If February brings visions of red foil hearts, chocolate kisses, and other sweet temptations dancing in your head, don't despair. There are plenty of ways for children and adults to celebrate Valentine's Day while keeping their diabetes under control.
Splurge smart. If you must indulge, some confectioners offer low-carb versions of Valentine's classics, which may allow you to savor some sweets with less of an impact on your blood sugar levels. Remember, however, that moderation is still key; low-carb sweets (and those labeled "sugar-free") aren't freebies - they still contain calories and also impact everyone's blood glucose differently.
- Carbohydrates and diabetes - how it works.
- Plan on enjoying a glass of wine with your sweetheart? Make sure you know the basics on drinking and diabetes.
Celebrate the old-fashioned way. Skip the sweets and go straight to the romance. Bring her (or him) flowers, plan a special evening with love in mind, and concentrate on enjoying each other. Tell your spouse or significant other you'd rather get something spicy than sweet this Valentine's day.
- Take the "Is Your Partner Bad For Your Diabetes?" quiz!
- Kerri Morrone Sparling writes about intimate moments in "Sex ... With a Side of Diabetes."
- Read more about diabetes and making it a healthy part of your relationship.
- Take the "Diabetes and Sex" quiz and pick up some tips on a more comfortable, pleasurable sex life.
- Rachel Baumgartel writes about diabetes, sex, and candy.
- Read about going down the aisle and saying "I do!" with diabetes.
- Find out how to deal with diabetes when you aren't the one living with it.
- More on caring for your loved one with diabetes and diabetes, sex, and intimacy.
- Find gift ideas for the "sugar-free" love in your life.
Listen to your heart. In addition to being a time for lovers, February is also American Heart Month. Show your Valentine you care by being aware of your heart disease risk and practicing healthy habits to help ensure you're together into your twilight years.
- How to lower heart disease risk.
- Keep your heart, and your health, happy and fit!
- Find out more about starting - and sticking with - an exercise plan.
- Check out more dLife heart health resources.
Cut the candy. Think about what your child really loves - the beach, horseback riding, an amusement park - and make it a Valentine's gift they'll remember. If their heart's desire isn't in season, give them a heart-shaped IOU for the spring or summer.
- Read more about kids and diabetes.
- Blogabetes blogger Carey Potash talks about handling the holiday with his son, Charlie.
In the classroom. Instead of buying chocolate kisses for your child to hand out with their Valentine cards, offer stickers, heart-shaped erasers, or another Valentine-themed goodies.
Sugar switcheroo. If your child gets sweets from friends or classmates, stash the candy hearts away for treating blood sugar lows, or use them for decorating a Valentine's Day gingerbread house. Because of its high fat content, chocolate isn't appropriate for treating hypoglycemia, but you can put the treats in the pantry and allow your child to enjoy them occasionally, in moderation, as part of a balanced meal plan.
Visit the dLife Community Forum to talk with others about Valentine's Day, diabetes, and more! Looking for a special gift? Check out our diabetes gift guide for ideas to get something a little different.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
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I had a work dinner last night with some leadership from my office. I always find diabetes etiquette at these things to be kind of tricky. It was a four course meal, with salad, soup, entree' and dessert and coffee. There was also a selection of gluten free and non-gluten free dinner rolls. I felt way too full of questions for waitress... "Could I get my dressing on the side? How much sugar is in it?" A course later...