Who Are We?

Gestational Diabetes Diet Guide

More articles: Gestational Diabetes Diet - Diabetes Meal Plan - Diagnosis - Blood Sugar Levels - Recipes - Testing - Pregnancy - Diabetes and Baby - Diabetes Diet Plan

Gestational Diabetes Menu Plan


You’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and now you are wondering… “What CAN I eat”? After being told what not to eat, how do you figure out WHAT to eat?

Although, I recommend that you speak with your dietitian for a sample meal plan, here are some suggestions of Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan that you may add to your recipe list.  If you are unsure of any items, please speak with your doctor.

View: Sample Breakfast IdeasSample Lunch IdeasSample Dinner IdeasSample Dessert IdeasSample Snack Ideas

Many pregnant mothers with gestational diabetes struggle with the idea of limiting fruit and particular grains or carbohydrates from their meals, but it’s typically the route to lowering the insulin to manageable levels.

The Rule of Thumb:

  1. Always eat some protein with a carbohydrate.  If you have some berries, eat a little bit of cheese.  If you snack on some crackers, eat a little bit of jerky.  If you splurge for on ice cream, do it after you’ve had a good high protein meal, like salmon and veggies (see examples of monitoring gestational diabetes blood sugar).  Eating protein and a little bit of fat will slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates and will slow down the amount of sugar entering your blood and keeping your blood sugar more stable.
  2. Don’t go over 30 to 45 carbohydrates per meal or 15 carbohydrates per snack.
  3. Aim for 3 meals a day and 3 snacks a day.
  4. Aim for whole wheat versions of foods in bread, pastas and rice.
  5. Avoid obvious simple sugars and limit or eliminate fruit juices, sodas and “white” carbohydrates such as white bread or white pasta.

Breakfast Ideas

Upon first waking up in the morning, your blood sugar will normally be low.  A good breakfast idea for gestational diabetes is something as simple as one-hard boiled egg, about one-third pound of grapes, one slice of whole wheat toast, and 12 ounces of nonfat skim milk. If desired, a teaspoon of trans-free margarine can be added to the toast. Another breakfast idea for gestational diabetes is a one-egg-white only omelet, one slice of ham, and a single slice of multi-grain bread. This breakfast comes in at only about 13 carbohydrates, a little over three grams of fat and only 137 calories. It’s important to remember that it’s best to speak to your health care provider before following this or any other gestational diabetes menu ideas.  See more gestational diabetes recipes

Breakfast #1:

  • 1 egg on English Muffin with melted cheese and Crystal Light Juice
  • Special K Plus Protein Cereal (only 14 carbs and 10 g of protein)
  • Veggie sausage patties

Sample Breakfast #2

  • 2 slices of whole grain toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of 100% fruit juice

Sample Breakfast #3

  • 2 scrambled egg whites
  • 1 scrambled whole egg
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • 1 slice of melon

Lunch Ideas

Lunch Sample #1

  • Sandwich with meat, cheese and 2 pieces of bread. Fruit and Veggies on the side.

Lunch Sample #2

  • 1 cup of lentil soup (any type of bean soup)
  • 1 serving of whole grain crackers
  • 2 ounces of low fat cheese
  • 1 cup of baby carrots

Lunch Sample #3:

  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • Sliced turkey or chicken
  • Lettuce & Tomato
  • 1 apple
  • 1 low-calorie and low sugar drink or 8 oz of water

Dinner Ideas

Dinner is probably the trickest meal to plan for in the day. If you eat late you are inclined to crash into bed shortly afterward. You’ll need to choose carefully to minimize overeating. A whole grain wrap stuffed with chicken and salad trimmings is quick to make and good to eat.  If you are up for later than 3 hours after dinnertime, you will need to get a light snack to keep your sugar level from falling to low. The snack can be as simple as an apple, small whole grain muffin, or peanut butter crackers.  See more gestational diabetes recipes

Dinner Sample #1

  • One cup of pasta or a small potato. A protein such as chicken, beef, turkey, pork and a salad.
  •  Tofu, brown rice and vegetables.

