Halloween treats for diabetics

Think you can’t enjoy Halloween treats if you have diabetes? With a little planning you or your child can enjoy all the fun treats of Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year! Ghosts, witches, spiders and black cats seem to be everywhere. Unfortunately so are treats full of sugar, fat and calories. With a little planning you or your child can enjoy all the fun of Halloween, including Halloween treats.

Michigan State University Extension recommends these tips to get you started:

  • Plan ahead. Will you be making Halloween treats? Will you be passing out Halloween treats? Are you hosting a Halloween party? If your child has diabetes, will they be asked to take a treat to school? Check out the American Diabetes Association for their online monthly food newsletter. The October issue has many ideas for celebrating Halloween with healthy treats.
  • Having diabetes doesn’t mean having to give up your favorite candy. Many popular candy bars now come in sugar free versions. You can choose everything from hard candies to chocolate bars to mints.
  • Speaking of chocolate bars, choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of anti-oxidants which are heart healthy. Just be sure to read the nutrition label to choose the correct portion for your snack carbohydrate count (usually around 15 grams of carbohydrates).
  • Choose candy that contains nuts, such as almonds or peanuts. Nuts are great sources of protein which will help keep your blood sugar from plummeting, and are also good sources of vitamins and minerals. Again – watch your portion size.
  • When it comes to portion size, buy the smaller fun size or mini-size candies. You still have the same great flavor, but a lot less calories, fat and carbs.
  • Choose sugar-free gum or non-candy treats like spider rings, Halloween themed pencils or note pads.
  • Think outside the box—candy box that is!! Fruits and vegetables can be made into Halloween treats. Try cutting bananas in half and decorating with mini-chocolate chips to make ghost eyes and mouths. Melt sugar-free chocolate to dip fruit slices or berries into. Once the chocolate is set, decorate with Halloween scenes like black cats, jack-o-lanterns, or ghosts.
  • Serve guacamole dip as “slimy green stuff” with cauliflower as “brains.” Baby carrots, sugar snap peas, or green beans all make great “witch fingers.” Use your imagination when making open face sandwiches or mini pizzas. Shredded carrot for hair, black olive slices for eyes and veggie bits and pieces can create witch or jack-o-lantern faces.

Halloween is a fun, festive time of the year and is also the beginning of the fall and winter holiday season. Make your holidays healthier by following tips on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. For more information on how you and your family can plan a healthier lifestyle contact your local MSU Extension office.

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