Family Gatherings and Holidays

SCD and Family Gatherings and Holidays

Holidays and family gatherings can be difficult. Empowering your child and yourself is the most important part to avoid slip-ups while on the diet. But even when people are aware and ready, celebrations and family eating traditions can be hard. As a diabetic child I remember the enormous numbers of cakes and pies around our house during the holidays. I also recall that family and friends would bring over sugar-free foods for me and lay them out on the table, well-marked and very conspicuous. Although I am sure I never mentioned it to my parents, it did annoy me—to the point that I went out of my way to eat the sugar-laden foods instead.

Empowerment is important, but having a sense of ownership for the individual on the SCD is key to its success. Make being on the SCD as nonintrusive as possible, especially during holidays and major social gatherings. Talk with your child prior to the event and make a game plan to make the experience fun and easy. There are many ways to do this!

  • First, make sure that as many “shared” foods as possible are available. Remember that the vast majority of foods are SCD-safe and are delicious whether you are on the diet or not. A great example is the beautiful turkey on the cover of Ramad Prasad’s Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Dietcookbook which would make anyone salivate (excepting vegetarians).
  • Second, stop or “shut down” any friend or family member who tries to tempt you or your child away from the SCD. Be proactive and proud.
  • Third, for food items that are distinctly SCD, make sure you and your child know where they are and how to serve and integrate them into the meals.
  • And finally, the most important thing to remember about family gatherings and holidays is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Although this may seem simplistic, it is good to remember why we are celebrating and to be thankful for what we have.

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