Halloween marks the beginning of a challenging time for all of us to eat well and make healthy food choices. With extra treats, gatherings, and favorite candies up for grabs, it can be even more difficult for those with diabetes to manage their health. With a few tips and tricks, Halloween can be fun to celebrate for everyone.
1. Make a plan. By making a plan for what your meals will look like, what exercise will be that day (don’t forget you may be walking more if trick or treating), and what your favorite treat might be worth having, you can set yourself up for success. Write out your plan and post it somewhere you can see it, making it more likely to be followed.
2. Non-Sweet Celebrations. Find ways to enjoy the Halloween festivities that don’t involve candy and sweets. Go to a pumpkin patch for pictures, find a haunted house or ghost tour, or see if there is a group in your neighborhood willing to trick or treat with toys and other non food treats, in a “Teal Pumpkin Project.” Some of your friends may appreciate the extra help staying away from sweets too!
3. Avoid snacking. Don’t open your Halloween candy until that night. This includes bringing it home from the store and while trick or treating around the neighborhood. Mindless snacking can lead to forgetting how much you have consumed which could cause major problems in the long run. By waiting until you are home, you can think critically about which candy is your favorite choice, look up the carb counts, and calculate the amount of insulin needed to correct this treat.
4. Select your favorites. Don’t waste time with sweet treats you don’t actually prefer. Get rid of the candies you don’t like and only keep a few of your favorites. When buying candy, if you think you may need the extra dose of self-control, buy non-preferred candy so you won’t eat those either.
5. Trade it in. Some local doctors and dentists will trade in candy for incentives or money. Take wrapped candy to a local hospital or to your neighborhood school to share with teachers and nurses looking for a little boost on busy days. Some military support groups will take non-chocolate candy to mail overseas. By passing the candy along, you can feel good about sharing!
6. Limit candy per day. Having a small size candy can be part of a healthful diet, but everyone should stick with the rule, both diabetic and non-diabetic family members. If you see your hand reaching for more candy each day, go ahead and get the sweet treats out of your house. Learning moderation can be difficult, but is especially important for a healthy lifestyle.
Halloween is a great time to enjoy a few treats, whether with sweets, time outside with others, or the changing of the seasons. With a great plan in place, those with extra health considerations can enjoy the fun too. Our team at Integrity Urgent Care is here to help you, so contact us, if the need should arise.