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Cooking for Everyone’s Preferences and Dietary Needs

Many times, when we get together for family holidays, the menu is already fixed. We look forward to our favorites and these traditions span generations. The traditional days can remain the same with few exceptions to make the meal diabetes-friendly. But what about all those meals that can lead up to the holidays, or if family is vacationing with you or getting together on a Sunday afternoon? Grandpa wants biscuits and gravy, grandma wants a gelatin salad with fruit, and the kids—well they may just be waiting for dessert. Keep reading to learn how to please them all with some healthy choices.

Use the Diabetes Plate Method

The Diabetes Plate Method is an easy way to create healthy meals that help you manage your blood glucose (blood sugar). This method is based on a nine-inch plate, with half containing non-starchy vegetables, one quarter containing meat or other lean protein, and the other quarter should include a starch, preferably whole grains. Other dietary recommendations include less foods with solid fat (meat fat/dairy fat), moderate salt, and small portions for dessert. Is it possible to do that and make everyone happy?

Offer a Variety of Options

Asking your guests ahead of time what their favorite healthy food and snacks are may be helpful, but you can also offer an easy variety for them to pick and choose:

Snack Planning

If you have family or friends for an extended stay, carefully plan the grocery store shopping ahead of time:

Being a role model for healthy eating can be hard, but by offering a variety of healthier options, you are giving your family and guests opportunities to make healthier choices.

It also helps to plan meals in advance. Check out these diabetes-friendly recipes from Know Diabetes by Heart™ for inspiration.

For more healthy ideas, check out diabetes.org/nutrition or recipes.heart.org .