Type 1 diabetes - Alimentation section

Chocolate and T1D

Chocolate Bunny Time and Type 1 Diabetes

Chocolate bunnies have already made their debut in grocery stores.

As a parent of a child with T1D, you probably know that chocolate can be part of your child’s diet. However, that doesn’t take away your worry about managing springtime festive meals, and all the challenges that come with those festivities.

If this is your case, know that this fear is 100% valid. In this article, I would like to highlight two concerns that I frequently dissect with families, in order to help you see more clearly.

You are afraid that your child will "lose control" with chocolate

I’m not telling you anything if I tell you that sugar causes blood sugar to rise. In order to facilitate the management of blood sugar and preserve the health of your child, it is not uncommon to see that sugary foods have been quietly eliminated from the household (no judgment here!).

However, this type of dietary change can cause your child to feel cravings. He may think that chocolate has become a “bad” food that only has its place in rare events.

This feeling of “loss of control” can be explained by the fact that your child understands that the chocolate train passes a few times a year and that he must take advantage of it when he is there. When the time for chocolate bunnies comes, his reaction will therefore be to eat as many as possible, because he knows that the opportunity will not come again for a long time.

Know that this fear is 100% valid


  • Offering chocolate outside of special events helps your child understand that this food is available more regularly. This will reduce his need to eat a large quantity during special events, because he knows that this type of food will be available throughout the year.
  • Note that it is normal for your child to eat more chocolate at first, if you decide to reintroduce chocolate into your eating habits. Over time, the excitement associated with chocolate will diminish as will his need to eat as much of it.

You are afraid that your child will "lose control" with chocolate

If this is the first time your child has pointed out chocolate bunnies time with diabetes, it’s completely normal to be less confident. I invite you to take a step back and approach these festivities with the glasses of curiosity.

If your goal is to have your child’s blood sugars 100% on target, you’re going to hit the wall of disappointment. Managing meals away from home that are high in sugar, protein AND fat is quite a challenge!

It’s healthy to set a more realistic goal of doing your best to manage diabetes this weekend while enjoying this family time. Remember that even if the blood sugar is not “perfect”, this experience will provide you with valuable information to feel better equipped to face a next meal of this kind.


  • If necessary, ask your medical team for advice on adjusting insulin with this type of meal. It is not uncommon to see the need to split the insulin dose in half if the meal is higher in fat.
  • If foods high in sugar and fat also have a small place in your diet outside of special events, you will have plenty of opportunities to assess the glycemic impact of this type of food on blood sugar of your child and develop strategies to feel more confident during special events.

Remember that on this day, your child’s blood sugar will be temporary, but that these
memories will be permanent!

With that, I wish you a happy time chocolate bunnies!

By Maude Lafontaine, nutritionist specializing in type 1 diabetes.

You can follow the author on her “Maude Lafontaine Nutritioniste” Facebook page, where she regularly shares content on nutrition and diabetes without limiting and making you feel guilty.