How to meal plan?

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  • V :dizzy:

So I have a question regarding meal planning and cooking for a large household. My home consists of my family (me, my husband, 3 children, and mother in law) My sister, who is renting from me, and my mom and dad who are renting from me.

The way we do groceries is my mom and I rotate every other week to buy just the evening meals for the household. She is diabetic and my sister just found out that she is pre-diabetic. With the meals that are planned having to be in such a large quantity to be enough for everyone there is a lot of fillers of rice, pasta, potatoes etc. My mom told me this morning after her doctors appointment that she is going to start buying separate stuff for her for dinner(she works till midnight during the week) so she can control her carb intake. I think my sister is going to start doing the same thing.

What do I need to do? Continue doing community meals? or Just kind of make each household (me, my mom and dad, my sister) do their own groceries and cooking? My concern is my dad is not diabetic and he is here in the evenings so he would be the odd man out and he doesnt really cook for himself.

What do I do? Need advice on if others think I should still do community meals, which means more groceries for me, or just have each household do their own groceries/cooking from now on due to dietary needs that have arisen? Help!


Still do community meals with your dad included… But i would Have each person do their own shopping as far as the diabetics go so they have what they want/need.


I’d put out a salad or extra low carb veggies for everyone.

There’s pretty good rice / pasta / potatoe alternatives safe for diabetics as long as they are portioned correctly. You can use quinoa, zucchini noodles, mashed cauliflower, vegetable stir fry, chickpea pasta… they’re all healthy and affordable. Does not taste the same obviously but much healthier and enjoyable for everyone!

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Since it is just for the evening meal maybe just ask your dad to pitch in so much money every week for his part of the meal and then your mom and sister could eat on their own with their restrictions

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If everyone ate like a diabetic they would be a lot healthier. Also gluten free pasta can work.


I would still cook for your dad. Ask for a certain amount for his share and let your mom and sister take care of themselves. Or everyone eat healthier maybe?

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I’d cook like usual and she can substitute whatever she would like.

Cook for your family and dad, have him put some money toward yalls groceries, mom and sister can do their own

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You can still do rice, potatoes and pasta just change the kind you are using. They all break down to sugar but brown rice , multi grain pasta and red potatoes have less sugar breakdown. Also remember alot of vegetables also have a sugar breakdown. It is hard to cook for diabetics but it can be done. I made the change for whole family and we are feeling much better. My husband is diabetic. You can find the sugar breakdown for foods and which it better for you online. I would suggest do community meals but make the change that is better for everyone.

Each do their own or at least buy their own, if you all cook for yourselves then mom should be responsible for cooking for dad.

I would do meat and a vegetable pre-diabetes is not linked to vegetables well not all of them

I’d just buy for me and my fam and then they can buy what they want and cook it just easier

I currently have gestational diabetes and can only eat so much carbs and I’m on a high protein diet here is a list if that helps of what my diabetic specialist gave me but I would still cook for your dad and ask him to give you what he can given that being on a high protein diet cost more

Have EVERYONE eat healthier. Look at vegetarian options for meatless Mondays: felafel, hummus, beans, quinoa, tons of vegetables. Use refried beans instead of hamburger for Taco Tuesdays, cauliflower crust pizza on Fridays, spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti, serve cut up tofu dogs & baked beans & a little rice to curb gassiness for beanie weenies.

Go for whole wheat/whole grain bread & pasta, brown rice: the extra fiber (& nutrients!) are beneficial for diabetics, and serve smaller portions of carbs in general (1/4 of plate each protein & carb, 1/2 plate colorful vegetables). Buy bulk frozen & canned vegetables. Cut up meat & use it sparingly, more like a garnish. Toss vegetables in just about everything: soups, eggs, salads, casseroles, meats: just open that bag of peas & carrots or can of greens & pour some in.

Buy extras for interesting main dish salads: Roquefort and feta cheese, craisins, beets, sun dried tomato bits, different kinds of olives, sesame or other seeds, sprouts, bacon bits (or make your own), various nuts. Add bits of meat, cheese, or beans for a complete meal & skip the carbs altogether (or add a little cold rice, potatoes, barley, quinoa, spelt, wheat berries).

Make your own croutons by cutting up old bread & leaving it out until hard. If you prefer them flavored,
toss in olive oil with spices (I use onion, garlic & chili powders, paprika, & cayenne pepper), then fry a bit in a pan.

Eat breakfast for dinner: breakfast meats & eggs (I add cheese, salsa, peppers and spinach—use that leftover salad that’s getting old), oatmeal (skip the butter & syrup & add fresh fruit or stir in applesauce), healthy cereal & milk.

Cut up squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower & broccoli, onions, carrots & parsnips into chunks. Soak in olive oil & balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar & roast in the oven until tender .

Make ratatouille over a little bit of egg noodles, grate or shave Swiss, Gruyere, or similar cheese on top.

Indian restaurants have great vegetarian options, CAVA, Zoe’s Kitchen, Sweetgreen, Panera’s less bready choices, any soup & salad place are all great choices for eating out. Eat Chinese food with less rice. Go to Whole Foods & other healthy supermarkets. Browse their prepared foods, check the ingredients & steal the ideas to make at home (or spring for a tub of it if it’s affordable).

Take canned mixed vegetables, add equal parts Dijon mustard and mayo for an easy main or side dish either room temp or chilled.

Cook acorn squash. Serve halves with stuffing (your flavored croutons w parsley, cooked celery & onions) & chopped nuts on top of each half.

Soups stretch your food and budget while being filling. Cook leftover meat or poultry carcass in bouillon for hours. Use healthy bone broth, take out carcass, pick off any remaining meat, add any leftover vegetables or add some from that veg. medley in the freezer. Add leftover rice, potatoes (cut up) noodles, other grains if you want, herbs & spices if you want. Or add cream & purée it all. Or use tofu instead of cream to make soups creamy.

Join the American Diabetes Association for their excellent magazine with great recipes.

Your mom,dad and sister should just make groceries for themselves. You can still just add your dad and cook for him as well along with the rest of your family.