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Halloween & Your

Diabetic Child

Trick? Or Treat?


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Angel Macaroons

Blue Witch's Brew

Carob Treats

Chocolate Smunchies

Dandy Candy Chews

Dirt Dessert

Easy Caramel Popcorn

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Floating Hand Punch

Fruit & Cheese Tray

Microwave Rice Krispie® Treats

No-Bake Zebra Cake

Orange Perfect Popcorn

Pumpkin "Brownies"

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Trick or Treating

   Make sure children eat a meal or snack before going trick-or-treating so they won't be tempted to dig into their bag of goodies before they get home.

   When children get home, check the treats and keep only treats which are unopened. Be sure to inspect fruits and homemade goods for anything suspicious.

   It's better to eat trick-or-treat candy over several days as a substitute for dessert or a few pieces along with a healthy snack.

Treats to Give

When gathering the treats you will offer this year think about some possible low-calorie, low-fat options. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking:

  • Cheese and cracker packages
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Cheese sticks
  • Juice box packages
  • Small packages of nuts or raisins
  • Package of instant cocoa mix
  • Peanuts in the shell

You could also consider giving some non-food treats such as stickers, balloons, crayons, pencils, colored chalk, erasers, whistles, baseball cards, rubber spiders or worms. A friend of mine used to give nickels, and in today's economy that may need to be dimes.

Source:  Barbara Farner,
Extension Educator, Nutrition & Wellness, University of Illinois, Extension Division, October 1999.

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Trade candy bars for small trinkets or a special present

* Barrettes, hair bows/ribbons/jewelry

* Action figures, matchbox cars and trucks

* A movie or video

* Money to use for something he/she wants

Sweets, eaten in moderation, are OK ~ Candy equal to about 15 grams of carbohydrate:

One fun-size chocolate bar

11 candy corns

4 Starbursts

1/2 stick Twix

2 sticks Kit Kat

30 Reese's Pieces

1/2 pack of M&M's plain or peanut

1 piece of Fruit-by-the-Foot

6 Hi-C gummy fruits

5 LifeSaver gummy saver

3 Twizzlers

3 Tootsie Rolls (small)

6 Junior Mints

16 Good & Plenty's

15 Skittles

9 Sweettarts

2 Jolly Ranchers

1 Tootsie Pop

 Here's a sampling of carbohydrate grams counts for candy bars:

Baby Ruth bar (2 oz.) 37

Butterfinger (2 oz.) 41

Hersheys almond bar (1.45 oz.) 20

Nestle Crunch (1.5 oz.) 28

Gummy Bears (11 pieces) 30

Milky Way bar (2.15 oz.) 43

Snickers bar (2.07 oz.) 36

3 Musketeers (2.13 oz.) 46

Heath Bar (1.4 oz.) 25

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Back To Home

     Having any chronic illness is difficult for a child, especially if that illness involves dietary restrictions. The child with diabetes has been taught to avoid sweets in order to keep blood sugars in balance. These sweet foods are often associated with enjoyment, fun times and rewards. A child not allowed these foods may feel deprived and left out of special occasions. These restrictions may also lead a child to sneak sweets and later feel guilty or ashamed for doing so. Should a child with diabetes be denied foods that others find so enjoyable?

A questionnaire,  given to 119 children who ranged from 8 to 18 years of age at an out-patient diabetes clinic,  revealed the following results:

• 84% wished they could eat chocolate and candy more often than only on special occasions.

• 66% said they were already eating chocolate & candy more often, to treat low blood sugar reactions or just when they felt like eating it.

• 64% answered that they “sometimes” or “never” had their parents’ consent when they were eating candy treats.

• Some of the children tried to work the candy and chocolate into their diet by taking extra insulin, increasing their physical activity or skipping a meal. Other children did not do anything to work the treats in.

• Over half the children could not correctly identify how to work an average size chocolate bar into their meal plan.

