Follow Healthy Eating Strategies To Stay On Track During Spring Holidays

Posted: March 31, 2012

The spring holidays can make it challenging for anyone, especially diabetics, to stay on a healthy eating plan.

Easter candy, large family meals and holiday desserts can derail a diabetic’s diet. Below are some everyday healthy eating strategies for diabetics or others who strive to eat healthfully from Beth Reames, Louisiana State University AgCenter nutritionist.

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice with stir fry or whole wheat spaghetti with pasta sauce.
  • Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils in meals.
  • Include fish in meals 2-3 times a week.
  • Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin" such as pork loin and sirloin. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Choose non-fat dairy such as skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese.
  • Choose water and calorie-free "diet" drinks instead of regular soda, sweet tea and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats. Remember that fats are high in calories. If you are trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes of added fats.
  • Cut back on high calorie snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.

Here’s a diabetic friendly snack or appetizer recipe you can try.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread


  • 1 8 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8 oz. unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained


  1. Mix ingredients together and serve with vegetables or whole grain crackers.

If you are interested in learning more about managing your type II diabetes, consider attending Penn State Extension’s Dining with Diabetes Program. Classes will provide nutrition education, daily meal plans, cooking demonstrations, food tasting and an opportunity to connect with others who are living with type II diabetes. Scholarships and financial aid funds are available to a qualified number of participants. To register, call toll free 877-489-1398. For questions about the program, contact Nicole DeMarco at (570) 963-6842 or

Contact Information

Karen Thomas
  • Extension Educator, Food, Families & Health
Phone: 570-963-6842