Happy Holiday’s from your friends at T1D Exchange! The holiday season can be overwhelming with type 1 diabetes (T1D). There is always food and more food that tends to come your way during the end of the year. We asked our community to share how they bolus for a big holiday meal.

Check out the insightful tips from the community:

  • “I bolus at the end of the meal because I never know how much I am going to eat. I don’t care for mashed potatoes or green bean casserole, and I scrape the sugary top off the yams. I never know if the rolls are going to call to me or not!”
  • “If I’m hosting, I know when the meal is ready, so that helps! I usually bolus for the appetizers, then more for the actual dinner, then again for dessert because it’s worth a carb splurge on holidays!”
  • “I enter the bolus just before the meal begins in order to prevent the insulin from dropping my BG before the food really starts to digest. Later I watch for BG trend and add a correction about two hours later if it rises too fast. I use Control IQ with my Tandem pump. That system is likely to correct any high BG before I get there.”
  • “For a typical big holiday meal, I start my extended bolus 15 to 30 minutes beforehand because there have been appetizers sitting out since everyone arrived. We are a slow eating bunch, so 2 to 4 hours later when dessert time rolls around, I look at tSlim Control IQ again and see if I need another bolus or if I’m doing okay number and IOB wise.”
  • “We graze for hours, so I usually set a temporary basal of about 3 or 4 units per hour…and then either take correction bolus after my nap or have another piece of pie! It’s just one day and I’m thankful for CGM and advanced pump technology!!”
  • “I start eating the slower absorbing food first, while we do a lot of talking. By the time I get to the apple pie, my insulin is at the 1 hour mark and peaking. I also do an extended bolus since it will take a while to digest all the food.”
  • “If I’m cooking, my sugar is usually within range or starting to drop. I bolus before, during and after the meal.”
  • “I usually bolus when I start eating if it’s not high in fat. I digest kind of slowly. If I take it ahead, even for 15 minutes, I go low before my food kicks in. If what I am eating has a higher fat content, wait about 1/2 hour before the bolus and bolus extra. For Thanksgiving, if I eat more than planned, I will bolus again for the extra. I like the comment about adding to the basal, I never think of doing that, and it sounds like a good idea.”
  • “I’m afraid to bolus early because something usually interferes with the start of the meal: someone is late, or something didn’t get done on time. I, too, forget I can increase my basal, although I decrease it quite often, especially when I am vacuuming (always go low when doing that) or exercising or when I have just changed my reservoir with fresh insulin.”

* Comments have been edited for clarity

Share with us how you handle your holiday meal boluses! Join the Online Community and participate in our Question of the Day.