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5 Delicious Recipes For Expecting Mamas With Gestational Diabetes

Written by Rama Manikumar on Wed, 16 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • Receiving a diagnosis of gestational diabetes during pregnancy might be frightening.
  • However, following a well-balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy by reducing your blood sugar levels.
  • Every day healthy eating looks different through pregnancy, and you should feel free to consume any foods you choose.
  • You'll find simple and nutritious dishes in this article that will help you and your baby regulate blood glucose and offer critical nutrients.
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You're probably worried if you've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. You're already adjusting to various changes in your body during pregnancy. Not only is receiving the diagnosis difficult but there's also the problem of adopting the lifestyle changes that will help you manage the disease during your pregnancy.

Take solace in the fact that you will not only be able to maintain a healthy pregnancy, but you will also be able to do it without adhering to a rigorous diet, through some simple gestational diabetes food ideas.

Continue reading to find out what causes gestational diabetes, how to eat healthy when pregnant, and how to make simple yet delicious recipes and meals. The goal is to develop long-term behaviors that are easy to manage and stress-free while yet allowing you to maintain a healthy blood sugar level during this joyful period.

Living with gestational diabetes

Women with gestational diabetes should follow a specific diet because blood sugar levels can typically be regulated simply by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Following some gestational diabetes menu ideas may potentially help you avoid needing insulin shots or other medical treatment.

Worry not moms: after a gestational diabetes diagnosis, mothers all over the world can (and do!) have healthy pregnancies that result in healthy infants. The key is management, and a lot of that is influenced by what you consume.

You'll have to experiment with different foods with health benefits and measure your glucose levels to figure out which foods cause increases. If that's the case, try something else or seek credible health information, and help from your healthcare professional.

Remember to watch portion sizes. After all, they have the highest impact on blood sugar levels.

Foods For Mothers With Gestational Diabetes

While gestational diabetes recipes should always be customized (by a dietitian or diabetes educator), there are some general guidelines that can help you keep your blood sugars in check:

  • Fiber aids in the reduction of blood sugar increases. Vegetables (with the skin on if possible), whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and fruit are all good choices.
  • Your carbohydrate consumption will almost certainly need to be restricted. Carbohydrates are still essential for your and your baby's development (never go below 175 grams per day when pregnant), but eating too much at once might cause blood sugar to surge. Your dietician can assist you in developing a plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
  • Protein and fat can also assist to decrease the entry of blood sugar into the system, so incorporate them into every meal and snack.

Easy And Healthy Recipes For Gestational Diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, type 1 or 2 diabetes, or both, here are some gestational diabetes recipes that may help you control your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). Need some quick, easy, and healthy meal and snack ideas for gestational diabetes? Read on to know them!

1. Crustless Quiche with Broccoli and Cheese

This crustless quiche is flavorful, creamy, with a bit of spice, and filling — it's a fantastic low-carb vegetarian breakfast. Because they're low carb, high protein, and moderate to high in fat, crustless quiches are a fantastic diabetic breakfast option. Don't forget that breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day's blood sugar levels.
This quiche covers all of those areas, plus adds plenty of broccoli for added nutrition and fullness.

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli Florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp. avocado oil (or alternative)
  • Garlic, 3 cloves
  • Eggs, 5 large
  • Sriracha, 3 tbsp.
  • 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sharp shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. salt

Serves: 6

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ℉. On the hob, heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is heated, add the broccoli and 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all of the water has evaporated.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sriracha, ricotta, cheddar cheese, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk everything together until it's smooth. Remove from the equation. Garlic should be roughly chopped.
  3. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet once the water has evaporated. Cook for 3 minutes after adding the broccoli.
  4. If using an oven-safe skillet, scatter the broccoli evenly across the pan and then pour the egg mixture over it.
  5. Transfer the broccoli to the quiche dish and pour the egg mixture over it if you aren't using an oven-safe skillet.
  6. Fill up any gaps with the egg mixture.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the custard in the top middle of the quiche is firm to the touch.

