A cupboard full of sweets is hard for anyone to resist, let alone a child. Temptation can make Halloween a tough time for children with type 1 diabetes — and a stressful one for parents trying to ensure their children make the right choices.

You can ease the pain a bit by keeping alternative Halloween snacks around the house, says Robyn Webb, M.S., nutritionist, cookbook author and “Healthy Eating” columnist for the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Forecast magazine. “Bags of mini-pretzels are portion-controlled and a very healthy snack,” she says. Sugar-free candies can be another way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Other fun snacks that are great to have around at Halloween include:

  • Rainbow-colored Goldfish® crackers
  • Raisins in cute little boxes
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds (fresh from your jack-o’-lantern)
  • Apples for bobbing
  • Frozen grapes (which can double as “eyeballs” for a spooky snack)
  • Popcorn

For parties, Webb recommends whipping up some Halloween treats using sweeteners such as Splenda®. Try her recipe for a quick and easy dessert called Ghoulish Pumpkin Mousse, originally appearing in Diabetes Forecast magazine.

Of course, children with type 1 diabetes can have sugary candy in moderation — as long as they are careful to minimize the disruption to blood glucose control, says Webb. No candy is completely off-limits. But when you have healthier alternatives around, your child will be more apt to make better choices.

If you’re opening your door to trick-or-treaters, consider giving out little toys or trinkets, stickers, coins, or sugar-free candies so your child (and the rest of your family!) won’t be tempted to overindulge on the leftovers once November 1 rolls around.


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 frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

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Trick-or-Treating and the School Halloween Parade

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