{Kids First, Diabetes Second} Easter: The Thrill of the Hunt

by Leighann on March 19, 2013

13 in 13 Kids First, Diabetes Second ExcerptsKids First Diabetes Second BookWith 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.

Easter Eggs

JUST AS SWEET

Here are some alternatives to candy:
Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
My Little Pony or Littlest Petshop
Books
Puzzles
Sidewalk chalk
Bubbles
Plastic eggs filled with a handful of change

Learn More

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!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela March 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

Why limit? Carbs are carbs and insulin is insulin. We let our t1 kid eat the same things we would have otherwise, even if that means the whole bunny on Easter morning. I really dislike perpetuating the idea that our t1 kids have to limit what they eat.

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2 Leighann March 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Good question/comment!

I actually limited BOTH of my kids’ candy consumption even before my daughter’s diagnosis with diabetes.

Both kids do get candy, but also non-candy items, at holidays.

I am asked over and over, particularly by parents of newly diagnosed children, for non-candy alternatives and am happy to provide some ideas.

And I didn’t mention this above, but BOTH of my children get the same amount of candy. And I noticed the other day that we still have Christmas and Valentine candy in the cupboard!

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3 Angela March 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

🙂 Glad to hear it! I’ve just seen a LOT of comments on limiting carbs in your posts and it gets my d-mama hackles up 😉 Since of course that’s what so many people think we have to do. For us “kid first, diabetes second” means that sometimes on Easter or Christmas, chocolate IS what’s for breakfast 😉 Not every day, but D kids need to go crazy sometimes too. 😀

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4 Danielle March 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

We also limited candy, juice and carby snacks before D and it kind of bugs me how much emphasis is placed on treats in our culture. We do some candy in the baskets but I usually do a theme…last year was a writing theme -i think this year I am doing an art theme. This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the junk http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/02/20/why-is-everyone-always-giving-my-kids-junk-food

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5 Leighann March 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for your comment, Danielle. I personally see a lot of families trying to limit the junk food at home and sweets at school…and most of these families are not affected by diabetes.

My kids would LOVE art and writing themed baskets 🙂

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6 Barbara March 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

My son was just diagnosed in December, so we’re still pretty new to everything. However, we’ve always controlled the amount of sweets our children consume. The Easter Bunny has always brought a few dark chocolate eggs and a few with some change that the children can find and always leaves a basket of treats the bunny might enjoy: carrots with tops, asparagus, artichokes, celery and, of course, that one super small dark chocolate bunny (we buy the ones that come in packs of three. . .so, the super small ones). It really bothers me how much our culture is so junk food focused and how we feel as parents that we need to give in to the junk on every single holiday, at every party, at every event. . .heck, they even try to give my kid candy at shops, banks, etc. . .blech! Yes, I let my children be children without all the junk but trying to teach them to choose better treats. . .but, we’ve been this way since before diabetes and we’ll be this way post-diagnosis as well!

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7 Maureen March 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the good ideas!!

Another non-food item I grabbed in the Target dollar section and will be trying in my kids’ easter eggs this year: magic growing animal capsules!

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8 Angela Spiby March 22, 2013 at 5:53 am

Charlie is type 1 he’s on pump and I’ve never felt that giving him pudding of cake / ice cream chocolate after his meal was feeding him junk food . He eats around 7 portions fruit veg a day and we fry nothing . If you speak to dieticians many tell you that children can not physically eat enough calories for growth without the odd treat thrown in . Easter Christmas etc should be an exception and my boy has loads of eggs given too him and he eats them all over the next few weeks with ice cream or alone after meals . Why throw treats away after a few days ?? Limiting treats leads to rebellion in teenage years . My son has h1ca of 6.1 is ideal weight and Bgs are excelent most of the time lol . Please don’t think of treats has bad , has long has they are treats and not normal then there shouldn’t be any problem xx

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9 Leighann March 22, 2013 at 7:26 am

We throw away treats after a few days just because they get forgotten and not eaten. We still have Christmas and Valentine candy in the cabinet sitting there!

My kids aren’t deprived of candy, but everything in moderation…right? Sounds like that’s what you do, too.

Thanks for commenting.

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