Worried about how to manage your diabetes while enjoying diabetic Christmas treats?
You may be wondering about how to fit Christmas treats into your holidays. The holidays are here, and if you have diabetes, managing your blood sugars may seem like a daunting task. We’ve gathered a few tips to managing sweets, along with few of our favorite diabetic Christmas treats recipes!
Why diabetic Christmas treats?
It is important to know that you CAN enjoy sweets during the holidays. Take a look at how you can manage your diabetes in this blog below during the holidays and every day. Having fun foods that are tasty, that you enjoy, and that bring you closer with those around you is important. We have developed diabetic friendly Christmas treats to help you feel more confident in your dessert choices, knowing that it will help keep your blood sugar more stable.
Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes is overwhelming, but it is not the end! Once blood sugars are controlled, complications of diabetes can be minimized and you can live a balanced, healthy life. Controlling blood sugar takes time and effort, and unfortunately, isn’t something that can be put on hold for the holiday season.
The holidays are a time for giving thanks, spending time with family and friends, observing your religion, and enjoying yourself. It’s also a great time to prepare homemade favorites and traditional foods that remind you of the holiday spirit. Controlling your diabetes through the holidays is something that is possible! Let Rebecca Bitzer & Associates help you learn how to control your diabetes through the holiday months and beyond. Our dietitians are able to help you manage your blood sugars, teach you about carbohydrate counting, carbohydrate exchanges, insulin pump training, portion control, meal plans, and anything else you may need. Here are a few tips to make it more controlling your diabetes more manageable:
How to manage your diabetes over the holidays:
Focus on Family and Friends
The holidays are a time to spend time with family and friends, focus on this first and the food that comes along with it last. Food is an emotional part of our lives, and that is ok. It connects us with others, it brings us together. It’s ok for holidays to involve food, but make your focus the connection with family and friends, and less about the foods involved.
Make sure to fuel your body consistently throughout the day, versus saving up your carbs and calories for the holiday meal. Eat balanced meals and snacks to help keep your blood sugar more stable. A cute pumpkin-shaped holiday cheese ball and some whole grain crackers can make a delicious and balanced snack to share while dinner is being prepared.
Choose your Favorite Foods
Holiday meals tend to revolve around carbohydrates: stuffing, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, etc. Pick your favorites to start. Do you wait all year for grandma’s mashed potatoes? Go for it. Do you actually enjoy those rolls you can have every day of the year? Maybe skip them. Balance those carbs with a good serving of protein. Bring on the turkey!
Bonus tip: Watching your sodium intake? We have lots of low sodium spice blend recipes that can help you have flavorful dishes, while also helping you keep your salt intake lower. Take a look at these recipes.
Set Boundaries with Food Pushers
Don’t feel obligated to eat items that you aren’t interested in. Try not to feel guilty. Just because a certain person made the dish doesn’t mean you have to eat it! Or if a family member is pushing you to have another helping, it is important to set boundaries and politely decline (if you are satisfied). One way to mitigate the possible awkward moment, is to ensure them you loved the dish, and ask if they could set some aside for you to take home.
Fill your Plate with Veggies
Fiber (from veggies) and protein can help slow digestion and keep your blood sugar more stable. Pair your carbohydrate foods with protein and fiber-rich veggies. If your family tends to steer clear of veggies during the holidays, offer to bring your favorite veggie side dish.
Give our crunchy roasted green bean recipe a try!
Another great option is these roasted Brussels sprouts, with pomegranate seeds for some festive color! They are sure to please the crowd.
Avoid Feeling Overstuffed
Getting to the point of overstuffed will cause your blood sugars to spike further and leave you feeling lethargic and left out of the festivities. Stop when you are comfortably full and satisfied, and take plenty of leftovers to enjoy at another time.
Leftover cranberry sauce can be used in so many ways! I like to use it in a tart salad dressing for my Delicata Squash Salad.
Take a 10 to 15 Minute Walk
Get the family to join in, and go for a short walk around the block. Moving your body after a meal can decrease your blood sugar. Your muscles use glucose for energy so they will use the increased glucose in your blood stream to fuel that movement.
Monitor your blood sugars.
This is especially helpful if you are experimenting with rich holiday foods or Christmas treats for the first time.
Diabetic Christmas Treats
Our favorites include Diabetic Mug Cake, Diabetic Hot Cocoa and Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pie with Hazelnut Crust.
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays!
More resources to manage your diabetes
We also have a large database of recipes that we have tested, photographed and noted which ones are diabetes friendly and specific to a wide variety of conditions. Stay tuned for more holiday blogs coming soon.
For more Diabetic Christmas Treats, see our favorite cookbook to manage your diabetes
For easy to cook diabetes-friendly recipes, take a look at our cooking with diabetes cookbook.
Our diabetes expert can help you manage your diabetes
Kaitlin Williams, MPH, RD, LD, one of our Registered Dietitians, is able to offer an individualized approach to treating your diabetes by looking at the big picture which includes your medications, blood sugar levels, food choices and lifestyle. She is able to help you make your health a priority and create a better roadmap to obtaining a life free from the complications of diabetes.
Let us know what you think of these Diabetic Christmas Treats and other Diabetes tips and recipes in the comments section below.
For more information on our diabetes programs, take a look at this link.
If you are interested in meeting with Kaitlin or one of our registered dietitians, click here or call 301-474-2499 to make an appointment today!
Blog reviewed and updated December 2022
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.