Children happily shout with glee as they exclaim, “We’re going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving!” Yes, going “over the river and through the wood” to Grandma’s house is wonderful indeed1. A grandparent’s house is where yummy food, lots of warm hugs and pleasant memories abound. But for aging Hillsborough seniors with diabetes care needs, the big holiday feast can be extra challenging. Thankfully, eating well on turkey day with diabetes isn’t impossible…it just takes some additional planning and help.
Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house in Hillsborough: Diabetes care help for mealtimeOh, the food on Thanksgiving day is legendary. Hillsborough residents and all of America look forward to the main event, a big feast, on this special day. But those with diabetes care needs have to take special precautions to ensure that health issues don’t arise from enjoying TOO much. Below are a couple tips for seniors and their diabetes care providers to keep in mind.
If you’re a Hillsborough senior going to a Thanksgiving dinner:
- Eat carrots or other uncooked veggies from the snack table if available. It may “seem” healthier, but avoid the green bean casserole and go for plain veg instead. Mashed potatoes need to be eaten in moderation.
- Don’t starve yourself all day so you can gorge at the main meal. It’s tempting to eat large quantities of food if you’re really hungry, so eat small throughout the day and portion out your food for the feast.
- Test your blood sugar often…more than you usually do.
- Ah, desserts. Unfortunately, that pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, cranberry salad etc are probably really high in sugar. If you want, you could offer to make one of the pies yourself (or have your caregiver make it!) and that way, you’ll know one of the dessert options is low-sugar or sugar-free. A few pie recipe ideas are here and here.
- Take a walk after the meal! Get everyone involved and this simple activity might even become a new family tradition.
If you’re a Hillsborough senior with diabetes care needs and are hosting the meal:
Enlist the help of your NuevaCare caregiver to help with meal preparation! Your caregiver can make it much easier for you to host an event by doing grocery shopping and assisting with creating a menu that meets your specific diabetes needs. You’ll still need to be careful when eating, but there should be more diabetic-friendly options to choose from since you’re the one hosting!
Yes, enjoying the Thanksgiving feast is more difficult for Hillsborough seniors receiving diabetes care. However, with careful forethought, caregiver help and a lot of self-discipline, you can have a wonderful time celebrating the season with your family.
Sources: (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_River_and_Through_the_Wood, http://www.joslin.org/info/enjoying_thanksgiving_with_diabetes.html, https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/17-tips-for-managing-diabetes-on-thanksgiving-130882/,
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/15403/sugarless-pumpkin-pie-ii/, http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/mini-maple-pecan-pies, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/DiabetesResource/story?id=3878884&page=1