It can be difficult to eat properly for almost anyone. For seniors with diabetes, it can be a real challenge. The holidays can be an especially bittersweet time for individuals living with diabetes. That’s because holidays are often associated with sugary treats, whether homemade or displayed at eye level in stores seemingly year-round. One of the biggest foods to avoid if you have diabetes is sugar. But it isn’t just sugar on its own, but so many foods and condiments contain high amounts of sugar. This makes trying to stay healthy even harder around the holidays.
At Easter, you may easily be able to avoid the chocolate eggs, but yellow Peeps are everywhere. And they are full of sugar — one serving (five chicks) contains 36 grams of carbohydrates, 12 percent of the daily recommended value.
That doesn’t mean that you have to abstain from what family and friends are enjoying on Easter morning. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping treat servings small and suggests that if you want to eat one, swap out another carbohydrate-rich food that may already be part of your diet plan. Another way to help offset an indulgence is to stay active – try and plan a walk before or after a big meal, and this can even become a family activity.
Learn more: Proper Diet for Seniors with Diabetes
Other tips from the ADA:
- Share an Easter treat with someone else, to help keep portion sizes small.
- Plan ahead: plan a strategy for Easter morning, and stick to it.
- Consider an alternative: prepare a healthier snack, such as baked apples sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Create your own sugar-free treats. There is an abundance of diabetic recipe blogs online.
DiabeticGourmet.com is another good source for Easter recipes. Almond biscotti, almost-shortbread cookies, and cherry coconut macaroons will fit easily into an Easter basket, and they’ll likely be popular even with those loved ones who don’t have diabetes.
If you’d like to plan an Easter basket for a loved one with diabetes, consider buying sugar-free candy from a manufacturer such as diabeticcandy.com. This New Jersey–based company uses artificial sweeteners, such as maltitol or hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, in its solid chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Jolly Ranchers, and foil-covered chocolate eggs. Incredibly, it also offers sugar-free Peeps, although you must order early due to their popularity. Ready-made Easter baskets are also available in a variety of sizes, as are boxes of assorted chocolates.
So, there is no need to suffer silently as everyone digs into their Easter baskets. With a little preparation and planning, the Easter Bunny can be good to people with diabetes, too.