With Easter approaching quickly (wow, it’s early this year!) I thought I would share an excerpt of my book Kids First, Diabetes Second. There is an entire chapter devoted to helping kids with diabetes enjoy the same experiences as other children including playdates, sleepovers, camping, amusement parks, and holidays. We all know that there is more and more emphasis put on food at the holidays. Here are a few tips that might help get you through Easter. If you have more ideas, I would love to hear them in the comments.
Chapter 7: Less Stress, More Happiness
With all the added tasks and concerns we have as parents of a child with diabetes, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of daily management and lose sight of the fact that your child is still a child—with all the enthusiasm and curiosity that entails. He or she may have diabetes, but it’s important for long-term well being to have normal childhood experiences. Playtime, parties, holidays, and sports are supposed to be fun but, let’s face it, diabetes adds a challenge to these rites of childhood. So, how do you balance caring for your child’s health and letting them just be kids? I have a few suggestions.
Easter: The Thrill of the Hunt
On Easter, our focus is on fun. The Easter Bunny leaves a note for the kids with clues as to where he hid surprises. The kids grab their Easter baskets and follow the clues. At each location there is one item for each child. These include non-food items such as a book, sidewalk chalk, a toy car, or small plastic animal, plastic eggs filled with coins, and, of course, it culminates in finding a chocolate bunny!
I know your first thought was of that chocolate bunny. Kids delight in getting a chocolate bunny. The key is not letting them eat it all at once. When we let Q have a little chocolate as dessert over the next week, we break off a piece of it and weigh it, using carb factors to calculate how many carbs in each piece. (Refer to the section on carb factors.)
We also go to a big Easter egg hunt in our town every year. I treat it similarly to Halloween, allowing her a few treats over the next few days, and then getting rid of the rest of the stash. While a big part of Easter celebrations is the candy, you will find that it’s more about the thrill of the hunt.
JUST AS SWEET
Here are some alternatives to candy:
Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
My Little Pony or Littlest Petshop
Plastic eggs filled with a handful of change
If you’d like to learn more about the book, you can read more on the Kids First, Diabetes Second book page. It’s available widely in print and as an eBook from book sellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and IndieBound. And if you do read it and find it to be a valuable resource, I would greatly appreciate if you could write a review on any of the online retail sites. Thanks!