Planning healthy meals for gestational diabetes

There is only a slight increase in the amount of food you need to eat while you are pregnant. There is no need to eat for two. However, you do need more of certain nutrients, so it’s important to make healthy choices to make sure you’re getting everything your body needs.

Your dietitian and diabetes educator can help you come up with healthy meal and snack options that are right for you. It’s best to make small changes and swaps to the food you already eat rather than taking up a whole new diet. It’ll be easier to stick to.  Check out our tips on food swaps for gestational diabetes.

The below meal plan is just an example of how you can evenly spread out your carbohydrate foods across the day and ensure that you get enough of each of the different food groups. You might need slightly bigger portions or slightly smaller portions depending on your individual situation. It isn’t meant to be a strict guide of what to eat, just ideas of balanced meals and snacks. It’s food for thought.

You’ll find more on healthy eating for gestational diabetes here

Gestational diabetes meal plan

Here are some examples of healthy choices and general portion sizes for meals and snacks

BreakfastTwo slices of toasted wholegrain bread

One poached egg

Mushrooms and tomato

Chicken and vegetable noodle stir fry

(Aim for 1 quarter chicken, 1 quarter noodles and half vegetables)

1 cup muesli

One small grated apple

Three tablespoons of low-fat Greek yoghurt

Snack200g low fat yoghurt

½ cup natural muesli

 

Sliced apple with tablespoon of peanut butter

Latte coffee

2 slices of sourdough bread

½ medium avocado with squeeze of lemon and pepper

Lunch90g of tuna and salad on a wholegrain roll

A piece of fresh fruit

Small bowl of chicken and veggie soup

Seeded bread roll

2 serving spoons of chilli con carne made with beef and red kidney beans

1 cup rice

1 cup cooked vegetables

SnackSlices of reduced fat cheese on three wholegrain crackers

Cup of fresh fruit salad

2 cups plain popcorn with cinnamonCup of cherry tomatoes, cucumber and carrot sticks

Three wholegrain crackers

Cubes of reduced fat cheese (about 2 matchbox size)

Two tablespoons of hummus

Dinner130g roast lamb

1.5 cups of steamed non-starchy veggies

A medium potato

100g fillet baked fish

Freekeh or quinoa salad (1 cup freekeh or quinoa) with spinach, sweet potato, tomato and eggplant

170g pan fried firm tofu with ginger

1 cup pickled vegetables 1 cup salad

1.5 cups rice

Snack1 cup reduced fat milk

1 slice raisin toast

200g Greek yoghurt

Sliced banana

Drizzle of honey

Baked pear with cinnamon and three big dollops of low-fat Greek yoghurt

How to put together a healthy meal

Include half a plate or two cupped hands worth of non-starchy vegetables and salad in different colours. E.g. some carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, tomato, lettuce or spinach.

  • Include a quarter of a plate, or palm sized portion of lean protein. This could be fish, skinless chicken, beef, tofu (170g), eggs (2 eggs), nuts or seeds.
  • Have a quarter of plate or fist sized serving of lower GI carbohydrates. This could be rice, pasta, wholegrain crackers, beans or sweet potato. You can explore more low GI swaps here.

Tips for stir frys, casseroles, curry or stews 

  • Choose lean cuts of meat or trim the fat from meat before you add it in when cooking
  • Measure out your oil using a teaspoon per person, rather than pouring it in from the bottle. Or use a spray oil.
  • Add a can of beans or lentils to your meal to increase the number of servings it makes. This will reduce the cost and increase the fibre.
  • Choose reduced fat coconut milk, it will help to reduce the kilojoules you are eating and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight gain.
  • Try to aim for a quarter of the bulk of your pot, wok or pan to be carbohydrates like rice, noodles or potatoes, a quarter lean protein and the other half non-starchy vegetables. Take a ladle or spoon full when cooking and see if the amounts of each ingredient fit that guide.

For more tailored healthy eating advice for gestational diabetes, it can be useful to see a dietitian. You can find a dietitian near you by visiting www.daa.asn.au.

Or call our helpline to speak to a health professional that knows about gestational diabetes on 1300 342 238.

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