Teaching project on diabetes


Hey everyone, I'm a first semester student and I'm doing a teaching project on choosing nutritional foods for elderly diabetics. I was wondering how can I make this teaching project fun and understandable for them. The only thing I have in mind is the food pyramid. I'm lost. Please help if you can and thanks in advance.

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

Choosemyplate.gov is much simpler to understand & teach than the food pyramid. And a diabetic doesn't necessarily need a special diet, but a healthy diet which is true for everyone.

I would stress choosing complex carbs over simple sugars and also stress that diabetes doesn't mean no sugar necessarily, but a consistent amount if carbohydrate at meals.

Oh and stress the proper mix of carb & protein, especially in an evening snack. That will help sustain blood sugars & prevent overnight lows if they are prone to that. Diabetes is so individual and not one size fits all.

But then, I'm biased and have strong opinions, I've had diabetes for a couple decades now :)

Specializes in Critical Care, Capacity/Bed Management. Has 8 years experience.

I don't necessarily try to make education fun, but when I am discussion nutrition in the diabetic I take into account resources, age, standard of living, etc.

Do not try to discuss the perfect diabetic diet, instead try to think of ways that the elderly can meet their goals within their budget and means of transportation (many elderly live on a fixed income and may not be able to afford fresh vegetables). These are things to consider.

Like the above poster said myplate is much simpler and interactive than the food pyramid!

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I have a simple but very effective visual aid I use when teaching the public. I looked at the label (or found online) the carb content of popular beverages. I labeled snack- bag sized plastic bags and put in real sugar that was the equivelent of what was on the label. I then tacked the bags to a large poster board. The one that amazed people was the difference between regular/diet coke and regular/diet Sonic cherry/lime (if that is in your area). The visual aid is quite a converstation piece. If the recommended carb level per meal is 60 grams you can consume that in one soda.

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

One that has stuck in my mind for the past several years is the carbs in a baked potato vs. a brownie. Back then it blew my mind that a potato would raise my blood sugar more than a brownie.

When I was diagnosed though, they didn't teach about carbohydrates. I wouldn't eat any SUGAR and then wonder why my blood sugar was do high (with no carb knowledge). I'm glad things have changed somewhat in the diabetes world. But it's still the public's (especially older people) perception that "no sugar" is the way to go.

I recently went to a friend's Tupperware party & an older lady was there and made a fuss about the sweetened tea and not being able to drink any. But proceeded to stuff her face with carbs galore, it made my roll my eyes a bit lol. And sometimes the "sugar free" versions (such as some pies or cookies) have as many carbs in them as the real thing. Plus they are full of chemicals and give you gas. Ugh.

Sorry, off my soap box now :)