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The holidays should be filled with fun, laughter, family, and friends, and not stress over managing your diabetes. Take time before the holidays to develop a diabetes management plan so you can celebrate the holidays with ease.

Holiday Meal Planning

These six tips can help kickstart holiday meal plans.

  • Keep a normal meal schedule. Discuss holiday mealtime with your family and arrange to start the meals as close to your normal meal schedule as possible. This is particularly important in timing your diabetes medication. To prevent low blood sugar episodes, plan for a snack if your meal schedule must change. Discuss more healthy food options with your physician.
  • Watch your food portions. It is easy to pile up your plate during holiday meals, but it is important to watch your food intake. Taking small sample portions of the holiday offerings can allow you to taste your favorite items without overindulging. Another simple trick is to leave some room on the outer edge of the plate. Leave about one inch of the outer plate visible. These quick tricks will keep you from piling your plate too full with extra portions.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level. Knowing your glucose numbers throughout the holidays will help you stay on track. Don’t skip your regular blood sugar checks. Plan ways to monitor your glucose level while traveling, visiting friends and family, and enjoying mealtime. Discuss blood sugar target range goals with your physician before the holidays to help you meet your goals.
  • Be physically active. Don’t skip your daily workout just because it’s the holiday season. You may have to get creative or adjust your schedule, but it will be worth it knowing you kept your exercise routine. Include visiting family and friends in your workout. For example, gather everyone up for a walk before or after the meal. Or plan a game to get everyone moving, such as a scavenger hunt, a game of basketball, or relay games.
  • Load up on non-starchy vegetables. The American Diabetes Association recommends making half your plate non-starchy vegetables. This is a great opportunity for you to contribute some of your favorite vegetables to the holiday menu. Broccoli, greens, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are great choices.
  • Don’t celebrate too long. Many people derail their healthy goals by celebrating the holiday for too long. Remind yourself that the holiday is just one day. So, eat festive that day and return to your healthy eating pattern the following day.

More Information

Following these simple tips will keep your diabetes under control during the holiday season. Visit www.aces.edu for other food holiday tips.