• When asked if their meal plan would be easier if chocolate and candy were allowed more often, the response was:Yes: 37%; No: 19%; and Maybe or No Opinion: 44%.

     Whether parents know about it or not, the responses to this questionnaire clearly indicate that diabetic children are eating candy and treats more often than they are supposed to. Parents who know how to help their children fit the treats into the child’s diet can help their children to follow their food plans more easily.

     Share some of these bewitching treats from The Convenience Foods Cookbook, by Nancy Cooper, RD, IDC Publishing, ©1998,  Hey Kids! You’re Cookin’ Now! by Dianne Pratt, Harvest Hill Press, ©1998, and Cooking Healthy & Fast, ©1994 by Rachel Rudel, R.D., and The Diabetes Snack, Munch, Nibble, Nosh Book by Ruth Glick, ©1998 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.

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The directions call for finishing this easy popcorn snack by baking it to harden the syrup.  If you don't mind sticky popcorn, you can skip the baking step. In any case, be sure to cool the popcorn before serving, as hot syrup can burn your mouth.  From The Diabetes Snack, Munch, Nibble, Nosh Book by Ruth Glick, ©1998 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.

10 cups popped low-fat microwave popcorn
6 caramel candies, cut into small pieces (kitchen shears
make     these chore a breeze)
2 Tbsp dark or light corn syrup
1/2 Tbsp water

     Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Spray a large jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with nonstick spray coating and set aside.  Place the popcorn in a large ceramic or glass bowl; set aside.

     In a 1-cup measue or similar microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels, syrup, and water.  Cover with wax paper and microwave on high power for 40 seconds.  Sitr.  Microwave for an additional 30 seconds until the caramels are completely melted.

     Being very careful to keep fingers away from the hot syrup, slowly pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn, stirring with a large wooden spoon to coat evenly.  Spread the popcorn evenly on the prepared baking pan.  Bake the popcorn for 4 to 6 minutes, until the syrup hardens slightly.

     Cool before serving, or store tightly covered at room temperature.  Levtover popcorn will keep  for 4 to 5 days.  Makes 10 Servings (1 cup each).

Per Serving:  53 Cal; 1 g Total Fat; 11 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 59 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Protein; 6 g Sugars.   Exchanges: 1/2 Carbohydrate.

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A great holiday treat!  From
The Convenience Foods Cookbook, by Nancy Cooper RD,LD,CDE

1 (16 ounce) one-step angel food cake mix
1/2 cup sugar-free strawberry flavored carbonated beverage
2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnut bits

     Preheat oven to 350°F.   Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.

     In large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix together with the carbonated beverage and vanilla on low speed for 1/2 minute, then at medium speed for 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl often.

     Fold in coconut and nuts.   Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the foil-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Slide foil onto cooling rack.  Cool thoroughly.   Store in airtight containers.  Makes 60 Cookies.

Per (2-cookie) Serving:  98 Cal; 4 g Total Fat; 14 g Carb; 2 g Protein; 112 mg Sodium.  Exchanges:  1 Starch/Bread; 1 Fat.

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Packed with energy and good for you, too!
From Hey Kids! You’re Cookin’ Now!, by Diane Pratt

Tools: Mixing bowl & wax paper; measuring cups & spoons; wooden spoon.

2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup granola
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut

     In the mixing bowl, blend together peanut butter and honey with the wooden spoon. Add granola and raisins, and stir until well mixed. Cover with wax paper and chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes. (Chilling makes it easier to handle).

     When completely cold, take a spoonful of the candy mixture, give it a squeeze in your fist and roll it into a small ball between your palms. Roll ball in coconut. Place candy on serving plate. Make candy balls until all the mixture is used. Cover plate and chill at least 1 hour. Makes 1 dozen (12) Candies.

Per (1) Candy: 77 Calories; 3gm Fat; 12gm Carb; 15mg Sodium; 2gm Protein, 7mg Calcium; 0 mg Cholesterol.  Exchanges: 1 Carb; 1 Fat.

