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Halloween: The sweet fear of sugar

30th October 2018

It’s that time of year again where people can dress however they like and not be judged for it! But Halloween isn’t just about the costumes, for the younger generation, it will also mean the one night of the year where they can get free sweets without the risk of being told off by their parents. What could possibly go wrong?

Sugar can cause a number of health issues over time, including obesity, tooth decay and damage to the immune system. Advice for parents everywhere is becoming stricter on what they should allow their child to eat, in particular, their sugar intake. The same health effects are also experienced by those with a stoma, although a healthy diet may be even more important.

For an ostomate, too much sugar can lead to bloating, constipation or diarrhoea (irregular bowel movements). This is because excess sugar can throw off your digestion cycle. There are other potential effects, for example, jelly sweets can cause stool output to thicken due to the intake of gelatin. All of this can cause children (and adults) to end up feeling rather sick after gorging on sweet treats at Halloween. So, what’s the solution?

“Everything in moderation”

The old saying rings true once again, moderation is the key. Salts and sugars can actually be beneficial in moderation, helping to replace minerals that are lost through stoma output. Instead of letting your child gobble their way through a bucket of goodies in one go, why not save their sweets and let them have 1-2 snacks a day instead? Alternatively, you could always keep a few for yourself?

Another idea that many parents with children who have strict dietary restrictions use is to drop off non-sugary treats at neighbouring houses and ask them to give those to your child instead. Healthy snacks, such as fruit or nuts might be an option, or perhaps a small toy. This means that your child can get involved in the Halloween fun without you fearing a hefty bag of sugar.

Happy Halloween everyone, we hope you have a ghoulishly good time!

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