Valentine’s Day is almost here! A holiday dedicated to spending time with those you love and sharing an evening with your significant other. Valentine’s is known to be a holiday of chocolates, candy and all sorts of sugary sweets. For those who have a sweetheart that is living with diabetes, knowing what to do for this special occasion can be tricky. Here are a few tips on how to treat your Valentine who is managing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Friendly Valentine’s Day Dinners
Whether you plan to go out for dinner or are designing a special meal to prepare together at home, try to keep dietary restrictions in mind. For those managing diabetes, every meal and snack has to be carefully thought out in advance to help keep their blood sugar levels in balance. It can be helpful to ask your Valentine’s Day sweetheart for a few meal ideas that would work well for them. Then you can select one of those ideas while still keeping your element of surprise.
Many restaurants serve a set Valentine’s Day menu. You will want to make sure that menu has options that work for those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Look for low carb meal choices or lower carb options. You may want to call the restaurant in advance to see what changes or accommodations can be made to their set menu.
Cooking at Home
Preparing a meal at home for Valentine’s Day allows for more freedom and flexibility with your special meal. Choosing to cook at home together allows you to create a customized meal that is diabetic friendly and delicious. Consider selecting recipes that are filled with bright red and pink foods.
Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas:
- Salads filled with tomatoes, red onions, radishes
- Pink shrimp with cocktail sauce
- Stuffed red bell peppers
- Baked Salmon with balsamic glaze
- Strawberry basil chicken
- Steak or pork chop with red cabbage slaw
- Red fruit salad using watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, red grapes
- Raspberry and banana mousse
- Low carb cheesecake topped with strawberries or raspberries
Diabetes Friendly Valentine’s Day Activities
Most couples' Valentine’s Day activity is focused on going somewhere special for dinner. There are however several alternatives to dinner that allow you and your Valentine to celebrate this special holiday together. If you and your partner can, consider switching your Valentine’s activity to the day time. This will open up more activities for you to choose from.
Day Time Activities
If the weather is good, opt for an outdoor activity! Consider a walk around the park with a handcrafted picnic for two or a moderate hike with carefully curated snacks. Your Valentine’s Day sweetheart may enjoy an afternoon spent in your home garden complete with a diabetes friendly brunch.
In lieu of or in addition to dinner, you and your loved one may enjoy going to a movie for Valentine’s Day. You could also consider going bowling, going to an arcade or check out a new escape room in town. All of these activities are fairly flexible and help the two of you unwind and have fun together. If you plan on being out of the house for several hours, consider packing some special red, pink or heart shaped diabetes friendly snacks for your significant other.
Diabetes Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts
The most popular Valentine’s Day gifts are cards, flowers and chocolates. Most of us have either received or gifted the classic heart box of assorted chocolates. When looking for a special gift for your significant other who is living with diabetes, look for sugar free options. Russell chocolates as well as Hershey’s and many other companies make sugar free options which can be a great choice. There are also many Valentine's Day gift alternatives and other diabetes friendly treats to choose from.
Diabetic Friendly Treats
Single ingredient foods in general are a better option for those living with diabetes. You will want to find fun treats and sweets that do not significantly increase their blood sugar levels. Dark chocolate is also a great alternative to milk chocolate as it is lower in sugar and carbohydrates. You can also make a variety of sweets from scratch at home using low sugar alternatives.
- Dark chocolate dipped fruits
- Greek yogurt based desserts
- Sugar free candies & chocolates
- Low carb/ keto desserts
Alternative Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
Your gift does not have to follow tradition. There are so many thoughtful gifts to give someone who is living with diabetes. You can choose to gift them an item that they have had their heart set on for sometime or choose an item that can be used for your Valentine’s Day activity. If you have reservations for a romantic dinner, consider giving your loved one a stylish bag that carries all of their diabetic supplies. If you're planning a day hike or a light walk and picnic, consider giving them an easy to carry bag that has enough space for their outdoor gear as well as their diabetic supplies. You can also gift them something cute and simple like a sticker so they can decorate any of their favorite items.
Here are a few options:
Valentine’s Day can be just as special, fun and romantic for those living with diabetes. There are ways they can enjoy their food and indulge in a few treats without setting their blood glucose levels off balance. Talk with your sweetheart living with diabetes to see what they are comfortable with doing and what kinds of foods they can safely enjoy while celebrating this special holiday.
For more Valentine’s Day gift ideas for those living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, check out Sugar Medical’s collection of bags and supplies.