This is the obligatory post where I tell you that my son can go trick or treating. He can eat any sort of candy and please don’t give him the sugar free stuff.

But this will be our sixth(!) Halloween since Benny’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and we’re so used to the routine it’s hardly worth talking about anymore. But… it’s always worth talking about. Because there are always new families with newly diagnosed kids.

Just this week I got an email from a mom with a child diagnosed this spring. She was thinking about offering to trade in her son’s candy for a new toy, or buying back the treats to get rid of them. We’ve done both (and they worked great). This mom felt a bit guilty about basically bribing her kids to give up their Halloween candy. I say bribe away.

Halloween is a kid’s dream. You run around the neighborhood at night and get candy! You don’t have to pass a test or clean your room to earn that Kit Kat or package of Nerds – you just have to put on a costume and ring the doorbell.  But if you don’t want your child to actually eat all that junk and a trade-in or reward makes it easier for them to give up their loot, go for it.  Life is already full of trade-offs, especially for kids with type 1 diabetes. At least this one can be fun.

These days, we let our children eat about 5 pieces of candy on Halloween and then put the rest away. They can have 2 pieces for dessert (on the nights we allow dessert) and Benny can have a piece if his blood sugar gets low. In about a week we’re done with the good stuff. The hard candy and black licorice just sits in the bowl until Thanksgiving when I finally clean up ’cause company’s coming.

(By the way, that company includes my family up in NY. Thinking about all those kids in the Northeast who didn’t have Halloween last year because of a freak snow storm and probably won’t this year because of Sandy)

Tonight, we’ll be loading up the insulin cartridge, doing some extra BG checks and counting candy carbs. Have fun and stay safe, whatever your Halloween routine: