Halloween Safety for Children with Diet Restrictions

For children with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, food allergies, Prader-Willi Syndrome and other special diet needs, Halloween can be frustrating. Here are some ways to make the day easier on your stress level while still maintaining the fun for your little one.

* Rather than trick-or-treating, host a Halloween party at which you can control the treats that are available. You can include sugar-free candy and treats in addition to fun items like Halloween stickers, silly bandz, and toys.
* Keep the portion of candy that your child eats to a reasonable portion size and incorporate it into meals and snack time with healthier foods.
* Print out this carb count of popular candies and keep track of which candy your child likes and eats. Check his blood glucose levels within two hours of eating the candy to see if your carb counting plan worked.

Cystic Fibrosis
* This one isn’t too tough, since kids with cystic fibrosis need the extra fat and calories, although they are at risk for CF related diabetes. The tricky part will be keeping them from eating the candy while they trick-or-treat. Either give them some digestive enzymes right before you head out (as long as you won’t be gone more than an hour) or make sure your child understands that he must wait until he gets home and takes his enzymes to enjoy some treats.

Food Allergies
* Children with food allergies should not be permitted to eat any candy they receive until they have arrived home and you have read food labels.
* Try giving safe treats to some neighbors, family and friends to give to your child when you get to their home for trick-or-treating.
* Purchase two identical trick-or-treat bags. When your child returns home for the day, secretly swap the one filled with unknown and potentially unsafe candy with the other one, which you have filled with safe candy and toys.

Prader-Willi Syndrome* A night of trick-or-treating and eating candy could easily turn deadly for a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome. People who suffer from this condition feel hungry all the time, but are only allowed 800 calories per day! The best thing to do for a child with this condition is to have a celebration at home with healthy snacks, costumes, special toys and Halloween games.

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About Nancy

I am a freelance writer focused on parenting children with special needs. My articles have been featured in numerous parenting publications and on www.parentingspecialneeds.org. I am the former editor and publisher of Vermont HomeStyle Magazine. I am a wife and mom to a two daughters, one with cystic fibrosis and one who is a carrier for cystic fibrosis.