In many places across the country, October is the first month when it truly begins to feel like fall. The days grow shorter and the nights get colder. Pumpkins, jugs of apple cider, and endless bags of orange and yellow candy fill the shelves at grocery stores, bringing excitement to some, and dread to others. Of course there’s more to Halloween than trick or treating, but for families that face the complexities of life with type 1 diabetes (T1D), Halloween can be a time of frustration. But it doesn’t have to be.
Deciding how to approach the holiday is entirely subjective, and while some families choose to indulge their sweet tooths, other families choose “tricks” instead of “treats.” Whatever you choose, the important thing is to make a decision that works for your family. Here are a few suggestions on how to approach this spooky holiday!
- Communicate: Ask your family members how they want to spend the holiday. Maybe it’s trick or treating, or maybe it’s taking a hayride at a local farm or going pumpkin picking with friends.
- Be flexible and negotiate: Remember that Halloween is one night out of the year and sometimes, saying yes to candy (in moderation) can help everyone feel included.
- Offer Alternatives: Some kids will enjoy trading candy for a new toy or a sleepover with a friend. Get creative, you might be surprised that the act of trick or treating is more fun to your child than actually eating the candy.
Of course, Halloween isn’t just for kids. People of all ages with T1D face the same challenges when it comes to this sugar-filled holiday, and the same suggestions apply. Communicate, be flexible and offer alternatives.
To make things a bit easier, JDRF has compiled a quick reference guide for Halloween candy carb counts that can be downloaded and shared with family and friends.
Wishing you a fun, safe and enjoyable Halloween and fall season!