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This amazingly simple recipe is so yummy!
From Hey Kids! You’re Cookin’ Now!, by Diane Pratt

Tools: Cake platter  with tall cover; rubber spatula.

12 chocolate low-fat graham crackers
    (don’t break them apart)
1 recipe Quick & Easy Frosting (recipe follows)

Quick & Easy Frosting:
Tools:  Measuring cups and spoons; small mixing bowl; fork

3/4 cup lowfat cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp 2% lowfat milk

     Soften cream cheese by taking it out of the refrigerator about an hour before making frosting.

     In a small mixing bowl, mash cream cheese with powdered sugar.  Add vanilla and milk and mix until completely smooth.   It really is that quick & easy!  Makes 1-1/2 Cups Frosting.

Per (4 Tbsp) Serving:  153 Cal; 5 g Total Fat; 22 g Carb; 15 mg Cholesterol: 153 mg Sodium; 3 g Protein; 46 mg Calcium.  Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch; 1 Fat.

     Frost 2 graham cracker rectangles. Place them next to each other with edges touching on a cake platter.

     Place 2 more graham crackers side by side, turned to cross over the frosted ones. Frost the tops of these. Repeat with 2 more graham crackers, turning each layer, until all the graham crackers are used.

     Once all graham crackers are stacked and frosted, frost the top and sides of your cake. Cover with a tall cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight. Slice cake into 6 pieces and serve with tall glasses of milk. (While chilling in the refrigerator, the graham crackers absorb moisture from the frosting and become like cake). Makes 6 Servings.

Per Serving: 179 Cal; 6gm Fat; 28gm Carb; 15mg Cholesterol; 4gm Protein; 46mg Calcium; 199mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch; 1 Fat.

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From The Convenience Foods Cookbook,
by Nancy Cooper RD,LD,CDE

1 can 14 oz) Eagle®Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
   (not   evaporated milk)
3/4 to 1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose baking mix
Granulated sugar

     Preheat oven to 350°F.

     In a large mixing bowl, beat milk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add baking mix; mix well. Chill at least 1 hour.

     Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with fork. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned (do not overbake). Cool. Store tightly covered at room temperature. Yield: 60 cookies.

Per (2 cookie) Serving: 132 Cal; 6gm Total Fat; 2gm Sat Fat; 16gm Carb; 4gm Protein; 153mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Fat.  1 Carbo Choice

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From The Convenience Foods Cookbook,
by Nancy Cooper, RD,LD,CDE

1/4 cup margarine
1 pkg (10 oz, about 40 marshmallows) regular
   marshmallows, OR  4 cups miniature marshmallows
   (Note: use fresh marshmallows for best results)
6 cups Kellog’s® Rice Krispies®cereal
Vegetable cooking spray

     Microwave margarine and marshmallows on high 2 minutes in microwave-safe bowl. Stir to combine.  Microwave on High 1 minute longer. Stir until smooth. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

     Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly into 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cut into squares when cool. Yield: 24 Squares.

Per each (2x2-inch) Square: 82 Cal; 2gm Fat; 16gm Carb; 104mg Sodium; 1gm Protein. Exchanges: 1 Starch. 1 Carbo Choice.

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From The Convenience Foods Cookbook,
by Nancy Cooper, RD,LD,CDE

1/2 pkg sugar-free chocolate pudding mix (the kind you cook)
1 cup skim milk
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
36 graham cracker squares
1 envelope reduced-calorie whipped topping mix

     Mix chocolate pudding according to directions on package, using skim milk.  Cool thoroughly.

     Mix peanut butter with pudding. Drop 2 tablespoons onto each graham cracker square.

      Place 1 tablespoon whipped topping on top of the pudding-peanut better mixture and cover with second graham cracker square to make a sandwich. Wrap and freeze until ready to serve. Will keep in freezer 6 to 8 weeks. Yield: 18 servings.

