Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Ask the Expert: Providing Food for Friends and Family

After receiving the question below from a community member, we decided to ask our experts for their advice about providing food over the holidays for family or friends with type 2 diabetes while supporting any dietary restrictions they may have:

My dad was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he and my mom have totally changed their diets. My dad has high cholesterol and my mom is a vegetarian as well! I love cooking for them, especially during the holidays, but I’m feeling pretty constricted. How can I make some show-stopping dishes and desserts and still manage to keep to all their dietary restrictions?

Here’s what Meryl and Kelly had to say:

Response from Meryl


Dear community member, first let me start off by saying how wonderful it is that you are making a great effort to help support both your mom and dad.

Sticking to a “diet” can be especially challenging during the holiday season. However, with some planning along with support of family and friends, it can be done!

Here are a few suggestions for some delicious and simple appetizers that will support your dad’s efforts at controlling his diet and blood sugar levels:

Try serving a cheese platter

  • Pick a variety of cheeses (aged, soft, firm, blue etc.)
  • Place cheese on grapes leaves
  • Surround cheeses with olives (Cheese and olives are both nearly carb free. Olives are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats)

Roasted almonds and cashews also make great appetizers

  • Serve nuts in a glass candy dish with small serving spoon (this will make the nuts look a little fancier!)
  • Nuts are also nearly carb free. Almonds are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats.

Response from Kelly


Sorry to hear about your dad’s recent diagnosis. Sounds like you are being very helpful and supportive! Here are a few recipe ideas and articles that may be helpful to you: