Diabetes and Family Meals

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

The holidays can be one of the most exciting, yet stressful, times of the year. If you, a guest, or a family member lives with diabetes, keep these suggestions in mind to make things easier…

  • Eat meals at regularly scheduled times. You’ll find that you have more energy and less hunger when you stick to a mealtime routine.
  • Choose filling proteins that are low in fat such as nonfat dairy products, legumes, whole roasted chicken, fish and lean meats.
  • Increase fiber intake by choosing carbohydrate foods that come from whole grain breads or cereals, pasta, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Increasing dietary fiber is a general guideline for the entire population, not just for people with diabetes. People with diabetes who eat more high-fiber fruit, vegetables, and grains can improve their blood sugar control and may reduce their need for additional diabetes medicine.

Limit sources of high-calorie and low-nutritional-value foods, including those with a high content of added sugars.

People living with diabetes do not need special foods. Enjoying family meals is easy when you use wholesome approach to your ingredients!


Lemon Oregano Spatchcocked Chicken

Lemon Oregano Chicken

By butterflying your chicken, it will cook faster and more evenly!

Prep: 10 minutes

Marinate: 2 hours or overnight

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes: 6 servings



  • 1 whole chicken
  • Olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic gloves
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 3 lemons
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 pound yams, peeled and cubed



  1. Butterfly chicken: Place breast side down on cutting board. Using kitchen shears cut up on either side of backbone. Remove the backbone and set aside to prepare stock.
  2. Open the chicken and flip over so that breast side is now up. Press down firmly to flatten and you hear bones “pop”. Place chicken in a glass baking dish.
  3. Prepare marinade: Place garlic, parsley, rosemary (no stems) and drizzle of oil in a mini food processor. Process until finely minced. Pour into a bowl, whisk in lemon juice from 1 lemon and 2 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken breast side up in a large roasting pan, season with salt and pepper. Cut remaining lemons and place inside roasting pan skin side down. Add yams to pan. Cook for 20 minutes per side.
  6. Chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from oven and serve immediately with additional vegetables.

Recipe: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN