Gestational Diabetes Recipes

Rebecca McPhee
Dietitian Member of the DAA

3 Minutes

Meal planning when you have gestational diabetes doesn't have to eating only salad bowls and soups. Sure, we all need to eat the recommended portion of greens every day, but there is much more to it (thank goodness!). Eating well when you have gestational diabetes is all about balance, including the right amount and type of carbs, protein and 'good fats'. 


What is gestational diabetes?  


Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the hormones produced by the placenta block the action of a women's insulin in regulating blood sugar levels. Irregular blood sugar levels can lead to some complications including early labour, bigger babies and high blood pressure for mums - among others.  

Gestational diabetes usually goes away when the baby is born; however, research shows that women who have had gestational diabetes are 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.i Further, if you have Gestational diabetes in your first pregnancy, you have a 30-69% chance of it recurring in future pregnancies.

The good news is that in most cases, gestational diabetes can be managed to ensure a healthy mum and bub. One way is with some healthy food options such as these:  


3 Beaut Breakfasts 


· Protein veggie topper: Toast two slices of wholegrain bread, then add one poached egg, mushrooms and tomato for breakfast packed with healthy goodness.  

· Berry yoghurt crunch: Top 1/2 cup of natural muesli with 3 Tablespoons low fat Greek yoghurt and a handful of berries for a 'berrylicious' breakfast 

· Savoury flavours: stir-fried chicken with vegetables and noodles - Aim for your plate to be: 1/4 protein, 1/4 noodles and 1/2 vegetables. This a great way to use up your leftovers from dinner and will keep you feeling fuller for longer!


3 Lovely Lunches  


· Tuna avocado salad roll: Add a 90g can of tuna or salmon to a hearty serving of salad. Serve with a wholegrain roll spread with 1/4 avocado to complete this fishy favourite.  

· Classic Chicken and veggie soup: Microwave or steam bag of veggies, combine with some shredded chicken and reduced salt chicken stock. Serve with a small wholegrain roll or two slices of wholegrain toast for the perfect autumn/ winter work lunch.  

· Chilli Con Carne: Made with lean beef and red kidney beans, served with 1 cup of cooked vegetables and 2/3 cup of cooked low GI basmati rice for a fiery lunchtime fix.  


3 Delicious Dinners 


· Russle up a Roast: 65g cooked roast lamb (100g raw) served with 1.5 cups of steamed non-starchy veggies and one medium potato or sweet potato to create a hearty family meal. 

· Mediterranean style salad: 100g baked fillet of fish (115g raw) with freekeh or quinoa salad (1 cup cooked freekeh or quinoa) with chopped spinach, tomato and eggplant for a delicious Mediterranean inspired meal.  

· Vegetarian special rice: 170g pan-fried firm tofu with ginger, 1 cup cooked vegetables or salad and 2/3 cup cooked low GI basmati rice to create the ultimate veggie dinner.  


6 Sustaining Snacks 


· 3 wholegrain crackers with reduced-fat cheese. Reduced-fat cheese gives you all of the nutritional benefits from cheese such as calcium and less fat. 

· 2 cups plain popped corn with cinnamon, great for glycemic control  

· 1 sliced apple topped with 1 Tablespoon 100% peanut butter. The combination of healthy fats and protein in peanut butter will create the perfect snack. 

· 1 cup chopped fresh fruit with 2 heaped Tablespoons reduced-fat Greek-style yoghurt 

· 'Real' hot chocolate: 1 cup reduced-fat milk or soymilk heated with 1 tsp cocoa, 1 tsp vanilla essence and a drizzle of honey to taste.  

· Celery and carrot sticks with 3 heaped Tablespoons hummus, packed with plant-based protein.  


Be Inspired 


Spice up your meal plan and try our recipes! Each recipe contains the right portion of each food group to create a balanced meal for you and your growing baby. Meal planning for gestational diabetes doesn't have to end once you've given birth. You'll find that following these balanced meal plans are a great way to lose your post-baby weight, prevent type 2 diabetes in the future and sustain a healthy habit for the whole family. Overall, an excellent investment!  


For more recipes, tips, hacks, events and so much more, join the Capital Chicks CANberra online community today.  


  •  O’Sullivan J. Diabetes Mellitus after GDM.  Diabetes 1991; 29 (Suppl.2): 131‐35 
  • Moses RG. The recurrence rate of gestational diabetes mellitus in subsequent  pregnancies. Diabetes Care 1996; 19: 1348‐1350
  • Stephanie MacNeill et al. Rates and Risk Factors for Recurrence of Gestational Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2001 Apr; 24(4): 659-662.



Wellbeing Check - Take the quiz - Capital Chicks CANberra

Sometimes, all you need is the right information and a little bit of motivation to get started towards your health and wellbeing goals. The Capital Chicks CANberra has been designed to do just that.

Whether you want to connect with other like-minded women, get fit, lose weight, prevent disease or just live healthier and happier – our online community and dedicated experts have you covered in a supportive and non-judgmental online environment.

Brought to you by Diabetes NSW and ACT and proudly funded by the ACT government through the Department of Preventative and Population Health.