Upstate News

November 22, 1998
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

There’s no trick to enjoying Halloween for children with diabetes, say experts at Joslin Center for Diabetes

With some advance preparation, children with diabetes can still enjoy Halloween and its candy-collecting ritual, say health educators at the Joslin Center for Diabetes.

Joslin Center for Diabetes at University Hospital treats more than 100 area children and adolescents with diabetes.

“Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Halloween candy,” said Jody Kearns, a registered dietician and a certified diabetes educator at the Joslin Center for Diabetes. “Children who want to eat that chocolate bar when they get home from their trick or treat outing need to make allowances for it in their diet.”

For example, to eat five Milky Way Miniatures, which equals 30 grams of carbohydrates, a child needs to give up two carbohydrate choices at dinner, such as macaroni, rice or potato, Kearns said.

“By doing this, one is keeping the amount of carbohydrates consistent and that helps control diabetes,” she said. “But what’s important to remember is that all this needs to be part of a healthy balanced diet. Clearly, we’re not advocating giving up a baked potato for a Milky Way.”

The Joslin Center also suggests that children with diabetes may want to trade their candy for the chance to stay up to watch a special late night TV show, attend a movie or buy a new computer game.

“Parents may want to offer such an opportunity as a way of keeping trick or treating fun without the emphasis on candy,” Kearns said. “In doing so, there is a healthy reward for bringing home a sack full of candy.”

The Joslin Center will hold a Halloween party for its young patients Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at University Health Care Center, 90 Presidential Plaza, Syracuse.

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