Valentine’s Day…the “Hallmark holiday” of romantic love. People everywhere use this holiday as a day to express their love to others by sending greeting cards, flowers, valentines, and lots and lots of chocolate.

Valentine’s Day is about spending time with the one you love and everyone knows the best present you can give your other half is quality time. So although this holiday can make people with diabetes feel left out or want to dig into too many sweets, just remember to try to spend it by valuing the holiday’s true meaning, especially during a pandemic. There are still many ways for people to celebrate and enjoy Valentine’s Day while keeping their diabetes under control.

Avoid Cliché Gifts

Valentine’s Day is one of the most manufactured holidays of the year. This year why not skip the conventional box of chocolates or flowers to create a handcrafted, thoughtful gift of your own for your loved one with diabetes?

However, if people with diabetes are tempted to treat themselves to some sweets this Valentine’s Day there are still ways to splurge smartly. Look for low-carb versions of your favorite treats, which will allow you to savor some sweets with less of an impact on your blood glucose levels.

Many stores have selections of sugar-free candies and chocolates. Try candy bar favorite Russel Stover sugar-free chocolate bars. You may also find good selections of sweets for people with diabetes right alongside the regular sweets in most candy or grocery stores with dessert isles. Or try to buy sugar-free, diabetic candy online.

But whether you choose to have “sugar-free” candies or enjoy the regular versions, it is important to check the label for the carb content and other nutrition information. Remember that no sugar added does not mean that it is carb-free.

Getting the facts about these sugary foods will help you figure out how you can work a small portion of them into your meal plan for the day without disrupting your blood glucose levels. Keep in mind that moderation is still very important and that everyone’s blood glucose levels are affected differently. So checking your blood glucose two hours after eating will give you a good idea of how your blood glucose reacts to different treats.

Cook Up Some Love

This Valentine’s Day is the perfect year to make a homemade meal in the comfort of your own home. Cooking up a romantic dinner in your own kitchen is more fun and it will allow you to know exactly what is in the dishes so you can better calculate accurate portions with the correct amount of carbs for your meal plan that day.

A stay-in date night also means you can choose the lighting, music, menu, and decorations. And above all else, nothing says “I love you” more than taking the time to make a special meal for the person you love.

If you have any questions about your diet, a registered dietitian can be used as a good source of information. Make an appointment with one of Joslin’s certified diabetes educator dietitians by calling (617) 732-2440, or learn more by visiting us online.