Diabetes-friendly Party Planning

One of the biggest questions when planning a diabetes-friendly party is what food to serve. Potlucks can be a great way to lessen party planning stress, and everyone gets to bring their favorite dish to share.

diabetes-friendly party food

A Healthy Potluck Party

Enjoying delicious potluck goodies with family and friends is fun. But if you have diabetes potlucks can make carbohydrate counting difficult. Your yummy party dishes probably don’t come with nutrient labels for carbohydrate counting, and some “secret ingredients” in your cousin’s recipe may be important to know when managing your blood sugar. So how do you manage your carbohydrates at a potluck? 

Here are a view diabetes-friendly potluck tips

1. Ask the host to request that everyone bring a card listing the ingredients of their dish.

This will not only be helpful for identifying sources of carbohydrates. This will also be appreciated by guests who have food allergies or sensitivities.   

2. Use this portion size cheat sheet to help estimate the grams of carbohydrate.

Potluck dishes are usually prepared in bulk, and serving utensils can vary in size. Having a good mental image of what ⅓, ½, or 1 cup of starches looks like will be a huge help when you are estimated carbohydrates for your meal. This resource is from our book, Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating.

diabetes portions


3. Serve yourself what you really want to eat first. 

If you deprive yourself of having your Aunt’s famous fried chicken wings and instead eat your carbohydrate-budget on other healthful options, it is very likely that you may end up going back for a few morsels of wings anyway. It is better to get the food you really want the first time so you are truly satisfied and are comfortable stopping once you feel full.

Baked wings

Photo by Kristin Jenkins

4. Bring a dish (or two) you know will work for you.

Another way to make sure that you enjoy yourself at a potluck is to bring a dish that you enjoy eating, and that is a sensible choice for your blood sugar. If you know the party you are going to is less likely to have enough options for you to have a complete meal, it may be worth it to bring an extra dish.

Have you tried diabetes-friendly party foods:

Try one of these nutritious, balanced recipes for your next diabetes-friendly party!

5. Don’t sit next to the buffet table.

Mindless eating can result in overeating total calories and carbohydrates. Being near the buffet table can lead you to mindlessly snack on leftovers and desserts, even if you aren’t hungry!


And for even more diabetes friendly recipes, take a look at our new cooking with diabetes cookbook.

Cooking with Diabetes

Cooking with Diabetes

These books are for sale in our Greenbelt, Columbia and Annapolis, Maryland offices. You can also purchase Cooking with Diabetes online.


Have you tried any of our healthy recipes? Follow us on social media and comment! 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marylanddietitians/

Instagram: @marylanddietitians 

If you are interested in receiving individualized and personalized help with managing your diabetes, contact Rebecca Bitzer & Associates: A Dietitian for Every Condition.  You can also sign up for our newsletter filled with many nutrition tips and hacks including diabetes friendly recipes.

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Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients.  Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and  Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.