Member Login
Follow Us

Dealing with Diabetes during Thanksgiving!

Noora Mousa • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, RDN • Oct 20, 2014

holiday cooking for families

Yes, it’s that time of the year again!! Cooking in the kitchen all day long, gathering the family around the table, and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner together. But with many Thanksgiving favorites like stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, it can be challenging if your child has diabetes!  But no worries, with a little extra planning and preparing some healthy dishes for the whole family, your child can still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without all the stress!

Here are some tips on how your child can manage diabetes during Thanksgiving:

Rethink Portions:

One of the main problems of Thanksgiving is portion control! It’s important to adjust portions to ensure your child enjoys Thanksgiving dinner without overloading his/her plate with everything on the table.

  • Go Veggies: Fill 1/2 the plate with non-starchy veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, beets, mushroom, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, spinach, and celery. They are low in carbohydrates and filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 
  • Replace green bean casserole that is high in calories and fat with sautéed green beans tossed with a little olive oil and herbs.
  • Serve a big colorful salad with different veggies for everyone to enjoy!
  • Roast some beets with lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and rosemary
  • Cook Broccoli with caramelized onions and some pecans     diabetes and thanksgiving
  • Go Easy on Starch: Many Thanksgiving dishes are loaded with starches such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, bread rolls, and candied yams. Let your child choose 1 to 2 of their favorite starch/complex carb dishes and make sure it’s no more than a  (¼) of their plate!
  • Use whole wheat bread for stuffing instead of white bread and add some non-starchy veggies like celery and onions.
  • Serve glazed sweet potatoes instead of canned sweet potatoes with marshmallows!
  • Make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, it’s tasty and low in carbohydrates.
  • Go for Lean Protein: Fill (¼ ) of your child’s plate with turkey slices, about 3 ounces! Go for white instead of dark meat, and make sure to remove skin before eating the turkey. Also consider roasting the turkey instead of deep frying, it's healthier and less in fat!
  • Go for cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries instead of canned cranberry sauce because it’s higher in sugar!!
  • Go for a Little Dessert: Don’t deprive your child from enjoying some dessert after Thanksgiving dinner. A small piece of pumpkin or apple pie can be part of a healthy Thanksgiving dinner as long as you limit the portion to 1 small piece, because sweets contain large amounts of carbohydrates.


Use Smaller Plates This Thanksgiving:

Place a small plate in front of your child to avoid overeating during Thanksgiving dinner. Use a salad plate instead of a regular dinner plate!

Don’t skip Breakfast Before The Thanksgiving Meal: 

It’s important for your child to start the day with a healthy and balanced breakfast. Skipping meals will make it harder to keep their blood glucose in control.

Stay Active During Thanksgiving:  

Holidays are mainly focused around food, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Besides enjoying some delicious Thanksgiving favorites, make sure to dedicate some time to go out for a walk around the park, play Frisbee, or football with the whole family.

Blood Sugar Monitoring

Don't forget to monitor your child's blood sugar to ensure it's under control!

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving from the entire team at Nourish Interactive. 










See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Noora MousaWritten on Oct 20, 2014Last updated on Oct 20, 2014


1 Comment

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 @ 05:24 AM

Flag This Item

No doubt that Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy with friends and family. It’s a time when there will be yams, cranberry sauce, the turkey and more delicious foods on your dining. All of that sounds truly great, but they can create a problem for diabetics. This can become a big challenge for individuals to keep an eye on blood sugar levels. However, due to the great medical tools provided by suppliers like and others, you can track sugar level and adjust your food choices according to it. Enjoy the festival while staying healthy!!!

The photos displayed on this website were purchased legally from,, and All clipart displayed on this website is the exclusive property of