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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Halloween

How to have a frightfully good Halloween

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It's that time of year again, so dust off your broomstick, get carving those pumpkins and prepare yourself for a ghoulish get-together.

Whether it's a Halloween party or trick-or-treating, there's likely to be lots of sweets and chocolate around, and as you know, you don't have to miss out on all that just because you have diabetes. But it's important to keep track of what you eat and not to eat loads of sugary and fatty foods, as that's not good for anyone – diabetes or no diabetes.

Halloween hints

Try not to eat all the treats while out and about

If you go trick-or-treating you could have carrier bags full of sweets by the time you get to the end of the street. Try not to eat them while you're out, as it will be difficult to keep a track of how much you've had.

Instead, wait till you get back and share them out with your friends. Then you can decide how much you're going to have, and make changes to your insulin dose if you need to (if you don't know how to do that, ask Mum or Dad or your diabetes nurse). 

Testing

If your eating sweets that you wouldn’t usually, it’s important to test and keep track of your blood glucose levels. This will allow you to learn how the different foods affect your diabetes, whilst still enjoying your Halloween treat.

Food

It’s important that you still make sure your enjoying a healthy, balanced diet around Halloween. Wholegrain starchy carbohydrates (like granary bread, wholemeal pasta, or brown rice) are great for giving you long-lasting energy for all your Halloween fun.

Be prepared

Extra activity and different foods can affect your blood glucose levels in different ways. If your Halloween plans involve a lot of running around or doing a lot of trick-or-treating, it’s best to be prepared. Test, and make sure you've got something to treat a hypo. It's quite likely that you will a hypo remedy with all those sweets collected – but remember some sweets and chocolate aren’t that great for hypos as they don’t act very quickly. You may need a follow-on snack like a cereal bar or a piece of fruit.

Avoid diabetic sweets

Try to avoid diabetic sweets or chocolate. These foods will still affect your blood glucose levels and might upset your stomach.

Extra tips for parties

To make sure your diabetes doesn't give you a fright this Halloween.

  • Enjoy a good meal before a party, this will set you up with lots of energy. Wholegrain starchy carbohydrates (like wholemeal pasta or a filled wholemeal pitta bread) are great for long lasting energy.
  • Try to find out when you will be eating – if it's a lot later than usual you might need to take some carbohydrate containing snacks with you.
  • It can be difficult at parties, but avoid sugary drinks. You might want to take your own diet drinks just in case.

Keeping yourself safe

Have fun at Halloween but make sure you keep yourself safe too.

  • Tell your friends about your diabetes and make sure the adults with you know about it too, especially what to do if you have a hypo.
  • Don't go trick-or-treating on your own.

Think about who you're trick-or-treating – some people might find it really annoying or it might scare 

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