Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Many years ago, I returned a casserole dish to a friend on Halloween night. I rang the doorbell and as I stood at the door with dish in hand, her sister-in-law (who didn’t know me) appeared, dropped a handful of candy in the dish and started to close the door.

“W-w-w-w-wait!” I called out. “I’m just returning a dish!”

Never mind that I was in my 30s at the time and hardly at an age to be going door-to-door begging candy.

But isn’t that just the way we think? Somebody appears at our door at the end of October, holding a container of some kind, and we drop candy into it.

“Can’t we give out nickels or dimes?” I’ll ask my husband. “At least we can spend the leftovers. How about spider rings? Anything but candy!”

He’ll give me “that” look—and go out and buy bags and bags of candy he found on sale. There are always leftovers. Not to mention a big bowl of candy staring me in the face for several hours. I’m not good at resisting temptation. You’d think he could at least get Snickers or something else I don’t like.

(To be truthful, there aren’t many candies I like well enough to measure, weigh, count, and generally commit math to figure out how much insulin I need to take. Which is, come to think of it, committing even more math.)

Can we think outside the box here? What can we give children that won’t break the bank—economic times being what they are—and who wants to spend that much on people who’ve been bussed in from outside the neighborhood anyway? (Yes, we get those. And, come to think of it, a few 30-year-olds, too.)

Besides, we’re pushing empty calories on these poor little munchkins. Sure, they’re getting exercise by schlepping from door to door, but I doubt there’s enough exercise to counter the calories they consume.

An article I read recently suggested toys, so I went looking.

Glow-in-the-dark squeezie eyeballs? Halloween Safety bookmarks? (Oh, sure—they’d love those!) Jack-o-Lantern whoopee cushions?

However, who wants leftover squeezie eyeballs? Especially ones that glow in the dark. Maybe the cats? I can see myself getting up to go potty in the middle of the night and following a trail of glowing eyeballs or, worse, stepping on one (or more) that’s lost its glow.

Leftover whoopee cushions? I can only imagine what the teenagers (and their friends) would do with those! Phffffftttttttt! Under every seat cushion in the house.

Furthermore, I don’t really want leftover toys any more than I want leftover candy. Which pretty much leaves coins. At least the leftovers have some value—albeit less and less every day.

Nickels are only good up to a certain age, which would be the age that finally realizes that bigger is not necessarily better. But dimes would double our investment. And, frankly, neither will buy you anything. You have to put a minimum of a quarter in the slot these days to get a bubble gum ball. I remember when they were a penny. (OK, they weren’t as big back in the day, but one of our problems today is all that jumbo food out there.)

It’s probably candy. Again. Unless somebody out there has a better idea that doesn’t involve leftover toys or whoopee cushions.

At least we have easy access to carb counts for Halloween candy these days. Even Diabetes Self-Management magazine has an article in its current issue that lists nutrition facts for Halloween candies and even if many of them are gluten-free. [Editor's note: This article will also be featured on this Web site next week.]

For carb counts alone, go to www.insulin-pumpers.org/howto/halloween.shtml, which lists candies from 100 Grand (whatever that is) to Zours (whatever those are). Print it out and tape it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door so you’ll have it handy when you get an urge for a Laffy Taffy or a Nutrageous or something.

To keep this really on-topic—it is, after all, a diabetes blog—November 1 is probably a good day to hit the sales tables for bags of Airheads, Necco Wafers, and other candies that are good for treating hypoglycemia.

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