Here comes Peter Cottontail! Easter is just around the corner and the excitement is building up! Children love Easter and the sugary candies that come with it. It is important for diabetic children not to indulge in too many sugary foods at once, rather keep it at a minimum. If you have multiple children, treat them equally, if one gets a chocolate bunny or peeps they all get a chocolate bunny or peeps. What’s Easter without a chocolate bunny?
If you want your child to have the standard chocolate bunnies, peeps and jellybeans, controlling intake is key. Mark the packaged candy with the amount of carbohydrates. Place the loose candy in baggies and mark the baggies with the total carbohydrates. This will aid in tracking the amount. There are diabetic Easter eggs available however they are not recommended. These are very hard on the stomach and can act as a laxative. They also have just about as many carbohydrates as regular candy. Stay away!
Children don’t want to feel excluded because of their diabetes and we shouldn’t worry about the one or two treats they consume, as these will not affect their long-term blood glucose control. Instead of eating the treats all at once, they can have a piece throughout the week with meals. Adjusting their insulin can also assist in letting them enjoy the holiday treats without worrying too much. Just remember to check their levels a couple of hours after eating the sugary treats.
There are alternatives to filling up their baskets with these treats. Just give them a few and then fill up the rest of the basket with other fun items! Some filler ideas for teens and adults could include; DVDs, yogurt-covered raisins, scarves, ties, sugar-free gum, dark cocoa-dusted almonds, cash or gift cards, jewelry, coffee or tea, ear buds, iTunes gift card, sunglasses, hats, sandals, hand sanitizer, nail polish, lip gloss, socks, etc.
Filler ideas for kids baskets could include; stickers, tattoos, plastic eggs filled with coins, crayons and coloring books, paints, paint brushes, journal, eraser, pencil sharpener, crafts, small stuffed animals, small toys, mini puzzles, bubbles, chalk, balls, jump rope, bucket and shovel, pool toys, swim goggles, Yo-Yo, gardening tools, binoculars, magnifying glass, admission passes to parks, movie theater gift card, ear buds, slinky, kinetic sand, bouncy balls, hot wheels, trains, mini figures, rubber duckies, small board games, Pokémon cards, trading cards, baseball cards, mini Lego sets, Easter themed books, comic books, shoe charms, headbands, etc.
To add to the fun, hide their Easter baskets! Make a scavenger hunt. Start with a plastic egg in their room that has a clue inside that will take them on an adventure throughout the house that will end at their Easter basket filled with fun inexpensive items and a few treats. If a scavenger hunt is not your forte, another idea is to tie a string to their bedroom door and run it all through the house, over/under/around tables and chairs and up/down the stairs that will end at their Easter basket. You can use different colors of string for each kid to make it their own. These are fun ideas that the kids will enjoy!
Easter can still be fun for a child with diabetes; you just have to get a little more creative. It’s all about managing what and how much they can have at one time and monitoring their levels. Keep it fun for the children and make sure they don’t feel different than the other children in the family. Believe it or not, children may enjoy the hunt for the basket and getting toys more than getting a basket filled with a bunch of candy! Happy Easter!