Although family gatherings are great ways to foster togetherness, they can be minefields when it comes to maintaining blood sugar control. The good news: With a little planning, you can have just as much fun—and may even be able to encourage healthier habits all around.
- Come prepared
Bring all your testing supplies and medicine. Talk with your health care provider beforehand about
any changes in your medicine to help you adjust to the event.
- Have an appetizer
Before you arrive, snack on fiber-rich foods, such as raw vegetables or nuts, or high- protein items, such as low-fat cottage cheese. These foods can help take the edge off your appetite without greatly affecting blood sugar. Plus it can serve as a snack at your usual meal time if the party is later in the evening than you usually eat.
- Share a dish
At most gatherings, you can expect a variety of hearty, and often unhealthy, dishes and desserts. Offer to provide a healthier side dish, such as a fruit platter for dessert. Dishes that are good for people with diabetes are also good for everyone else.
- Take a small plate
This can help reduce portions without making you feel like you're skimping. If only 1 size plate is available, divide it into sections and fill half with vegetables. Other tips: drink plenty of water with your meal, which helps fill you up, and don't stand near food when socializing. It's too easy to talk and graze
- Play it safe with alcohol
Keep it to 1 glass for women and 2 for men. Too much alcohol can drastically lower blood sugar in people who take insulin or certain medicines. And remember to eat something first to help prevent low blood sugar levels later
- Watch your time
If the party is near the usual time you eat, you are in luck. If not, have a snack before the party closer to your usual eating time. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the party that you usually would. If you are planning on dessert, watch the starchy foods and allow yourself a small piece of your favorite
- Get back on track
If you overindulge at the party, just try to get yourself back on track the next day. Add some extra activity to your day, monitor your blood sugar levels, and get back to your usual healthy meal plan