Finding out you have gestational diabetes is hard! The diet and information can be overwhelming at an already overwhelming time! Don’t worry!
I have lots of gestational diabetes meal ideas to help you have a healthy pregnancy, plus a gestational diabetes tracker to help you track important information for your health practitioners!!
We are finally getting down to the end of my pregnancy which also means the end of gestational diabetes! Hurrah!
Unlike most women who are diagnosed around their third trimester I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 11 weeks (due to a high family history of diabetes), so what I’m saying is…
I’ve had a lot of practice at the gestational diabetes diet and I have lots of gestational diabetes meal ideas for you!!
One really positive thing about having gestational diabetes is it basically forces you to have a healthy pregnancy.
So far I am 37 weeks and have gained not quite 10 pounds. (ie my body is losing weight while the baby is gaining weight)
I’m also having a much more active pregnancy, even though I don’t do a lot of traditional workouts I walk 1-2 miles a day and I think in general chasing after a preschooler AND toddler has kept me moving.
Did you miss these any of these posts on Gestational Diabetes?
- Finding Out I Had Gestational Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes FAQs and Diet
- 30 Gestational Diabetes Tips + Products to Make Your Life Easier
- My Gestational Diabetes Birth Story — I had a sweet and healthy baby boy! You can read his full birth story here! (Yes, we had some complications, but everything came out okay in the end.)
Please note: My carb and calorie counts were given to me by a dietician based on my glucose numbers. They are completely individual and for example only. Do NOT self-diagnose or undertake any dietary changes while pregnant without first consulting your doctor.
Gestational Diabetes Meal Ideas
What can I eat for breakfast with Gestational Diabetes? (between 35-45 carbs)
Start your day with these healthy and low carb breakfast ideas. Eggs, sprouted grain breads, Greek yogurt, protein smoothies and even oatmeal can all be enjoyed while keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range for you and your baby.
- Oatmeal with 1/2 cup berries and 1/2 scoop of protein powder
- 0 Fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and 1/4 cup multigrain Cheerios
- 2 pieces Ezekiel toast with peanut butter
- Peanut Butter Chocolate shake: 1/2 banana, scoop of chocolate protein powder, 8 oz almond milk, 1 Teaspoon peanut butter, 6 pieces ice.
- Strawberry smoothie: 1 cup strawberries or mixed berries, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 8 ounces almond milk, scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1 cup spinach (optional), ice as needed.
- Eggs! This is a great low carb breakfast option as well. Throw in some cheeses and some vegetables for a delicious gestational diabetes friendly breakfast.
- Spinach Egg Muffins are a simple and portable low carb breakfast idea.
- Lean ground turkey sausage has been a lifesaver as well. 0 carbs and really filling! I pretty much add a patty or two to any breakfast for extra protein.
I do go through phases where these foods sound really good and others when I hate it (<<<typical pregnancy food-mood swings).
I have a couple times had whole wheat pancakes with sugar-free syrup and topped with blueberries. Even two pancakes makes my sugar a little high so if I treat myself to this breakfast I take a walk afterwards.
What can I eat for lunch and dinner with Gestational Diabetes? (between 40-55 carbs)
There are lots of healthy meal ideas for those with gestational diabetes! Lean ground beef can be used in a ton of recipes, as can chicken, steak, ground turkey and lean pork. Fresh salads, and healthy grain bowls are also great options for healthy lunches and dinner.
- Hamburgers made with lean ground beef and served either without bun or with whole wheat bun.
- Tacos with lean ground beef or turkey (using my DIY taco mix) with low carb tortillas or as a salad.
- Buffalo Chicken bowls I just have rice/quinoa, beans, or corn–not all three or eat as a salad.
- Turkey or chicken brats with whole wheat bun. I generally get these at Aldi, but I’ve also loved Costco’s version!
- Spaghetti made with lean ground turkey and whole wheat pasta.
- Crockpot Pulled Pork is one of our family favorites. I left out the honey to no ill effect and eat on a whole wheat bun or just in a big pile of goodness! If I don’t have pork, I sometimes swap in boneless chicken breasts instead.
In general I try to fill up at least half my plate with a salad or veggies.
I CAN still eat carbs, but have to be mindful of how much.
For example, you may think pasta like spaghetti would be totally off limits, but if I measure out a serving of whole wheat pasta at 37 grams, spaghetti sauce at 13 and fill up on a big salad that’s a perfectly fine option and meets the pasta/carb craving!
