Food, food everywhere and so many treats to eat!! Sometimes eating at parties feels defeating when so much goes into choosing and counting when you live with diabetes. Most parties that we attend have so much food, everything looks great – but when we live with diabetes it gives us more to chew on so to speak! We think “What am I to eat”, “what won’t affect my BG too fast”, “what doesn’t have too much fat or carbs”, “what doesn’t to require a huge bolus to enjoy??” and on and on the questions go.
Some simple tips can save us from worrying too much and from elevated BGs after indulging. The following ideas can help us feel satisfied and engaged in the holiday celebration:
Tip #1: Bring a dish to pass. When you prepare a dish, whether appetizer, entrée, or dessert, it allows you to have a “Go To” dish. If you use a recipe from a cookbook specific for Diabetes the nutrient data will be available at the end of the recipe, thus allowing you to enjoy a tasty dish that you have the inside information on to keep you on track!
Tip #2: LOVE your Veggies!! When grazing at parties…go for the veggies first. These are for the most part low in calories, low or fat free, high in fiber and will have the least effect on blood glucose. The fiber content will aid with filling you up, allowing you to eat less of the other foods.
Tip #3: Eat a small snack before attending a party. If you go to a party on an empty stomach this can cause you to eat a lot more than you’d like, many times filling up on foods highest in fat and carbohydrate. Try a piece of low fat cheese, a handful of nuts or a small carton of yogurt before heading to the party.
Tip #4: If you are the host of a Holiday gathering offer healthier alternatives to traditional high fat/calorie dishes. Veggies and fruit trays, low fat dips made with yogurt, salsa instead of cheese dips, sugar free jellos and puddings. Prepare foods with substitutions such as: applesauce in place of oil in a recipe, egg substitute instead of whole eggs, non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream….and cut treats into smaller bite size pieces.
Tip #5: Make a plate of the foods you really want to eat first. Eat it slowly and carry a non-caloric beverage in the other hand. Sipping the beverage while eating will help you enjoy your treats slowly, allowing you to also eat less.
Tip #6: Enjoy the time with your family and friends! Bring the focus of a party away from the “food table”. Suggest playing a game to encourage everyone at the party to interact socially and enjoy the time together!
Try the following Holiday Appetizer for a treat that will save some Carbs for real treats!
Crab Canapés (Makes 16 servings)
2/3 c. light cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. chopped red pepper
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
¼ c. green onions, top and bottom sliced
2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 ½ cucumbers or zucchini – Sliced into 65 pieces (1/2”thick)
1 8oz. package crab-meat or lobster, flaked
Parsley, Parmesan or feta cheese for garnish if desired
- Combine Cream Cheese, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder in a bowl. Stir in crab-meat, bell pepper and onions. Cover and chill until ready to be served.
- Prepare Canapés when ready to serve by spooning 1 ½ teaspoons of crab mixture onto each cucumber or zucchini slice. Place on serving tray and garnish with parsley and a bit of Parmesan or feta if desired.
Serving size: 4 crab canapés w/cucumber or zucchini slices
Fat: 2 gram
Fiber: 1 gram