PWS Blog

Have a Fun and Safe Halloween

Posted: Oct 29, 2014 by The Children's Institute

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. Costumes, pumpkins, parties, parades… and of course, CANDY. But what do you do when the oodles of candy can be dangerous for your child? How does the parent of a child with Prader-Willi syndrome tackle this candy-crazed holiday?

Our answer to this question is simple – structure. Through a well-organized and strategically planned schedule, Halloween can be a very successful holiday for a child who has Prader-Willi syndrome.

First, for parents who follow our RED YELLOW GREEN DIET, Halloween should be a Red Food Day, which means you may add 350 calories to your child’s normal daily intake. This means your child can be given four or five pieces of candy to celebrate. There isn’t necessarily one type of candy to stay away from - (because all candy lacks proper nutrition.) However, it’s better to mix it up for your kids. Since chocolate tends to have a higher fat content, your child should also be given sugar candy products such as lollipops, which have fewer calories. By giving your child both sugar and chocolate, they are able to have a little bit more than just a piece or two of chocolate.

 Also, in order to help your child feel that he or she is getting as many goodies as their peers, non-edible treats can    be given. Stickers, pencils, pirate eye patches and other holiday-oriented knickknacks can be an amazing surprise!

 For parents who follow a nutrition plan other than our RED YELLOW GREEN DIET, we recommend your child’s daily caloric intake be modified to compensate for a little candy later in the day. This means one of your child’s meals should be smaller than usual.

 Regardless of the nutrition plan your child follows, structure and planning are key for a successful Halloween.  Let your child know how the day is going to play out so that he or she knows what to expect when the time comes  to receive special treats.

We don’t recommend that you take your child trick-or-treating. But if you do feel that your child can handle this challenge, there are ways of approaching the situation that will make it more fun, safe and easy for everyone:

First, map out the houses you and your child will be visiting, and avoid going through your entire neighborhood.

Next, we advise you visit each house on your route before trick-or-treating. Go to each                 house and give your neighbors something special to give to your child when you visit later.         Crayons, Tic-Tacs, bouncy balls and other little toys will be wonderful gifts for your child!

Last, show your child the route you plan on taking so that he or she is aware of the plan               and the structure stays intact.

No matter how you plan to celebrate Halloween, remember that structure and organization will lead your child with Prader-Willi syndrome on the road to success. Be safe and have fun this Halloween!

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