For all of the decorations and costumes and carved pumpkins, Halloween is for most kids (and grown-ups) one big sugar rush. It's all about the candy: who has the best selection, how much you can carry, and which pieces to eat first. But if you or your child has diabetes, how can you participate in the fun without sending blood glucose levels soaring?
Healthy eating is important year-round, and the holidays are a great opportunity to practice all sorts of recipes in the kitchen. Plus, your little helpers will love getting the chance to cook with you while getting into the holiday spirit. This is a great opportunity to get your kids involved in learning how to cook healthy meals they’ll be excited to eat. By bringing kids into the kitchen, you’re teaching them the keys to healthy eating at an early age that will become lifelong habits.
Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Appetizers
Almond Cranberry Celery Logs
Fat: 4g | Carbs: 6g
A new twist on the childhood snack, "ants on a log"—this festive version is perfect for a holiday starter. Kids will have fun putting together these fun and healthy snacks and have just as much fun eating them, too!
Veggie Dip Cups
Fat: 4g | Carbs: 10g
These veggie dip cups are a great way to involve kids in eating more veggies. Your little helpers can mix the dip together and pick which veggies to include. Portion out the dip in small, festive cups to add some extra flair to your holiday table.
Fat: 3g | Carbs: 1g
Deviled eggs are a classic recipe to serve at the holidays and add more protein to a meal. Protein can help reduce how high blood glucose (blood sugar) rises after you eat. Have kids peel the hard boiled eggs, mix the filling, and try their hand at piping it into the egg whites.
Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Side Dishes
Fat: 4.5g | Carbs: 8g
These meatballs can serve as an appetizer, side dish, or even star of the show for your holiday meals. Kids will have fun getting their hands in the mix to help shape the meatballs. You don’t even have to tell them that this recipe sneaks in extra veggies in this win/win situation.
Green Beans with Cranberries and Hazelnuts
Fat: 2g | Carbs: 4g
Add some color and festive flavor to green beans with this eye-catching dish. Kids will feel like a gourmet chef when helping mix the ingredients together and are sure to get rave reviews from your other family members at the dinner table.
Sweet Potato Souffle
Fat: 6g | Carbs: 25g
If you love sweet potato dishes during the holiday season, get the kids involved in making this sweet potato souffle. Older kids can help peel potatoes and the young ones can help mix the topping and have fun adding it to the top of the dish.
Fat: 3g | Carbs: 17g
If you prefer a savory potato dish, this easy casserole is great for little helpers to get involved. Kids can help by layering the ingredients in the casserole dish. Plus, this healthier version has cut down on several grams of fat, but none of the flavor.
Treats for Santa (Diabetes-Friendly Cookies)
Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Fat: 2g | Carbs: 8g
If you are going to leave cookies out for Santa, try this healthier version. Higher in fiber, but still full of flavor, these chocolate chip cookies will be great served with a glass of milk. Kids will have a blast putting together special cookies for Santa, and the big man in red will appreciate the healthy treat!
No-Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bites
Fat: 3.5g | Carbs: 9g
Surprise Santa with these tasty bite-sized treats. These bites come together quickly, and kids can help shape the balls once ingredients have cooled. Leave them out for Santa with a big glass of milk, and he is sure to put you on the nice list!
Happy holidays from the American Diabetes Association®! We invite you to join our monthly Diabetes Food Hub e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of our diabetes-friendly recipes. Subscribe today!