While we were living in Australia Mr T has taken part in every Halloween “sweets harvest “ in the neighborhood. His first time was when he was just 5 and he had had diabetes for only 2 years. By that time I knew that I could let him have some sweets and if they were matched correctly with insulin, his BG would not suffer significantly.
Initially, as all parents of a newly diagnosed child, we too were debating whether Mr T should ever eat sweets (other than as a hypo treatment). Then during a special Christmas party organised by the Diabetes Centre for kids with Diabetes, I witnessed one mom telling her, then recently diagnosed, daughter this:
I understood the mothers’ pain and the love hidden behind those words, but I did not agree with what she said or her approach.
I am fully aware that with diabetes come increased risks of long term complications and it is not a condition that one treats lightly. No, but the complications do not happened because one had a chocolate or a couple of sweets now and then matched by insulin. Complications are more likely to happen if one neglects their diabetes management, does not test their BG and does not use insulin adequately over a long period of time.
With all that in mind, my husband and I have decided to let Mr T do his tricks and earn his treats on Halloween nights – a bag full at it too.
What we noticed though is that after being allowed to consume a reasonable number of treats that evening (matched with insulin) he keeps his “treasure” in a “secret place “ in the kitchen and soon forgets about it completely.
- it provides for weeks of treats for mom and dad.
I often wonder if Mr T would have developed a completely different relationship with sweets if we forbade him to take part in trick-or-treating and if we had never allowed him to have treats.
We will never know, but I am glad he knows sweets and chocolates are not staple food but occasional treats that need to be matched with enough insulin.