Halloween brings up many questions for parents of children living with diabetes. Below are a few answers that we hope will help you thoroughly enjoy the night of October 31st.
Q: May I let my child eat all the candy he/she wants?
In fact, it is recommended that you let your child eat slightly more candy than usual within a specific context. As strange as this may seem, this initiative aims at enhancing the child’s healthy attitude towards nutrition. Of course, parents are urged to monitor their child and to offer sweets at times when ingesting sugar will not disturb the child’s appetite, for example during dessert. Furthermore, ingesting sugar after a meal minimizes the risks of hyperglycemia.
This way you prevent overeating and allow your child to be more attuned to the feeling of being comfortably full. Of course, when dealing with a diabetic child it is important to check the quantity of carbohydrates ingested in order to properly adjust his/her insulin dosage.
Q: Should I only buy sugar-free candy for my child?
The advantage of products sweetened with aspartame is that they do not affect blood sugar when ingested. However, choosing such products would mean having to get rid of all the candy your child received when trick or treating and replacing them with the treats you purchased. Therefore this requires an investment on your behalf.
Candy containing sugar is not discouraged as such – however its consumption must be reasonably managed. That way your child gets to satisfy his/ her sweet tooth and you get to rest easy!
Q: How can I tell a candy’s glycemic index?
In the case of chips, chocolate bars and gummy candies, their glycemic index is generally indicated on the product packaging. In the case of candy devoid of a nutrition facts table, we recommend that you search the Canadian Nutrient File on Health Canada’s website (http://webprod3.hc-sc.gc.ca/cnf-fce/language-langage.do?url=t.search.recherche&lang=eng).