Bolus options for your Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving table

As we all begin to prepare for a Thanksgiving feast, you may be thinking about the best ways to manage your mealtime (or bolus) insulin. So, if you’re looking to learn more about the basics or just need a refresher, you’ve landed on the right page!


Bolus options

Thanksgiving meals tend to be richer in fat and carbohydrates. For that reason, they tend to break down more slowly in the body, which may lead to unexpected highs post-meals. The good news is, if you’re using a MiniMed™ system in Manual Mode, there are advanced bolus features like the Dual Wave or Square Wave bolus that can help. And, if you notice post-meal highs in SmartGuard™ Auto Mode, you may consider splitting the recommended bolus in half, and then delivering half at the start of the meal and the other half at the end of the meal. This may help to match the insulin action with the delayed digestion of the meal. Regardless of what route you prefer to take (perhaps you’d rather not use these at all), we’ve outlined other options below. As always, we recommend discussing your bolus options with your health care provider (HCP).

bolus insulin options chart  


Bolus Wizard™ Feature

If you’re comfortable estimating the amount of carbohydrates in your meal, the Bolus WizardTM can come in handy during Thanksgiving. It allows you to enter your current blood glucose (BG) reading, or have it come directly from a linked BG meter, and the amount of carbohydrates you will be eating. 

Once you’ve entered this information, the Bolus Wizard™ will consider what your current BG is, the amount of carbohydrates entered, and how much insulin you might still have active in your system, also called active insulin, before recommending a bolus dose. You can access the Bolus Wizard™ feature through the Bolus menu in your pump. 

Some insulin pump model settings may vary. For system specific resources and more tips, select the page for your model of insulin pump: MiniMed™ 770G, MiniMed™  670G, and MiniMed™ 630G.  


Manual (Normal) Bolus

Not comfortable counting carbohydrates? No problem. Instead, deliver a set dose of bolus insulin. Although this method doesn’t consider the personalized settings calculated by your HCP, the Manual (Normal) Bolus option allows you to decide the amount of bolus insulin you believe you will need. You can access this bolus option through the Bolus menu on your pump.  


Easy Bolus

What if you’ve bolused for your meal and then spot the cranberry sauce across the table? This scenario may call for the Easy bolus feature. This allows you to quickly deliver a Manual bolus using only the UP arrow (your pump must be in sleep mode to use this feature) on your pump. This means you can add additional insulin on top of what you previously bolused without going through all the steps. See? Easy. 

Whichever way you prefer to bolus during your upcoming festivities, know that you have options. As always, this is a great conversation to have with your healthcare team so that you feel prepared. Having a plan may help make some of the season’s mealtime challenges a little bit easier to navigate. 

We’d love to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments which way you will be bolusing on Thanksgiving. And, from all of us here at Medtronic, Happy Holidays!


Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. 
Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms. 
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps 
Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately. 
Please visit for complete safety information.


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Submitted by Donna M. Theobald (not verified) on

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Thank you for posting the different ways to Bolus for Thanksgiving Dinner. Happy Thanks giving to all at Medtronics

Submitted by Dorothy Noe (not verified) on

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My most used feature is also the dual wave @ each meal and the sensor graphs. Keep those improvements coming.

Submitted by Steve Moore (not verified) on

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I use the Dual Wave feature on my pump more than any other Bolus feature when its meal time. Thanks for being there Medtronic. Happy Thanksgiving.

Submitted by Judi Whiteaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Steve Moore (not verified)

I like the dual /square wave Bolus function as well. I only try to use it for special occasions or a "cheat" meal that is high in carbs and fat.

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Judi Whiteaker (not verified)

Thanks for sharing your insights with us, Judi. I’m glad you find the dual and square wave bolus helpful during those special meal occasions and cheat meals.

Submitted by Sharon M. Garrett (not verified) on

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I use the Dlual Wave feature every day. Love it. A great feature of the pump.

Submitted by Colleen Brannan (not verified) on

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Thanks for reminders. I've already checked my carb-counting book since I will eat some foods I don't have often.

Submitted by John C. Small, Jr. (not verified) on

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I have been using my Medtronic Minimed insulin pump for one year with amazing results. My A1C has been reduced from 9.8 down to 7.4. Diabetic neuropathy pain has been reduced by at least 50%. I have cancer and, thanks to my pump, I am able to compensate for the wide fluctuations in blood glucose readings that threaten my life. I feel that I am alive today because I am using a Medtronics Insulin Pump.

Submitted by LOOP Blog Editorial on

In reply to by John C. Small, Jr. (not verified)

John, I’m so happy to hear you’re doing well on insulin pump therapy! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Keep up the good work!

Submitted by Linda Fullert (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have seen large bubbles in my tubing. Since I just changed my infusion set yesterday morning, I don;t want to throw the reservoir away. Can I attach a new tubing to the existing reservoir and go through the reservoir set up?

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Linda Fullert (not verified)

Linda, I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing large bubbles in your tubing. Disconnect from your infusion set site, and after disconnected, purge the air bubbles from the tubing using the fill cannula or prime feature on your pump. I will have someone from my team connect with you to try and help, too.

Submitted by amy (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

it would have been nice for this article to include the dual and square bolus features!

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by amy (not verified)

Thank you for the feedback, Amy. While we didn’t review dual or square wave bolus in this article, we did link to another site where you can find more information on both of these features. You can find information on the Dual Wave Bolus here:…, and Square Wave Bolus here:…. I hope this helps!

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