During the festive season, when tables are laden with traditional dishes, it’s important to consider the needs of those who are managing diabetes. Preparing a Christmas menu that’s safe for people with diabetes and delicious for all guests is easier than it might seem. Here are five tips to help you.

Sweet, But Safe: Use Sugar Substitutes

Replace traditional sugar with healthier alternatives like stevia or xylitol. These natural sweeteners have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels, making them a safer choice for people with diabetes. If there are no other contraindications, using them in reasonable amounts allows you to prepare favorite holiday cakes and desserts without worrying about the health of your loved ones with this condition.

Opt for Oven-Baked Holiday Specialties, Low in Carbohydrates

For Christmas Eve, recipes featuring steamed or baked fish are great, and for Christmas Day, consider roasted turkey. Remember that instead of traditional potatoes, you can serve various types of grains and salads. When preparing the holiday menu, it’s generally a good idea to diversify dishes with fiber-rich vegetables – they help regulate blood sugar levels. Peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus can be easily used in main dishes or as creative appetizers. For instance, crispy, baked cauliflower with a sprinkle of spices and a dash of olive oil is a simple yet impressive appetizer that will surely delight your guests.

Serve Healthy Snacks

Speaking of appetizers for those with diabetes, raw vegetable salads or fresh vegetables with hummus are highly recommended. These light, colorful snacks will enhance the holiday menu while allowing you to take care of your loved ones’ health.

Choose Whole Wheat Flour Instead of White

Many can’t imagine Christmas Eve without dumplings. The good news is that even for guests with diabetes, you don’t have to give them up. Whole wheat flour can be used in dough preparation instead of white flour, achieving a lower glycemic index for the dish.

Care for Appropriate Beverages

Alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages can be problematic for people with diabetes, so it’s best to avoid them during celebrations. Offer guests healthy alternatives, such as winter teas with natural ingredients or mineral water with citrus fruits.

As a host, also keep in mind that portion control is an important aspect of the diet for those managing diabetes. Pay attention to the size of servings, especially with desserts. Smaller portions allow enjoyment of flavors with a lower risk of blood sugar disturbances. It’s also a good idea during the holidays to organize meals so that they are served more frequently but in smaller quantities, interspersed with physical activity. A family walk on Christmas Day will be a pleasant part of the celebration program and will also help those with diabetes, for whom exercise is particularly important for health.

We hope these simple tips will help you take care of the health and comfort of your loved ones, while allowing you to enjoy moments together at the holiday table. We wish you a healthy and merry Christmas!