Managing your diabetes doesn’t have to dampen your spirits when you’re getting ready to celebrate with friends and loved ones. Keep the stress out of your special event by planning ahead and giving it every chance of success, without harming your health in the process.

1) Don’t get off track

Hosting a party can be an all-day affair, especially when extensive preparations are required. While going about your party prep, remember to stick to your schedule for consuming meals and other tasks. Testing your blood sugar and administering insulin can be taxing on busy days. If you find that you’re having trouble keeping up with the rhythm of life while at the same time taking care of yourself, consider asking your doctor about smart insulin pumps. While an insulin pump isn’t going to eliminate the need for you to stay aware of your levels, it can help you manage your diabetes – especially during busy days like planning a party! Today’s insulin pumps are small and discreet.

2) Inform your guests of any important dietary restrictions

If you’re hosting a potluck dinner or any other type of gathering in which guests are expected to bring food to share, it’s a good idea to ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies so that you can be sensitive to their needs as well as your own. Inform your guests ahead of time of any dietary restrictions you might have. If the party is to be considered “diabetes friendly” these restrictions might have to do with sugar or carbohydrate content.

3) Keep diabetic supplies safely stored in a secure location

It is important to keep diabetic supplies such as insulin and syringes safely stored during a party, particularly if children are expected to be present. No one wants his or her special event ruined by a needle stick injury or accidental overdose. Similarly, it is important to store any spare insulin pumps or supplies you might have, as these can sometimes resemble toys to young children. Modern insulin pumps might be mistaken for the latest smartphone or media player.

4) Provide healthy snacks and appetizers

Just because you’re managing diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t serve tasty snacks! Plenty of healthy snack foods, such as light popcorn, dried fruit and nut trail mix, whole grain crackers, nuts and seeds, work perfectly well when served in a group setting.

5) Provide an area free of food for your guests to gather

It can be difficult to count calories and watch your sugar consumption when you’re entertaining right next to the candy bowl. Keep snacks, dessert platters, and appetizer trays in a discrete location so that the temptation to overeat while mingling is lessened. It is also a good idea to serve food only at a certain time during your gathering, rather than continually throughout the festivities.

6) Send leftovers home with your guests

If you’ve indulged in some unhealthy foods for your party, try to send leftovers home with your guests. Otherwise, you may be tempted to eat all the decadent food yourself. Keep food cartons, plastic wrap, re-sealable containers, aluminum foil, and other food packing materials around so dealing with leftovers is a snap.