Halloween on a Restricted Diet

By Terri Mauro

For children with diabetes, food allergies, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and other special needs, gorging on Halloween candy can bring more than a tummy ache -- it can be a serious, even life-threatening health risk. These nine sites offer suggestions, strategies, and recipes for making the night less spooky for kids whose diet needs to be carefully watched.

Candy, Candy Everywhere
Source: American Diabetes Association
Sample Tip: "Here's a carb count of the 20 most popular Halloween candy."

The Challenge of Halloween
Source: Diabetic Gourmet Magazine
Sample Tip: "Donate candy collected -- or most of it -- to a local children's hospital or your local American Diabetes Association. Older kids might feel good about helping other kids."

Halloween Survival Guide
Source: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Sample Tip: "Host a Halloween party and offer things like glow-in-the-dark insects, Halloween-themed stickers, and cause-related wristbands as treats. Popcorn balls and sugar-free candy and other sugar-free treats can replace the usual sweets."

Halloween and Your Diabetic Child
Source: Cinnamon Hearts Recipes For A Winning Diabetic Lifestyle
Sample Tip: "Dirt Dessert: Purchase individual sugar-free chocolate pudding cups, or make your own sugar-free chocolate pudding cups. Top with fat-free Cool Whip® and sugar-free gooey worms."

Tricks for Handling Treats
Source: Children with Diabetes
Sample Tip: "Keep the portions of sweets offered appropriate for the child's age, size and appetite. You wouldn't give a three-year old a full size steak. Don't offer a full size piece of cake either - OR, all the Halloween candy at once."

Halloween Gluten-Free Recipes
Source: Recipe*zaar
Sample Recipes: Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Applesauce Bundt Cake, Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds, Bug Salad.

Safe Treats, No Tricks, for Allergy-Free Halloween Fun
Source: The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Sample Tip: "Provide neighbors with allergy-safe candies for your child or ask neighbors to hand out only candy with individualized labels - so kids with allergies can determine whether the treat is safe to eat or not."

PWS and Halloween
Source: Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
Sample Tip: "Pick some (favorite) healthy food and put out an equal amount of that one one plate. Put another puny (least favorite) piece of candy on another plate and show them the difference. Nothing like a visual!"

31 Halloween Tricks and Treats
Source: Allergy Moms
Sample Tip: "Buy two identical treat or treating bags or containers (i.e. pumpkins). When your young child (2-3 years) comes in from trick or treating, switch the bags to give him one filled with all safe treats."

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