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Tips and ideas for entertaining

entertaining with diabetes
Friends sitting at a table talking during a dinner party

A diagnosis of diabetes doesn’t mean you and your loved one can’t entertain any more. In fact, on the contrary, entertaining at home can be a great way for people with diabetes to have fun with friends, with no worries about eating the wrong foods.

What’s more, since the healthy eating recommendations for diabetes are overall in line with Health Canada’s nutritional guidelines for the general population, you will be doing your guests a favour, too, with the foods being served!

Here are some general tips and ideas for entertaining:

  • A crudité platter of raw vegetables with healthy dips makes a popular part of a party buffet or appetizer table. Make dips like hummus or salsa, or spinach dips mixed with low-fat cream cheese. Offer a choice of whole grain crackers or tiny whole wheat pitas.
  • Serve foods on platters and invite everyone to serve themselves. Your loved one can load up on vegetables and take portions that work with the diabetes meal plan, without being made to feel the odd one out.
  • Provide a mixture of low- and medium-GI vegetables, and include a sweet potato dish as an alternative to regular potatoes. But watch for hidden fats and sugars in recipes. A sweet potato dish made with butter and syrup is not a low-GI, low-fat choice!
  • Choose a low-fat protein for the main course, such as chicken, lean pork, salmon or tuna. If you serve gravy, avoid other sauces with the meal.
  • Look to fruits as the basis for delicious desserts. You can buy sugar-free whipped toppings, or try a sauce like pureed raspberries over a perfectly ripe peach or a poached pear. Fat-free angel food cake is also a delicious option, served with seasonal or frozen berries.

Provide a Choice of Drinks

Most people with diabetes don’t have to totally eliminate alcohol from life. But, as always, it is important to drink responsibly and keep to diabetes management targets. 

Offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks and low-calorie mixes, including club soda and sparkling water as non-sugar choices. And have fun with pitchers of low-calorie lemonade or iced tea, with berries or other fruit tossed in. Frozen fruits and berries can also substitute for ice cubes.


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Diabetes Care Community is the author of articles on a wide range of diabetes topics. All of these articles are written to a high standard of quality. They are reviewed for accuracy with health care professionals and, wherever possible, will adhere to Diabetes Canada's 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines. It is our wish that you find our articles helpful. We welcome your feedback and comments.

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