Birthdays are for celebrating and for fun. Nobody likes to think about limitations at such a time, but some circumstances require a good dose of self control. When an individual has diabetes, there are no days off. Blood sugar must be kept under good control all the time, not just when it’s convenient. Food ideas for a birthday party that will accommodate a diabetic need to be thought out in advance.
This doesn’t mean that birthdays for diabetics have to be no-frills affairs. Plenty can be done to make the celebration fantastic and safe. Developing a menu based on favorite foods that are balanced will help to ensure a diabetic has a happy birthday both now and in the future.
A summer party for a diabetic adult could feature home-made gazpacho with grilled sea food. Steamed vegetables or salad can round out the menu. Since few carbs have been consumed before dessert, cake should not be too much of a problem, as long as it’s consumed in moderation. Most diabetics are allowed some sugar but need to balance their carbohydrate intake.
A diabetic child will need some guidance to keep from getting blood sugar unbalanced on this exciting occasion. Make sure the birthday child eats a good breakfast that includes some protein and complex carbohydrate. Before the party begins, check blood sugar and have the child eat a light snack. Low-fat cheese cubes and raw vegetables or apple slices should work well. Blood sugar level will indicate whether the child should have vegetables or fruit.
Food ideas for a birthday party for a diabetic child take some creativity. The menu can be centered on home-made chicken nuggets. Just slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts, toss with some Shake-n-Bake chicken seasoning, and toss in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until nicely browned. Let them cool a bit before serving.
Kids will want to dip their chicken nuggets, so provide some sugar-free barbecue sauce to go with these. Add carrot and celery sticks and green onions, or whatever raw veggies the birthday child likes. Dill pickles are another menu favorite that is diabetic-friendly.
Serve sugar-free lemonade to drink. Make the drink more festive by freezing ice cubes with raspberries in the center.
The cake can be “iced” with whipped topping to cut down on the amount of sugar in a serving. Top it with the child’s favorite berries. Angel food cake is always a good choice for diabetics, but most other flavors can be made reasonably low in sugar.
A few active games will help the diabetic child and friends burn off the sugar they do consume. High energy requires some motion. Try games of tag or hide and seek. Let the kids wear themselves out running around until they are ready to settle down. This is also good for the parent’s sanity.
Checking the menu with the child’s physician is always a good idea, particularly if the diabetes has been difficult to control. With planning and care, birthdays can be just as much fun for diabetics as for anyone else.