Winter is a season of holiday celebrations, football playoffs, and other occasions when family and friends get together over meals and snacks. For people diabetes, it can be a challenge to stick to a meal plan. Mouth-watering options such as honey-baked ham, buttery mashed potatoes, and sweetened yams are popular for festive dinners, while chicken wings, cheesy nachos, and chips are among the favorites at football play-offs and other gatherings. However, you don’t have to completely avoid all of your favorite foods. The key is to make a variety of healthy food choices and limit portion sizes.
Follow these tips from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to help you eat healthful foods during gatherings throughout the winter season:
- Eat a healthy snack. Eat a healthy snack before leaving home to prevent overeating at the party.
- Plan ahead. Check out the party food options before you begin eating, and make a mental note of what and how much you will eat.
- Bring a healthy dish. Bring a dish that fits into your meal plan and you can share with others.
- Move away from the buffet. Fix your plate, and then step away from a table of finger foods to avoid grazing while chatting.
- Savor the flavor. Eat slowly to reduce your chances of overeating.
- Drink water. Water is a healthy, no-calorie beverage. Drink plenty of it.
- Trim it down. Eat smaller portions of food.
- Enjoy the party. Focus on family, friends, and activities rather than food. Stay active by participating in games or dancing.
*This tip was adapted from NDEP.