How to Plan Meals for Diabetic Seniors

When people first learn that they are diabetic, they often think they’ll be stuck with a restrictive diet for the rest of their lives. They may think they will never enjoy a piece of cake again, and that there will be a short list of foods they are able to eat. Actually, that’s not true at all. The truth is that there are lots of options for planning meals for diabetics. Knowing more about diabetic meal planning can make the prospect a lot less worrisome for new caregivers to diabetic elders.

Home Care Rochester NY - How to Plan Meals for Diabetic Seniors

Home Care Rochester NY – How to Plan Meals for Diabetic Seniors

Meal Plans vs. Eating Patterns

When a person receives a new diagnosis of diabetes, they are often referred to a dietician to help them learn about planning meals. You may hear the dietician use two terms: meal plan and eating pattern. A meal plan is a guide that assists diabetics in deciding what to eat, how much of each food to eat, and when they should eat. An eating pattern refers to the kinds of foods that a person chooses to consume.

Examples of eating patterns are:

  • Vegan.
  • Vegetarian.
  • Mediterranean.
  • Low Carb.
  • DASH.
  • Low Fat.

Your parent’s meal plan should include the foods that your parent enjoys eating. Their lifestyle and goals for blood sugar levels and weight should also be taken into account.

Create Your Plate

One method of meal planning the American Diabetes Association recommends is the “Create Your Plate” method. With this method, you simply divide a nine-inch plate into three portions, then fill it with healthy foods. Half of the plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables. The other half of the plate should be filled half with protein and the other half with grains or starches. If their meal plan allows, the diabetic can also have a serving of fruit and/or a serving of dairy.

If you’re not sure what to fill the plate with, here are some good food options for diabetics:

Starches: Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and items made with whole grains, but very little sugar.

Vegetables: Any non-starchy vegetable is good. Keep in mind that potatoes and corn count as starches. Also, fresh or frozen vegetables without salt are a better option than canned, though canned veggies without added salt are also good.

Fruit: Fresh fruit, frozen fruit, and canned fruit without added sugar.

Protein: Poultry, plant-based proteins, seafood, and eggs.

Dairy: Choose low-fat options like skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese.

Planning meals for a diabetic senior can be time-consuming because there is a lot to think about. Home care can help alleviate some of your time constraints by handling other tasks so that you can focus on a select few, such as meal planning. Home care providers can even handle the grocery shopping for your aging relative. Home care can also prepare meals and snacks.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt