Dining at a restaurant can be a fun outing for you and your aging parent. Not only can you enjoy any meal you want, but you or your loved one will not have to cook. The only problem with dining out is if you have a family member with special dietary needs, such as a diabetic. Some items on the menu may appear to be healthy, but may actually have a hidden ingredient that could be harmful to someone with diabetes.
Diabetic Dining Tips
Just because your elderly loved one has diabetes does not mean they have to give up going to their favorite restaurants. Yet, they will need to make some changes to some of the foods they normally order. With the help of an elderly care specialist, seniors can easily manage their diet by following these tips:
- Request that the senior’s meal is prepared without butter, sugar or salt
- Ask for a smaller portion of the meal
- Ask for a doggie bag before eating in order to put half of the meal in it
- Avoid foods that are breaded or fried
- Request that low-fat dressing is served on the side of the salad and just dip the greens in it
- Stay away from dressings and toppings that are high in fat
- Ask for healthier substitutes to fatty side dishes, such as vegetables
- Limit alcohol use since it could cause a spike in blood sugar
- Ask the waiter for low-calorie options on the menu
People of all ages should try to eat a well-balanced meal that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This meal rule is especially important for people with diabetes. In order to create a healthy meal, you should:
- Eat the right amount of calories to help manage a healthy weight. Eat smaller portions and make smarter food choices in order to do just that.
- Avoid foods that are loaded with fat, sugar, or salt.
- Try to prepare a plate with half being filled with vegetables, a quarter containing whole grains (such as brown rice), and the other quarter containing a lean protein (like fish). Water or a low-calorie drink and fresh fruit can be added for dessert.
A home care provider may also be needed to help your loved one with the grocery shopping, transportation, and assistance at the restaurant. Whether your loved one wants to eat at their favorite restaurant or is craving a home-cooked meal, encourage your loved one to make these changes to their meals to keep their weight and blood sugar in check.