The Ultimate Carb-Counting Guide for Halloween
Yes, your child with type 1 can eat candy! You heard it right. For parents and kids with type 1 diabetes, Halloween can be a scary time (no pun intended). Not because of the costumes or haunted houses, but because it could be a day of high blood sugars and unexpected blood sugar control.
As a certified diabetes educator who works with children and a person with type 1 myself, I think it’s important for kids to feel “normal” on this day. That being said, “Normal” does not mean children get to eat the entire bucket of candy, just because they are kids. NO, it means children can enjoy a few treats in moderation.
If you are planning to go trick or treating with your child, consider this:
- Always supervise and safe check candy before allowing children to eat it
- Trade in candy for toys or money. There is no better incentive for an older kid than money.
- Allow a maximum number of candy, choose 10-20 candies total. The rest can be donated to local dentist office or even to US troops.
- Give candy as part of a meal that way you can include the carbs in your total insulin calculation.
- Avoid giving candy in between meals as it can interfere with not only hunger but cause spikes in blood glucose
So now that you’ve establish some rules regarding Halloween, now what?
I don’t know about you, but carb counting is hard. This becomes even more challenging with bite size candy because they might NOT include nutrition labels. A recent article by USA today, surveyed more than 40,000 people and mapped the top Halloween treats by state. So, we decided to take this list and adapt it to include the carbohydrate amounts of the favorite candy by state. No matter where you live, you are sure to find the carbs of the treats you love.
- Alabama- Airheads= (1 mini airhead= 11g carbs)
- Alaska-Snickers = (1 fun size= 10g)
- Arizona- Toblerone = (mini=7g)
- Arkansas- Skittles = (Mini Pack= 13g)
- California- Lifesavers= (4 pieces= 16g)
- Colorado- Milkyway= (1 miniature=6g)
- Connecticut- Reses Peanut Butter Cups= (5 mini= 26g; 1 cup= 12g)
- Delaware- 3 Musketeers= (1 fun size= 12g)
- Florida- Nestle Crunch Bar= 1 fun size=7g)
- Georgia- Pixie Stick (1 straw=2g)
- Hawaii-100 grand bar= (1 fun size 8g)
- Idaho- Butterfinger= (1 bite size 5g; 1 fun size=14g)
- Illinois- Snickers = (1 fun size= 10g)
- Indiana- Reese’s Pieces= (50 pieces= 23g)
- Iowa- Twix= (Fun size=10g)
- Kansas- Twizzlers (One piece=8g; Mini=11g)
- Kentucky- Whoopers (8 pieces=15g)
- Louisiana- Swedish Fish (1 pack= 16g)
- Maine- Starburst (2 chews=8.5g)
- Maryland- Almond Joy (Snack size= 10g)
- Massachusetts- Starburst (2 chews=8.5g)
- Michigan- M&M (Fun size= 12g)
- Minnesota- 100 grand bar= (1 fun size 8g)
- Mississippi- Hershey’s Kisses (one piece=2g)
- Missouri- Hershey’s Kisses (one piece=2g)
- Montana- Kit Kat Bar (fun size= 10g)
- Nebraska- Skittles (mini pack= 13g)
- Nevada- Jolly Ranchers (One piece=6g)
- New Hampshire- Tootsie Roll (1 midgee= 7g)
- New Jersey- Sour Patch Kids (1 pack= 16g)
- New Mexico- 3 Musketeers (1 fun size= 12g)
- New York- Sweet Tart Mini pack (5 packs=13g)
- North Carolina- Butterfinger= (1 bite size 5g; 1 fun size=14g)
- Ohio- Milky Way Mini- (1 mini=5g)
- Oklahoma- M&M (Fun size= 12g)
- Oregon- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
- Pennsylvania- Swedish Fish (1 pack= 16g)
- Rhode Island- Reses Peanut Butter Cups= (5 mini= 26g; 1 cup= 12g)
- South Carolina- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
- South Dakoda- Laffy taffy (1 piece= 6g)
- Tennessee- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
- Texas- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
- Utah- Nerds (small box= 14g)
- Vermont- Almond Joy (mini=8, snack size=10g)
- Virginia- Reese’s Pieces= (50 pieces= 23g)
- Washington-Airheads (mini=11g)
- West Virginia- Oreos (1 oreo=6g)
- Wisconsin- Laffy taffy (1 piece= 6g)
- Wyoming-Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
- District of Columbia- Twix (fun size=10g, mini=7g)
You may access another JDRF guide by clicking here.
As with everything in life, it comes down to balance and moderation. Diabetes success is 80% planning and 20% adapting for the unexpected. Halloween does not need to be a scary time for your family. Instead, establish some rules, plan in advance, make sure to count carbs and yes enjoy a chocolate or two!