When Gina’s elderly mother, Eva, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Gina suddenly found herself in charge of planning and preparing meals that fit her diabetic meal plan. Eva’s dietitian and doctor recommended that she eat regularly during the day to stabilize her blood sugar levels. This left Gina planning snacks, too. Because Gina’s time was short, she needed simple snacks that were nutritious and required little time to prepare. Having a young child at home, Gina’s idea of a snack was a bag of gummy fruits or a handful of crackers. She had no idea what might be an appropriate snack for a diabetic senior.
If, like Gina, you’re a family caregiver to a senior with diabetes, you may need some new ideas for healthy snacks, too. Below are some tips and ideas for choosing good snacks.
General Information about Snacks
The American Diabetes Association says that snacks are a good way for diabetics to get a little extra energy during the day. They can also help curb hunger, keeping the senior from eating too much at one time. Snacks can also be a good way to get your aging relative to eat extra fruits and vegetables. However, no matter what you serve, remember to keep portion sizes in mind. You may even need to use a measuring cup or food scale to be sure you’re staying within the limits.
Healthy Snack Ideas
It can be easy to run out of ideas for snacks that fit into a diabetic meal plan, causing you to fall back on serving the same thing time after time or perhaps reaching for something that isn’t as healthy for the sake of ease. If you’re looking for something different, but still healthy, try some of these ideas:
- Spread graham crackers with a small amount of cream cheese and top them with grape halves.
- Hard boiled eggs are a protein packed snack. If you want to make them more fun, consider dying them—even if it’s not Easter. It can be a fun activity for an older adult and their caregiver.
- Make a mix of unsweetened shredded wheat cereal, nuts, and dried cranberries.
- A handful of nuts can be a filling snack. Their protein and fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar.
- Grill a slice of whole grain bread, spread it with some mashed avocado seasoned with a little garlic salt. Then, top the whole thing with a slice of fresh tomato.
If you’re struggling to find the time to handle meals for your aging relative, hiring a professional in-home caregiver through an agency can help. A professional caregiver can assist with planning meals that fit into the senior’s meal plan. They can also take the older adult grocery shopping. Professional caregivers can even cook meals and snacks to be eaten immediately or placed in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Ashburn, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.