No matter what the occasion — school parties, friends’ birthdays, Cub Scouts, sports, or church — candy seems to make its way into my kids’ hands on a regular basis. There is one holiday, though, that trumps all others…you guessed it, Halloween. What makes Halloween different is the sheer volume of candy involved. I cringe when I think of the overflowing bags and buckets full of nothing but high blood-sugar readings, hyperactivity and future dental bills.
As chief candy inspector, my kids know I have complete control over incoming candy. Once it comes through that front door, all ownership goes out the window, and it gets added to the family candy hoard. I know what you’re thinking… Meanest. Mom. Ever. Sooner or later, I’m sure the kids will find out that their friends at school actually get to keep all the candy they collect. So far though, they just figure that this is the way things are — Mom allows a little bit of candy here and there, but the rest just might disappear.
So, what do I do with the candy once I’ve taken it all away? Well as much as I’d love to just eat it all myself (and I have been sorely tempted to do so), I have come up with a few effective candy management techniques:
- Save the chocolate for chocolate chip cookies. I have a hard time throwing away chocolate knowing that I’ll end up buying chocolate chips for baking at a later date. I put all the chocolate in zipper bags and hide it away in the back of the pantry, or even chop it into chunks and put it in the freezer. Then, the next time one of my kids comes home and says “Mom, I need to bring two dozen cookies for my school play on Friday,” I can whip up some cookies with bits of candy bar instead of making a trip out to buy chocolate chips.
- Save it for lows. Now, you’re going to have to ask your own doctor on this one, but I don’t buy glucose tabs. I always have a good supply of juice boxes in the house, but we save hard candies for lows too. In my opinion, they’re just as good as glucose tabs but cheaper, and Kaitlyn thinks they’re more fun to eat.
- Toss it. We usually just throw out the stuff that’s not our favorite or that is especially bad for teeth. The kids usually get enough little chocolate chews to last us till next Halloween, so we get rid of most of those, and even the kids agree that licorice-flavored candy is for old people!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.