Diabetes and Sweets - Alternatives to Traditional Halloween Treats

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Chocolate Eating Diabetic FeetEvery year at this time we need to make a decision: do we look for something healthy and risk the upturned noses of the munchkins who are calling at our doors, or do we give in to the pressure to add more sweets to their bulging bags? According to the diabetic educators on the Mayo Clinic website, 600,000,000 lbs. of candy is purchased each year for the spooky holiday. In the USA, Halloween equals sweets, and diabetes and sweets don’t mix.

We have all heard the reports of the diabetes pandemic, and we know that obesity is a prevalent cause. What you may not realize is that diabetics who don’t control their blood sugar levels can develop neuropathy, a disease that affects the nerves in the legs and feet.  This damage can result in serious complications, including gangrene and amputation of the limbs. It’s something you never want your kids to experience, but making healthy decisions is hard.

What can parents and grandparents do? Look for fun alternatives to the candy bars and sweets. Kids still eat raisins, pretzels, and granola bars. Try sugar-free gum or 100% juice boxes. Or look outside the box and put in surprise treats like glow-sticks, stickers, or wax lips. Plan a fun party and focus on each other instead of food. If your child goes trick-or-treating, you can help monitor their stash of treats and let them enjoy a few small pieces at a time.

Finally, make sure your little princess or cowboy wears a sturdy pair of comfortable shoes for all that trudging from house to house. The specialists at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston can recommend proper footwear for your kids, and also give healthy food tips for diabetic care. Give Dr. Robert Parker a call at (281) 497-2850. Have a safe, healthy Halloween!

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