If you are pregnant and have failed your glucose tolerance test and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed and defeated. Gestational diabetes can be stressful, but with a plan in place and the support from your doctor, midwives, and dietitian, it is manageable. Gestational diabetes meal ideas can be helpful to make better food choices for balanced blood sugars. 
 

What Should I Eat for Gestational Diabetes?

I just wanted to preface this blog with a word of encouragement. Eating for gestational diabetes is similar to eating for type 2 diabetes, however, blood sugar goals are much much tighter. Diet and exercise can make a big difference, but every body and every pregnancy is different. You may need medication to achieve the goals set by your doctor. That is not a failure on your part and you are a good mom! 
 
Now let’s get back to how to eat. 
 
Rotisserie Chicken Basic Chicken Salad; chicken salad for gestational diabetes meal ideas
 
Our goal is not to cut out carbs too drastically. After all, baby does need glucose. But we want to be mindful of the portion of carbohydrate at each meal and snack, and pair it with protein, fat, and fiber for more stable blood sugars. 

Which carbs should I eat? 

When you can, choose a higher fiber carbohydrate like whole grains, beans, bean products, etc. Some of my favorite products include Kodiak brand waffles/pancakes, Banza pasta and pizza crust, black bean tortilla chips, roasted bean or edamame snacks, Triscuit crackers, and carb smart wraps. You can also go for roasted root veggies, whole wheat noodles, quinoa, wild rice, farro, and other higher fiber starches. I like to look for products with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. However, even if a carbohydrate is more refined (like white rice), you can incorporate fiber in other ways, like adding beans, veggies, nuts/seeds, etc. 
 

How much carb should I eat?

Carb goals may depend on the person, but in general, somewhere between 30-60 grams of carbs in a meal, and around 15-20 grams per snack is pretty appropriate. I focus more on how much carbohydrate is eaten per eating occasion, rather than a total for the day. 
 

What else should I eat? 

Adding fiber, as well as protein and fat, helps to slow digestion and slow the release of glucose into the blood stream, thus helping blood sugars. Prioritize the protein and veggie on the plate, but you can also include your desired carb! 
 

Meal Ideas for Gestational Diabetes 

We have a ton of recipes and did you know you can filter recipes by condition? Check out our full list of diabetes friendly recipes. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite blood sugar friendly recipes for your meal plan inspiration. 
 

Mains

Meat/Poultry 

Fish

Vegetarian

Veggie Sides 

 

Starch Sides

Meal planning can definitely seem overwhelming, especially when experiencing all the *fun* symptoms of pregnancy (exhaustion? insomnia? nausea?). But gestational diabetes meal ideas can help get you balanced meals which will help stabilize blood sugar. If you need additional support, we definitely suggest meeting one-on-one with a women’s health dietitian! Or check out these blogs for gestational diabetes (or type 2 diabetes, which would also apply!):