I live in one of those neighborhoods that's just perfect for Halloween. Loads of kids, easy to navigate sidewalks and neighbors who go all out decorating and treating.
This is when I usually start getting the questions, though. Will Benny trick or treat? (Yes). Is it okay to give him candy? (You betcha). Should we provide sugar-free versions of the stuff I'm giving to other kids? (NO!)
Benny was three years old for his first post-diabetes Halloween. That's when we told him this is the holiday when you run around the neighborhood, getting as much candy as you can possibly carry. Then you bring it home and trade it in for a new toy!
I stole this strategy from my friend Beth, who has a child with severe food allergies. Beth was also my college roommate and she's just started what I know is going to be a wonderful blog. Don't ask her to spill any secrets, though. She's as loyal as they come. (Right, Beth?)
Benny was easy - it was his older sister who was a little tougher to convince. She was six that first year and experienced in the wonderful ways of Halloween and its spoils of unlimited sweets. We agreed to keep as many pieces of candy as the age of the oldest child (she's a tough negotiator).
Frankly, I don't find sweets and candy to be that much of a problem with Benny's diabetes – 10 carbs in a mini-Snickers is not a big deal and easily controlled using his insulin pump. But too much of anything is a problem, for him and for us.
Our doctor is so helpful. I remember thinking when Benny was diagnosed at 23 months that he would never be able to eat anything with sugar in it ever again. Dr. V set us straight and every Halloween his office even hands out this list of popular Halloween candy with the carb count for each item. Last year they included a cute picture of a vampire saying, "I vant your blood" and holding a blood glucose meter. Nice to have a doctor's office with a sense of humor!
Our biggest challenge with diabetes and Halloween may be Benny's costume. It's a pull-on one-piece. I'm probably going to have to cut a little hole in it for his tubing, so he can wear his pump. We use the wonderful Animas 2020 but don't have the remote control version yet. Hmm. Well, he'll be running around so much, his BG will probably go low. He'd love that – he'd get to dip into the Halloween stash early!