(And yes, I have tried zoodles etc., but I’d just rather eat a small portion of whole wheat pasta and eat my veggies in a salad.)
Don’t forget to track what you’re eating and your blood sugar levels 2 hours after your meals (or whatever interval your doctor directs). I printed out a tracker like this one and hung it on my fridge or the inside of my cabinet so I wouldn’t forget to keep track of my readings.
I customized this tracker based on the one my doctor gave me, but also added space for tracking exercise and mental health, which both impact your blood sugar levels.
Take your tracker to your prenatal or dietician appointments so you can review it together!
What can I have for a snack with Gestational Diabetes (15-30 carbs)
- Larabars. So many Larabars. My favorite of all time is peanut butter cookie!
- 0 Fat Greek Yogurt cups, sometimes I add berries and a sprinkle of granola.
- Cheese sticks
- Veggies and hummus
- Banana with peanut butter
- Peanut butter and Ezekial toast
What are some good gestational diabetes dessert recipes?
You don’t have to give up sweets! Just enjoy them in moderation.
- Smoothies mentioned in the breakfast section, especially the Peanut Butter Chocolate one!
- Halo Top ice cream I JUST found this and it’s soo good! I love the oatmeal cookie, peanut butter chocolate and mocha chip!
- Dark chocolate — I like to get dark chocolate bars at Aldi or these Extra dark truffles! Dark chocolate is so intense that a little goes a long way!
- There are a variety of sugar-free candies available for when you’re craving something sweet too!
- Check out this list of sugar-free desserts that are diabetic friendly!
I think the biggest thing with desserts is that you need to choose a smaller portion and just walk afterwards if you are fearful of your sugar spiking.
My OBGYN was very understanding that it’s hard for a pregnant woman to say no when craving sugar!
Meal Ideas for Eating Out with Gestational Diabetes
I like to eat out. Especially when I’m pregnant.
So without further ado here is the trial and error section of eating out with gestational diabetes.
What to Eat for Gestational Diabetes at an American Restaurant?
At Applebees or Chili’s or another type of American chain I would choose a small sirloin steak, side of veggies and maybe a side of mashed potatoes which I’d only eat half.
I also ate lots of big salads like the Santa Fe Chicken Salad at Chilis or the Southwest Salad from a local place called Hopcat.
What to Eat for Gestational Diabetes at a Mexican Restaurant?
At a Mexican restaurant I would almost always order fajitas! I eat two tortillas with it and 7-10 chips with salsa.
I do admit to going out and absolutely killing a basket of chips at a Mexican restaurant with my husband a couple weeks ago. My doctor forgave me.
I also did Qdoba salads or their three tacos with grilled steak or chicken. (You can also check out Eating Healthy at Qdoba for more healthy meal ideas!)
What to Eat for Gestational Diabetes at a Pizza Place?
At a pizza place you are basically tough out of luck, except for thin crust pizza.
We found a spot close to us that I could eat 4 pieces of pizza from and believe me we are now regulars because…..
1. I love pizza
2. I love pizza SOOO much when I’m pregnant.
What to Eat for Gestational Diabetes at a Chick-fil-A?
This spring Chick-fil-A came to our city, praise Jesus! I’ve been totally obsessed with their diet lemonade.
The grilled chicken club is my go-to, but I also like the grilled chicken cool wrap and the market salad. Their grilled chicken nuggets are another great low carb option.
Plus the play place for the kids is amazing and the service is great! You can check out more options in Healthy Eating at Chick-fil-A.
Truly you can get a salad about anywhere and when in doubt that is what I chose!
Also, many restaurants have all their nutritional information online so you can check your carb counts before hand or even on your phone when ordering. Overall, eating with gestational diabetes is simply eating healthy.
I’ve been on much stricter eating plans just for weight loss, but the total commitment and length of time make it tough.
I hope these gestational diabetes meal plan ideas help you find delicious and healthy food for you and your baby while you are facing gestational diabetes!
Be sure to get your Gestational Diabetes Tracker below!
This is a great tool for your own knowledge and to keep your care provider in the loop of your blood sugar, meals, and feelings as your pregnancy progresses. (SO important for keeping an eye out for postpartum depression, which can start before your baby is born!)
What questions do you have about gestational diabetes meals? Drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!