10 Great Gift Ideas for People With Diabetes

by Cindy Uken Health Writer

When it comes to holiday shopping for people with type 2 diabetes, it's important to be sensitive. Don’t send them a box of expensive chocolates as a “special, once-a-year treat.” Instead, try to find a useful product or service that will let them know you appreciate and understand their health needs. Here are 10 suggestions for what to put on your shopping list.

Couple wearing slippers.


People with foot neuropathy should never walk barefoot. It is paramount they wear shoes or slippers at all times to avoid rocks, glass, and other debris that could cut their feet and cause an infection. A pair of sturdy, comfortable slippers will keep their tootsies safe when they’re inside.

Senior's hands with medical alert bracelet for diabetes.

Medical-alert jewelry

A medical alert item doesn’t have to scream, “I’m diabetic.” The MedicAlert Foundation carries tasteful bracelets, necklaces, dog tags, and other items. They are stylish and come in an assortment of colors. This could literally be a life-saving gift.

Knitted white socks.


Quality socks are a staple for people with diabetes. They can be a bit pricey, so your loved one will appreciate them. Diabetese-friendly socks absorb sweat and moisture, helping to reduce the risk of infection, and also promote circulation. Pharmacies and medical supply stores should offer a good selection.

Bowl of trail mix.

A selection of travel-friendly goodies

Every person with diabetes should make sure they have a ready supply of non-perishable, easily-portable snacks such as trail mix, nuts, and dried fruit. Package it in a basket or put it in a stocking.

Baking utensils and ingredients.

Cooking utensils

There are so many newly shaped and colorful whisks, spatulas, and spoons that will make healthy cooking fun. Select a multi-colored bundle, tie them together with ribbon and put them in jar. (Depending on your budget, you might consider an immersion blender, which can make delicious smoothies.)

Woman delivering a fruit basket.

Fruit basket

Fruit is not forbidden for people with diabetes as long as it is factored into the meal plan as a carbohydrate. Look for places that send seasonal fruit when it is at its freshest; others that will send “bouquets” of fruit that resemble fresh flowers.

Fitness tracker.

Fitness tracker

Managing type 2 diabetes isn’t just about watching what you eat. It is also about getting enough exercise, making a sleek fitness tracker a great gift.

Gym class exercising with a kettlebell.

Gym membership

A membership to a nearby gym could help motivate your loved one to avoid becoming a couch potato — during the winter months, especially.

Various teas and teapots.


A cup of tea soothes stress and makes for a tasty sugar-free treat. Consider giving a tea kettle, tea cups, a variety of loose tea leaves and/or tea bags, and a steeper.

Man shoveling snow.

Offers of help

If you are on a tight budget, make a set of coupons for services yosuch as shoveling the walk, food shopping, or cooking dinner.

Cindy Uken
Meet Our Writer
Cindy Uken

Cindy Uken is a veteran, award-winning health writer living in Palm Springs. She has worked at newspapers in California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and at USA Today. Cindy received a 2013-2014 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, chosen as one of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, inducted into the Yankton (S.D.) High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her work on Montana’s suicide rate, and named one of Gannett’s Top Ten Supervisors of the Year. Follow Cindy on Twitter @CindyUken, on Facebook and at CindyUken.com.