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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Healthier Christmas party food

A mince pie and a glass of sherry might be enough for Santa, but when friends come round you want to make a bit more effort to share delicious food that looks good, tastes good and still helps you with making healthier food choices to manage your diabetes.

You might find that the festive season can make managing diabetes more difficult, with a sleigh load of tempting treats to pick from for your Christmas party.

Good news, though. If you’re hosting a special meal, or need some lighter bites or snacks, we’ve designed a range of festive and healthier party foods that will see you right through the season.

Read on for a selection of scrumptious Christmas party foods, and make sure you also check out our top tips for taking care of your diabetes throughout December and beyond.

Christmas party recipes 

Stuffed baby peppers

These nibbles and canapés are perfect for any Christmas and New Year's Eve party you’re hosting this December.

Baked mini spinach and onion bhaji bites with coriander dip

These tasty mini onion bhajis are baked with chickpeas and spices and served with a herby sauce. Our recipe is low in saturated fat, making it ideal for maintaining good heart health.

Butterbean, parsley and thyme stuffed mushrooms

Update an old classic with our recipe for mushrooms baked with garlic, parsley and mashed beans. They’re quick to make and an ideal canapé for your Christmas party.

Courgette cornbread mini muffins with salsa

The whole family will enjoy these mini muffins packed with courgette and onion and topped with a spicy minted tomato salsa.

Sweet potato crab cakes with chilli dip

These spicy crab cakes are paired with sweet potato and make a perfect festive nibble. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre and vitamins. Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet can help to manage your diabetes and helps keep your gut healthy.

Mini spiced orange pancakes

These tempting little treats are topped with an array of fresh fruit and are brimming with festive flavours.

Poached salmon blinis

Oily fish such as salmon is ideal for a balanced diet as the omega-3 can help protect your heart. Our recipe for poached salmon blinis (tasty Ukrainian/Russian pancakes) makes a great, moreish party dish that you can whip up in under half an hour.

Stuffed baby peppers

These colourful and healthy canapés are sure to go down a storm with family and friends. And they help to get some colour and variety into your five-a-day.

Squid and prawn skewers

Our spicy seafood skewers make a great choice of healthier Christmas party food. They’re low in fat and can be eaten or cold.

Non-alcoholic Christmas drink 

Virgin mojito

Virgin mojito 

Christmas doesn’t necessarily have to involve alcohol. Try this festive tipple that all the family can enjoy.

Or, if you do want to drink alcohol this Christmas, get our tips for how to do so without compromising your diabetes management.

Eating with friends over Christmas

If you’re going to someone’s house for food, ask your host about what food they’ll serve in advance and at what time they’re aiming to eat, so you know whether to have a snack or light meal before you go.

Don’t feel awkward about asking – people like to be aware of special dietary needs, which are increasingly common.

Alternatively, if you’re cooking for people with diabetes, you might not be sure whether you need to make something different for them. Good news: in most cases you don’t. But check with your guest to find out if they have any specific dietary requirements – talking to them in advance will mean neither of you need to worry about it on the day.

Sometimes, guests with diabetes might want to know what’s in the dishes you’re making and how you’ve put them together. This might be so they can work out the carb content of your food – this information will help them to manage their diabetes including working out how much insulin they need to take. Some may also have additional dietary needs, such as gluten free, nut free etc.

Christmas desserts

When it comes to dessert, fruit often gets overlooked. Over Christmas, when you might be eating out more than usual, some fresh fruit salad will taste great and refreshing. It’s also fine to decline a dessert every so often too.

Find out more about fruit and diabetes.

If chocolates, mince pies or petits fours are served with coffee after a meal, don’t feel that you have to eat them. It’s also fine to share a small portion of dessert with someone else who does not want a whole portion.

If you're at home, try our Christmas pudding recipe for a healthier version.

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