Per Serving: 200 Calories; 12g Total Fat; 17 g Carb; 8 g Protein; 142 mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Starch/Bread; 1 Medium-fat meat; 1 Fat. 

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Think again if you thought brownies couldn't be healthy
as well as delicious!  From Cinnamon Hearts.

1 cup pumpkin purée, canned or cooked
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, well beaten (you can further reduce fat & cholesterol
   by substituting 1 egg + 1 egg white, OR 1/2 cup egg
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

     Preheat oven to 375°F.   Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with vegetable spray. 

     Combine all ingredients and beat well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tests done.  Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.  Makes 24 Bars.

Per Bar: 102 Cal; 4 g Total Fat; 15 g Carb; 10 mg Cholesterol; 101 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber.  Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Fat.

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From Rachel Rudel. R.D., Cinnamon Hearts, Sept-Oct 1997

     Purchase individual sugar-free chocolate pudding cups, or make your own sugar-free chocolate pudding cups.

     Top with fat-free Cool Whip® and sugar-free gooey worms.

Per Serving: 1 Bread/Starch Exchange

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From Rachel Rudel, R.D., Cinnamon Hearts, Sept-Oct 1997

6 cups popped popcorn
2-1/2 Tbsp. margarine
1 tsp sugar-free, orange flavored gelatin

     Keep popcorn warm in the oven. Melt margarine in a small saucepan, over low heat. Cool slightly. Quickly stir in orange gelatin and immediately pour over popcorn, tossing to coat all pieces.

Dietary Exchange (1 cup serving): 1 Starch/Bread; 1 Fat.

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From Rachel Rudel, R.D., Cinnamon Hearts, Sept-Oct 1997

     Prepare a fruit tray with pretzel rods, low fat crackers, dried fruits, fresh fruits, and use Halloween cookie cutters to cut shapes from low-fat or non-fat cheese slices. Garnish this tray with creepy, crawly plastic spiders, bugs and bats!

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From Rachel Rudel, R.D., Cinnamon Hearts,  Sept-Oct 1997

1 pkg. grape flavor sugar-free gelatin
1 pkg strawberry flavor sugar-free gelatin
2 cups hot water
1 to 2 cups cold water
1 vinyl or latex glove, adult size

     Dissolve gelatin in two cups of hot water. Add 1 to 2 cups cold water. The grape and strawberry gelatin should turn almost black in color. For a deep color, use two packages of grape and two packages of strawberry gelatin.

     Pour into vinyl or latex glove. Close tightly at open end and freeze. When firmly frozen, remove from freezer and remove the vinyl glove from the “frozen hand.” Place in punch bowl with favorite sugar-free punch. Watch your child’s guests when they see the “floating hand!”

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From Brand-Name Diabetic Meals In Minutes

1 cup carob morsels
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3 cups cooked brown rice

     Melt carob morsels, peanut butter, and honey or maple syrup together in large saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until smooth.

Remove from heat and add cooked brown. Stir until well coated. Press mixture evenly into 9- x 9- x 2-inch pan which has been sprayed with butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray. Chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. Makes 36 Servings (squares).

Per Serving: 65 Cal; Total Fat 4 g (1 g Sat Fat); 7 g Carb;  00 mg Cholesterol; 9 mg Sodium; 1 g Dietary Fiber; 2 g Protein; 4 g  Sugars.   Exchanges:  1/2 Starch; 1 Fat.

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Scare up this shake for all your ghosts and goblins on Halloween. You'll have them shouting "yum" instead of "boo!" Recipe from The North American Blueberry Council.

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed blueberries
1 1/4 cups apple juice
1 cup vanilla ice cream 
1/4 cup nonfat milk 
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a blender whirl blueberries, apple juice, ice cream, milk and cinnamon until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 (1 cup) Servings.

Per serving: 113 Cal;  4g Total Fat; 18 g Carbohydrate; 17 mg Cholesterol; 36mg Sodium;  2g Protein. Exchanges: 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate.

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