Make trick or treating fun and safe for everyone with these non-candy alternativeHappy Halloween everyone! I know, the candy's been littering the shelves of every grocery store in sight for weeks, but there are plenty of children, like those with diabetes, who can’t indulge in sugary treats even on October 31st.

Managing diabetic health can be challenging enough on it's own, even without the added temptations of endless amounts of free candy. Why not help kids (and their candy-stealing parents) out by finding new ways to celebrate this and other food-centric holidays? 

How Can I Keep my Diabetes On Track for the Holidays?

As we all know, Halloween leads into Thanksgiving which leads into a month-long stretch of holiday parties, at home, at school and at the office. And of course, after all that partying, we're right at Christmas. Everyone's home, no one's in the mood to go to the gym, and by the time New Year's Eve rolls around, we're all off track. While frustrating and challenging for everyone, the eating marathon that begins with Halloween can truly derail your diabetic health. 

1) Celebrate Connections

More than all those favorite recipes, try and keep your holiday focused on enjoying the company of friends and family. By making personal connections the main focus of your celebrations, food loses a lot of its power over you.  

Instead of a four-hour Thanksgiving dinner, invite everyone outside for a family football game; take a Christmas-morning walk right after you open presents. Connecting with loved ones doesn’t have to happen over a heaping plate of food!

2) Help Out

As a diabetic, it’s important to tell hosts about special dietary needs so that they can accommodate you whenever possible. It’s also a great idea to bring a dish to any party you’re attending. That way, your host has less work to do and you’re sure to have one thing you know you can eat safely!

Football play diagram with x's and o's3) Plan out your cheats

Before any meal or cocktail hour, take a quick inventory of the available food. Pick two carbohydrates you know you can’t skip (make sure you consider dessert if you’ll be indulging), and try to stick to your typical carb count with those dishes (about 45-60 for adult men is a basic guideline, but every individual will be different.) While you may allow yourself a few extra grams of carbohydrates, keeping this category under control will make up for other dietary indulgences. And remember—alcohol has carbs, too!

4) Your Plate: Divided

Heap food on your plate, opting to cover half your plate with non-starchy, low carb vegetables. On one quarter of your plate, put a palm size piece of protein. On the final fourth of your plate, pick your carbohydrate servings of choice.

If you MUST try every dish, stick to a spoonful of the ones that don’t fall in line with your diabetic meal plan. And if you know you’ll be carb-loading at dinner time, reduce your intake earlier in the day to make up for it

5) Pre-game snacking

It’s important to choose a high protein, high fiber, low carb snack shortly before you head out to a holiday party. This will fill you up and curb your appetite before the food onslaught, while the fiber will help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

  • Nuts (almonds or walnuts)
  • Veggies dipped in hummus
  • pickles (dill)
  • sugar free popsicle
  • ¼ cup of salsa
  • vegetables (raw or cooked)Snack on diabetic-friendly choices like eggs before heading to a big holiday gathering.
  • ½ cup tomato or vegetable juice  
  • sugar-free gelatin
  • tea (unsweetened, or sweetened with sugar substitute)  
  • other sugar free drinks
  • eggs (hardboiled, scrambled, sunny-side up, omelet)
  • string cheese
  • ½ cup of cottage cheese  
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 15 olives (black or green)
  • ¼ cup yogurt dip
  • celery and 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of almonds
  • ½ cup peanuts in shell, or 2 tablespoons peanuts (no shell)
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds in shell, or 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (no shell)

Game Planing for a Diabetic Friendly Halloween

Now that you've got your action-plan for the holiday season that's upon us, it's time to get back to the day at hand: Halloween. To keep all kids, regardless of their dietary needs, included in seasonal celebrations, try giving out one of these 25 candy-free alternatives at your home this year:

  1. Bubbles
  2. Glow sticks, necklaces, wands, glasses
  3. Stickers
  4. Pencils
  5. Pencil toppers
  6. Organic Juice Boxes
  7. Cool tattoo/character bandaids Halloween-themed tattoos showing wolf sign
  8. Mini crayon packs
  9. Mini Play-Doh
  10. Hair bows, barrettes, clips
  11. Erasers
  12. Mini slinkies
  13. Bouncy balls
  14. Mini nail polish
  15. Temporary tattoos (Halloween themed or popular characters)
  16. Spider rings
  17. Mini bottles of water
  18. Mini plastic army guys
  19. Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
  20.  Plastic vampire fangs
  21. Whistles/other annoying noise makers
  22.  Mini rubber stamps
  23.  Mini water squirt guns
  24.  Fake jewelry (rings, necklaces, bracelets)
  25. Toothbrushes




Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
Post A Comment