Fresh Focus #14: Hosting for the Holidays


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Are you hosting a holiday meal or party this year? Don’t get overwhelmed! Our Marion VA Health Care System Diabetes Educators are able to assist in the meal planning if your guests include people with diabetes.

Just remember that no one single food or beverage is necessarily excluded for someone with diabetes. It is important to balance between starchy foods, like stuffing and yams, and non-starchy vegetables, such as green beans, asparagus and broccoli. Also remember to be mindful of alcohol intake.

Meals or appetizers can easily incorporate dietary needs without sacrificing flavor. Want more tips for creating a diabetic-friendly gathering?

1. Hosting for the holidays while including people with diabetes doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Plan the menu with a balance between starchy foods, like stuffing and yams, with non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli or green beans.
2. Allow guests to dress and sauce their own food. This helps those who are counting their carbohydrates, which might impact their insulin injections.
3. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar, as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
4. In your pre-party preparation, you might get some fruit juice or regular soda to have on hand in the event someone may experience hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar).
5. Keep a vegetable tray, or appetizers, such as cheese, apples, or black bean dip as healthy options for individuals with Diabetes to keep blood sugar stable while waiting on the holiday meal.
6. Focus on keeping things simple and cost efficient.

Remember that the holiday season is meant to represent the spirit of giving, understanding and compassion, and there’s nothing that better signifies these principles than being aware of and accommodating to all guest’s needs.


Kimberly Blair is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.

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