Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Meal Plan - PIH Health

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Published on November 17, 2017

A Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Meal Plan

Thanksgiving Meal

Make these tweaks to your holiday dishes for a healthier meal.

Thanksgiving MealHoliday meals, like those during Thanksgiving or Christmas, can be difficult to get through if you have diabetes. The carb-loaded side dishes alone are enough to wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. Add a slice of pie or a festive drink and it becomes very challenging to enjoy your meal while still managing your disease.

The good news is that it only takes a few tweaks to your menu to create a healthier meal for everyone at the table, whether or not you have diabetes. You can still include some of your favorite standbys but by filling your plate with colorful fiber-rich veggies and reducing the amount of starchy carbs, you'll be able to enjoy your holiday favorites in a healthier way.

Here are some ideas for making your holiday meal more diabetic-friendly:


  • Make a pitcher of “cranberry soda” as an alternative to cider and other sweet drinks. Simply add 1 cup of 100% cranberry juice to 6 cups of seltzer. Add slices of fresh lemon and lime.

Hors d’oeuvres:

  • Put out a colorful platter of raw veggies. Serve with a dip of plain Greek yogurt seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Add fresh herbs like dill or parsley.

Side dishes:

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, whip up a bowl of mashed cauliflower, celery root bulb, low fat milk, chicken broth and garlic.
  • Use butternut squash or pumpkin along with or as a replacement for sweet potatoes. These gourds offer all the taste of the season but with fewer carbs and calories.
  • Roast Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and onions in olive oil for a tasty seasonal side dish. Sprinkle with goat cheese.


  • Fill a bowl with mixed fresh berries. They're not only low-calorie and loaded with fiber, but they look pretty on the table and can satisfy a sweet tooth. 
  • Offer bite-size desserts to help control portions. This way you can still take a bite or two of your favorite holiday dessert without going overboard. Mini muffin tins are a great way to bake your favorite recipe in smaller portion sizes.

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.  Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc.


The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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