May 24, 2019
When you become the family caregiver to an older adult with diabetes, one of your biggest challenges may be determining what and how they should eat.
You might think that having diabetes limits the senior’s lifestyle, including being able to go out to restaurants to eat. However, these days, things are easier for diabetics who want to dine out. Lots of restaurants now offer healthier food items and post their menus online, allowing diabetics to plan their meal before they arrive. Here are four tips to help your older family member enjoy dining out without compromising their health.
#1: Remember Portion Sizes
Restaurants usually serve larger than normal portions of food, which can throw off the older adult’s blood sugar. It’s important that they try to eat the same amount that they would if they were at home. Some ways to do that are:
#2: Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask the server questions about menu items, such as whether butter or salt are added to the food. You can request that such things be left out. Also, ask for sauces and dressings to be on the side so that the older adult can control how much they use. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions, too, such as a side of steamed vegetables instead of French fries.
#3: Think About How Food is Prepared
Avoid foods that are fried or breaded. Instead, look for items that are broiled, grilled, steamed, or roasted. You can also ask if the chef can use healthier ingredients, such as egg whites or substitutes, skinless chicken, and whole grain bread.
#4: Choose Better Beverages
Sticking to water may be the best beverage option, but it’s not always the most fun. If your older family member wants to order a beverage, avoid sugary drinks, like soda. Diet soda, unsweetened tea, and sparkling water are all good choices. An alcoholic beverage is also okay as long as the senior’s diabetes is controlled, and the doctor has okayed them for drinking alcohol. However, they should choose drinks that are lower in calories, like light beers and dry wines.
Elderly care providers can assist seniors with diabetes to go out for a meal with family or friends. Elderly care providers can act as an advocate for the senior, making certain they are seated comfortably and have what they need. Elderly care providers can also help them to make healthy food choices and divide portions to take home if needed.