When an older adult is diagnosed with diabetes, having a meal becomes more complicated. Family caregivers sometimes worry that their aging family member is eating right for keeping their blood sugar under control. One aspect of eating that may seem overwhelming is the idea of taking a senior with diabetes out to a restaurant. But, having diabetes doesn’t have to mean that they can never enjoy a meal out again. It just means you have to be a little more careful about the foods they order and how they eat for the remainder of the day. Below are some tips for eating out with a diabetic senior.
Pay Attention to Portions.
The amount of food served in restaurants is often much larger than a true portion size. To avoid overeating, seniors with diabetes should order the smallest meal size available. Many restaurants offer a senior menu where portions are smaller, such as a half sandwich instead of a whole one. Another option is for the family caregiver and senior to share a meal. Or, ask for a take home box to be delivered with the meal. Then, split the meal in half before eating.
Family caregivers shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions of the wait staff of a restaurant. It’s important that you know how the food your loved one eats is prepared to make sure they are getting the healthiest meal possible. Ask if meals have added salt or butter. Find out if the restaurant can make substitutions, such as having a salad instead of French fries. Also, ask for condiments and sauces on the side so the senior can control the amount that goes on their food.
Consider How Foods are Prepared.
Help your aging relative to choose foods that are prepared in a healthy manner. Look for foods that are grilled, broiled, steamed, or roasted. Avoid those that are breaded and/or fried. Caregivers can also ask for ingredient substitutions, such as asking for skinless chicken, whole grain breads, or egg substitute.
Watch the Carbs.
Many restaurants offer a basket of rolls to munch on while you wait for your meal. Ask the server not to bring rolls to the table as they can throw off the amount of carbs the senior eats that day. Watching everyone else at the table eat a buttery roll might make them reach for one, too.
Make Healthier Choices for Yourself, Too.
When family caregivers make healthier choices for their own meals, eating out can be more enjoyable for seniors with diabetes. After all, it’s no fun to sit at the table and envy what the person next to you is eating. When family caregivers make smart choices, the senior is more likely to make better choices, too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Seneca, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.