The Children's Institute has a long history of caring for children and adults with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). There's nothing simple about Prader-Willi syndrome - and there's no place in the world that understands it better. With our team's expertise, our PWS care coordination program helps persons with PWS and their families follow a care plan that supports overall physical and behavioral health, including nutrition. We outline goals and provide assistance with PWS-specific diets and weight management and help families navigate through challenges.
Holidays can bring on particular challenges when it comes to PWS diets and weight management. With Halloween as a particular holiday that's filled with treats, our team highlights a few tricks that can help keep individuals and their caregivers on track with PWS-specific diet plans to make management of it all a bit less scary.
With the pandemic, many families are opting not to trick-or-treat out of health and safety concern, but that doesn't mean individuals with PWS and their families can't still participate in some Halloween fun. Check out a few tips from our PWS care coordination team:
Consider Halloween crafts vs. pumpkin carving.
Always remember that Jack-o-Lanterns are edible and may be a temptation and cause of anxiety for those with PWS. Consider other Halloween crafts and activities that provide fun, but eliminate temptation such as decorating paper pumpkins or other Halloween crafts involving non-edible items.
Have fun with non-edible treats.
Treats do not have to be food. Consider trinkets, glow-in-the-dark jewelry, Halloween stickers or pencils, crayons and coloring bbooks, erasers, or bubbles.
Incorporate edible treats into the diet plan appropriately.
You don't have to avoid inclusion of edible treats all together. Consider creating a visual that shows how a piece of candy may be added to the menu. By incorporating small, tasty treats in moderation and as appropriate based on the PWS-specific diet plan, a little something sweet can be okay.
Be proactive and plan ahead for outside influences.
Even if trick-or-treat is off the table this year, schools and day programs might still be bringing in treats. Work collaboratively with your school, day program, or agency to include non-edible food items and activities in celebration.
Enroll in Prader-Willi Syndrome Care Coordination at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh.
Support is available for you and your loved one with PWS throughout the upcoming holiday season, from Halloween and beyond. Learn more about our resources and support.