When someone in the family is diagnosed with diabetes, mealtime can either become a problem or an opportunity. Gloria Siefkes and Donna Krug suggest the latter and will be available to offer meal-planning advice at an upcoming free event.
Siefkes, R.N., is the certified diabetes educator at Central Kansas Medical Center, and Krug is the local Barton County/Kansas State University research extension agent.
The public is encouraged to attend the “More Plants on the Plate” session from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 in the St. Dominic Room in CKMC’s basement. It will be the first of five evening diabetes classes this year.
Seifkes and Krug teamed up last fall as presenters for the “What’s Cooking with Diabetes” class, which was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield. One thing led to another and they organized this new series of classes.
“The meeting in October was a huge success and we knew we had to follow up with more of these evening sessions,” Siefkes said. “The session attracted at least 100 people and the audience was wanting more.”
Krug noted the classes will help families affected by diabetes understand mealtime doesn’t have to be intimidating.
“We want meal planners to realize they don’t have to be short-order cooks to satisfy different diets,” Krug said. “This is a great opportunity for the entire family to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and less processed food.
“I get calls from people expecting a houseguest who has diabetes and they need help figuring out what to cook,” Krug added. “We can offer healthy cooking tips and recipes everyone will enjoy.”
Diabetes can often be controlled with diet and exercise, Siefkes noted. And if family members get on the healthy-eating track, they can maybe prevent the disease and lose a few pounds at the same time.
“We have talked to a number of people who have lost weight after a family member is diagnosed,” Siefkes said. “The bottom line is CKMC and Barton County Extension want to do whatever we can to help people control their disease and help prevent others from getting it in the first place.”
The other four courses in the series are: “Carb Counting and Meal Planning,” with Siefkes on Sept. 15; a diabetes update, with Richard Guthrie, M.D., Oct. 14; “Holiday Survival Guide,” with Krug Nov. 3; and a repeat of the carb counting class on Nov. 17.