Dinner Sample #2

  • 6 ounces of fish of choice
  • 1 cup of steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1 cup of reduced fat milk

Dinner Sample #3

  • Grilled Chicken (about the size of your palm or a deck of cards)
  • 1 cup of steam carrots (or another vegetable of your choice) – try to stay away from heavy starches like potatoes and corn)
  • 1 small baked sweet potato or yams
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Dessert Ideas

We gotta love our desserts but limiting the amount will be the hardest challenge!

Dessert Sample #1

  •   Slim a Bear ice-cream sandwich
  • One packet of diet hot chocolate mix
  • one 4-ounce single-serving sugar-free chocolate pudding cup
  • one half-cup of non-fat, sugar-free frozen yogurt

Snack Ideas

Gestational diabetes snack ideas are low-carb low-fat foods that help to keep your sugar under control while providing the necessary nutrients for you and your baby; ideas like peanut better, cucumbers with olive-oil and rice vinegar, cottage cheese, broccoli with melted cheese, tomato and mozzarella salad, pickles, nuts, and beef jerky. Other great gestational diabetes snack ideas include carrot sticks, cheddar cheese, vegetables dipped in humus, fresh strawberries and yogurt (plain, low-fat), fresh blueberries and yogurt (plain, low-fat), snap peas with Caesar dressing, sautéed spinach, rotisserie chicken, hard boiled eggs, and pepperoni and cheese.  See more gestational diabetes recipes

Carbohydrate Snack Samples

  • 3 graham cracker squares
  • 8 animal crackers
  • 6 saltine type crackers
  • 3 cups of popcorn
  • ¾ ounce of pretzels
  • 4 ounce fresh fruit
  • ½ cup of canned or fresh fruit
  • ¼ of dried fruit
  • 1 – 2 inch square of an un-frosted brownie
  • 2 small cookies
  • ½ cup of sugar free, fat free ice cream
  • ¾ cup of plain, nonfat yogurt
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Fruit and Cheese
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 20 raw almonds
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 5 cups of air-popped popcorn (plain)
  • ¼ cup of hummus
  • 1 cup of raw veggies of your choice
  • 6 ounces of yogurt
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Small smoothie made with fresh fruit: strawberries, bananas or kiwis. – Mix with crushed and soy-protein mix powder. Add a tablespoon of honey

Protein Snack Choices

  • Beef or Turkey Jerky
  • Sliced Chicken Breast
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Egg Salad
  • Tofu
  • Beans

Bedtime Snack Choices: (20-30 grams of carbohydrate plus protein)

  • 3 graham cracker squares with peanut butter
  • 1/2 sandwich on whole grain bread
  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened cereal with 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 pita bread with 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 medium piece of fruit with 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 4-6 crackers with cheese

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting isn’t just used for women looking to lose weight but for pregnant women required to control their blood sugar through means of diet.  Carbohydrates are a big culprit in fluctuating blood sugar levels seen in women with gestational diabetes.  While carbohydrates will raise blood sugar, it’s important to find a good middle ground to control sugar and get vital nutrients supplied by important carbohydrate sources such as fruits and breads/grains.

Key Points:

  • Carbohydrate counting helps control blood sugar by making you aware of how much you are eating and how to spread out those calories throughout the day.
  • Carbohydrate counting will bring you aware of how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you are eating.
  • You should test your blood sugar after each meal to get an idea of which carbohydrates spike your insulin.  Keeping  a food journal that will help you cut out foods that aren’t healthy for you.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is waiting too long before eating your next meal. If your sugar level drops too low, it will tend to bounce higher when you finally do eat. A snack of vegetable sticks with hummus or another low calorie dip, cottage cheese with some fruit, whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or a handful of nuts can help you get through until your next meal. If you are always on the go and have trouble finding something healthy to eat, prepare early and keep the snack items in the fridge.  Another idea is to check with your doctor if you can eat protein bars.

gestational diabetes food guide pyramid

Page maintained by