For many seniors, managing diabetes during the holidays can be challenging. Changes in eating habits from holiday parties or overindulging in sweets can cause increases in blood sugar. It is important for seniors to talk to their doctor and plan on how to manage diabetes during the holiday. The following are some ways that caregivers can help support seniors managing their diabetes during the holiday season.

Talk to your doctor. Caregivers can help support seniors talk to their doctor to understand how to manage their blood sugar. Your doctor can help you decide which options are best for you to help manage your diabetes long term.

Stay Hydrated. To help manage diabetes, it is important to stay hydrated.  Caregivers can help provide water, tea, and sugar-free drinks to help seniors stay hydrated.

Include veggies on your holiday menu.  Planning a healthy menu for your holiday dinner that includes lots of vegetables and fruits can help seniors stay healthy.

Know your portions.  Portion control is an important part of managing your diabetes. Knowing your portions can help you plan ahead to manage your carbohydrate intake.

Use healthy substitutes in recipes. Holiday recipes are notorious for containing calorie rich ingredients. Use healthy substitutes such as Greek yogurt for sour cream or mashed cauliflower instead of white potatoes to lower calories consumed.

Stay active. Include staying active in your holiday traditions. Take a walk with your family, dance together or incorporate gentle movement such as yoga to help stay active during the holidays.

Give Thanks. Eat with gratitude this holiday season and savor healthy foods with friends and family. Eating with gratitude can help avoid emotional eating


Moran, K. J., & Burson, R. (2014). How to enjoy the holidays with diabetes. Home Healthcare Nurse, 32(10), 610-611. doi:10.1097/nhh.0000000000000158 – doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000158 – focus on diabetes