artificial pancreas.


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