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Managing Special Occasions

Holidays, parties and special occasions often include lots of food. You don't have to pass up the offerings, just be aware of what you eat while you have a great time.

According to current guidelines, no food is off limits. The key is to pay attention to what, when and how much you eat. Try to remain consistent from day to day. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

Plan Ahead: Balance special occasion meals with the rest of your food choices throughout the day. For example, get off to a good start with a fibre-containing, low fat cereal for breakfast, have a healthy lunch filled with vegetables, whole grains and a lean source of protein.

Curb Your Appetite: About an hour before you go, eat a snack such as cheese and crackers, yogurt or a small muffin or bagel. If you are not ravenous, it will be easier to make sensible choices.

Make Smart Choices: Choose grilled, roasted or broiled entrees instead of fried foods. Drizzle dressings and sauces sparingly. Opt for desserts with fruit.

Portion wisely: Learn to tell the size of individual portions and when you can, serve yourself. Choose the type and amount of foods that fit your meal plan and take time to enjoy every bite!

Sugar-free items can help: While sugars are now acceptable in diabetes meal plans, sugar-free beverages with less carbohydrates and fewer calories allow more room in your plan for other carbohydrate foods and beverages.

Be flexible: Don't get discouraged if you stray from your eating plan. If you've eaten a little more than you planned, build in some extra physical activity to help burn extra calories. Better yet, suggest a group walk after dinner for some fresh air.

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