Trick or Treat for Diabetics

Children with diabetes may feel excluded during the season of candy and treats. "Halloween should not be a dreaded holiday for kids with diabetes," said Marilyn Cox, advance practice nurse (APN) in the department of endocrinology at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. "Children with diabetes can enjoy the holiday with a few modifications."

Cox suggests planning a course of action. "Some children with diabetes can have a little bit of candy," she said. "However, they need to plan for extra activity, a modified diet and plan to monitor glucose carefully." As with any child, too much candy is unhealthy and plans should be made for what to do with the excess. "Kids can do a variety of things with their extra candy-- give it away or trade it for toys and stickers."

Cox suggests focusing on the holiday theme. "Make sure the children associate Halloween with more than candy. Itís a fun time to dress up, hang out with friends, and enjoy scary monsters in the neighborhood. Itís the one day out of the year everyone has an excuse to be someone else."