Celebrate Valentine’s Day Keeping Diabetics In Mind

Posted: February 8, 2014

Valentine’s Day can be a challenging holiday for people with diabetes.

Celebrating this holiday usually means exchanging chocolate and other sweets that could make people with diabetes feel excluded or tempted to indulge in these treats.

Below are some suggestions from Nicole McGeehan, Penn State Extension community health educator, for celebrating Valentine’s Day if you have diabetes.

  • Remember that the purpose of Valentine’s Day is about spending time with the people you love. There are many ways to accomplish that without sweets such as cooking a healthy home cooked meal for your loved ones.
  • Get the facts about the food or dessert you want to eat by reading the nutrition facts panel. You can most likely work a small portion of your favorite Valentine’s Day treat into your diet by cutting back at another meal. For example, you could skip the roll at lunch.
  • Make smart substitutions by finding a healthy recipe that feels more indulgent than it really is. Do some research or talk to your registered dietitian to find dietitian-approved recipes that are health, low in fat, and low in carbohydrates.
  • Find an alternative way to celebrate that does not revolve around food. You could go to the movies, do something outdoors, or plan a day trip. By doing something that does not involve eating, you will not feel pressured to eat and you can develop a new Valentine’s Day tradition.
  • To help manage your type 2 diabetes, Penn State Extension is offering 4-week Dining with Diabetes programs. Each class, which is taught by a Registered Dietitian, offers food demonstrations and tasting, ideas for physical activity, and discussions regarding important information to help manage diabetes. Tests are provided to measure hemoglobin A1C and blood pressure. Participants also receive recipes, educational materials, exercise DVDs, pedometers and resistance bands.

For questions or to register, please call Penn State Extension in Lackawanna County at 570-963-6842, email

Contact Information

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