Halloween Treats

Halloween is scary, but not because of the zombies at the door. The sugar-soaked holiday is a field of ketosis-killing landmines for a keto kid. And even if you can avoid the sugar, you might be in for some emotional bombshells.

We used some of the suggestions posted by Dawn and Tiffany at www.ketocook.com for Halloween alternatives. But I’m also thankful to Nora for being so mature about sticking to her diet and enjoying her alternatives.

As part of her dinner, I made her the gelatine skeleton posted by Dawn. She loved it! It was a ton of fat and a good amount of protein, so it also made dinner a little easier that night. I gave it to her with the pieces all piled into a container, so she had to construct the skeleton herself. Notice the LONG LEGS! She lives with a tall papa, so this must have seemed pretty normal to her! She had already eaten the skull at this point and was pretty pleased with herself.

We went to the library’s Halloween party, where they have games and prizes. Every game has the option of taking a toy prize or a treat prize (which was a baggie of Cheerios and such), and Nora always picked the toy.

But later she turned into a trick-or-treating maniac. At first, she told people, “I can’t eat candy.” The poor homeowners would look at me as if saying, “why are you taking your child trick-or-treating? What should I do?” I just said that she has allergies and we would sort it out at home. But after a few doors she would grab into the bowls as much as possible (a little embarrassing). She filled her bucket with candy like everyone else, but I was impressed that several people on our block were giving out stickers, pencils, and other trinkets in addition to candy.

The “real” Viking Thor, and the Moon Princess (from Zen Ghosts, by John Muth).

Earlier in the week I bought the candy-equivalent of a toy for Nora and for Anders. I had a chat with Anders about happily trading in his candy for his toy, so that Nora would do the same thing (although he was still out trick-or-treating more when Nora did her trade). When we got home, I put the toy under a blanket on the rug. Then we made a pile of her candy next to it. I did a magic spell asking the Halloween Fairy to take away the candy and bring a toy–then quick switched the blankets! A present appeared! The candy disappeared! She was happy with her Hello Kitty pool party set. No problem! Anders also traded in his candy for a toy and he was very happy with his surprise, but he will get to keep a bit of candy to eat on the sly. Most of the candy went to a dentist in town who was trading 1 pound of candy for $2. The kids made $4 on their haul and got a new toothbrush to boot.

For the trick-or-treaters at our door, we put together grab bags full of trinkets. I also bought 1 bag of candy for big kids (our of fear of being egged later if they got a pencil)! After Nora and I got home, her candy went into a basket that she used to give candy to the trick-or-treaters. No fuss about that either. What a champ.

And now that fall is here, I highly recommend the Pumpkin Bars from ketocook. They are fabulous. I added a bit more fat to get a 3.5:1 ratio for Nora and they turned out great. She has been eating them for breakfast!


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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.

4 thoughts on “Halloween Treats

  1. Hi Christy,
    I’d been wondering what you did with Nora for Halloween… I almost skipped this year since it was the first while on a restricted diet (our appointment for a 2nd opinion and to meet with a dietician is coming up in 8 days, yay!). We turned down a party to avoid the noise level, late night–plus all the food and sweets. Last minute, we ended up trick-or-treating with my daughter’s new friend from school. She had a blast seeing her friend’s neighborhood, and hanging out with her–in spite of the cold and damp weather that evening. My husband had already talked about buying all her candy (and her brother’s) for a super inflated price. She was a bit sad when she had to sell her loot, but thank goodness for her compliance. At one house, she told me, they offered a choice of candy so she took Skittles. She knew she would not have even one little piece, but chose them because she likes them. It’s funny but I never bought Skittles, my preference had always been the “real and good” stuff: cookies and chocolate… Obviously, there’s none of that now! A Pre-k teacher “introduced” her to Skittles, she’d give those on “special occasions.” Not smart these days, but that teacher was just ‘sweet.’ And those were the good old days, when I didn’t get upset finding out my daughter got a taste of candy at school, since she didn’t have allergies… or seizures!

    Halloween was tougher on my younger son, upset that because of his sister’s diet he can’t have any candy because she’s always around. He got 2 pieces to keep and had to sell the rest, but today they were able to claim sweet victory, they got to spend their Halloween money–and made out well!
    Didn’t mean to write a novel here, but it was nice reading about what you did for Nora, and for pointing out the KetoCook website. Also, inspired by Nora’s Top 15, I’ve made the keto cheese crackers, tarts, and breakfast cookies–all were a hit. Reading your blog has helped me tremendously in still being able to bake for my daughter, the snacks are so convenient, especially at school. We’re not on any ratio for now, and we’re hoping the dietitian can keep her on the LGIT, but we’ll have to wait and see.
    Until next time!

    • Thanks for sharing Nat! We were in your boat at this time last year, trying LGIT for Nora. We did pretty much the same thing last year as this year, having a toy ready to exchange for candy, but we did break down and let her have a few M&Ms last year (which did NOT happen this year!). I have been trying to remember if she had any improvement on LGIT, but I have to conclude that she didn’t have much seizure control but her mood was better overall. Good for you for sticking to it.

      Our older son has been a true champ too. Even though we did reserve a little candy for him, he has pretty much forgotten about it. Out of sight, out of mind, and getting it out of the house is good for all of us! Our son’s school also gives out candy as rewards, not much, but it bothers me. I don’t mind that he can have some of it when he is not around Nora, but when Nora is there it won’t be an option for her, and it’s really not good for anyone during the school day when they are trying to learn. Blood sugar highs and lows affect us all.

      Let us know how the next appointment goes! Good luck!

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