Easter is a time of new beginnings and is traditionally accompanied by a big, delicious dinner and a basket full of chocolate and sweet treats.
Tips for Parents
All of the candy and overindulging can make it challenging for children with diabetes. Encourage children to focus on the Easter egg hunt rather than all the sweets. Candy isn’t what makes an Easter egg hunt fun—it’s the thrill of searching for the hidden gifts in the morning! Instead of putting Easter candy in the eggs, focus on other small gifts instead. For younger children, you can include stickers, temporary tattoos, pencil erasers, tiny toys. For older children, you can include money, gift cards, nail polish, makeup. Easter baskets can include small stuffed animals, books, bubbles, games, to replace some of the sweets.
Your child can still indulge in some sweets this Easter if you help them splurge smartly. It’s a special occasion after all. Choosing chocolate-based treats over jelly beans can help reduce glucose spikes. Look for chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa because the sugar and fat content may be lower. For high cocoa solids content, dark chocolate is usually a good pick.
If jelly beans are a preferred treat, try to have them at the end of a meal that has included some protein, and be aware of the portion size; this may help diminish the spike from the sweet treat. Remember to read the label and cover the carbs for the portion of the sweet treats that are eaten. Also, remind the child that the candy doesn’t have to be eaten in one day – it’s nice to savor it over a few days. Moderating the amount of candy eaten at one time can help reduce glucose spikes.
You could also consider baking some treats to put into your child’s Easter basket—this will allow you to control the amount of sugar that goes into your child’s basket.
If your child has siblings, be sure the candy content in their Easter baskets is moderate as well, since too much candy is not healthy for any child. The family policy around sweets and treats should be the same for all of the children; it is important not to treat the child with diabetes any differently.
Remember, moderation is key. Get the carb facts about sweet treats to help you figure out how your child can work a small portion of it into their meal plan for the day without disrupting their glucose levels.
Have a happy, healthy Easter!
Although this content is reviewed by Joslin Diabetes Center healthcare professionals, it is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.