2. Citrusy Chicken Skewers with Couscous

Chicken might be an excellent choice for diabetics. The chicken comes in a variety of cuts, all of which are strong in protein and low in fat. Chicken may be a terrific item in a healthy diabetic diet plan if prepared properly. With a splash of flavors like lemon, garlic, and mushrooms, this recipe is a sure shot hit if you have gestational diabetes. Serve it as an appetizer or add it to a wrap or a tortilla and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large (200g) chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • Buttermilk, 4 tbsp
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 red pepper, peeled and chopped
  • 2 big mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • Couscous (150g)
  • 200 mL boiling chicken stock
  • Grated zest and juice from a single lemon
  • Rocket leaves, 80g
  • 2 sliced spring onions

Serves: 2

Procedure:

  • Stir together the chicken, buttermilk, pesto, and garlic in a mixing bowl. To avoid scorching the wooden skewers, soak them in water for 15 minutes.
  • Allow for a 20-minute marinating period. Alternate threading the chicken, pepper, and mushrooms onto skewers.
  • Place under a hot grill for 6-7 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing dish, combine the couscous, stock, lemon zest, and juice. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with the chicken skewers after mixing with the rocket leaves and spring onions.

A great gestational diabetes recipe!

3. Baked Gnocchi with Lentils and Veggies

This Vegetarian Baked Gnocchi with lentils is filling, healthful, and quick to prepare. What's more, it is gluten-free, high in plant protein, and freezer-friendly as well. You only need one baking dish to cook the entire meal from beginning to end.

The recipe is rather flexible, and you don't need to measure anything too precisely (basically, just throw any vegetables you like in there); the majority of the components are pantry staples that require little work, such as passata, dried herbs, tinned lentils, and, of course, gnocchi.

Ingredients:

  • Gnocchi (500 g) (Use a gluten-free potato or cauliflower gnocchi)
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 or 2 zucchinis (depending on the size of the zucchini, use 2 if small)
  • 1 onion, red
  • a couple of huge handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tin drained and rinsed brown lentils (400-gram tin)
  • 2 cups tomato passata
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian herb mix (dry)
  • feta cheese, 100 g
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • seasoning with salt and pepper

Serves: 4

Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Zucchini, broccoli, and red onion should all be chopped into small parts. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a baking dish. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the gnocchi, lentils, passata, water, baby spinach, and dried herbs, along with a touch of salt and pepper. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then equally distribute them in the baking dish.
  • Crumble the feta and sprinkle it over top. The grated cheddar/mozzarella should be added next. Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and the casserole has begun to bubble and brown.

This dish can be a great addition to your gestational diabetes diet menu ideas!

Please note:

  • You can certainly substitute other vegetables for broccoli and zucchini in this recipe. Cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, capsicum, and eggplant are some other vegetables that would work well in this recipe.
  • If you don't have any dried Italian herbs on hand, a pinch of dry parsley, thyme, oregano, or basil would suffice.
  • You can use shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese, or a combination of the two! Also, replace all of the cheese in this recipe with vegan cheese to make it vegan.

4. Jumbo Bean & Mushroom Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 Zucchini (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper (equal to 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper (equal to 1 cup)
  • 1/4th cup Onion (white)
  • Cilantro, 1/4th cup (chopped)
  • Canned Black Beans, 8 ounces
  • Tomato Sauce 230 grams (unsalted)
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Parsley (dried)
  • 110-gram sour cream
  • 1 and a 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 125 grams of Green Chilies (optional)
  • 6 Tortillas - High Fiber and Low Carbohydrate

Serves: 6

Procedure:

  • All vegetables should be cut into 1/4th-1/2th inch chunks. Preheat the pot over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and vegetables and cover. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
  • Chop the cilantro 2-3 times. Set aside.
  • Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small pot, warm the tomato sauce, water, and spices over low heat.
  • Combine the sour cream, 1/2 cup cheese, and 1/2 cup hot red sauce in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir the sour cream mixture, beans, cilantro, and chilies into the vegetables in the pot.
  • Roll each enchilada with a third of a cup of filling inside the dish. Cover with the remaining red sauce and the remaining cup of cheese.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 15 minutes. To bubble the cheese, broil for 1-2 minutes near the end.

Keep in mind that portion sizes of carbohydrate items DO matter when you have gestational diabetes, and your provider, diabetes educator, or dietician should provide you with a tailored plan based on your current blood sugar levels.

Choosing meals and snacks from the list below will help you eat foods that will help you manage your blood sugar while also providing nutrients for your baby's growth and development.

Meals To Avoid If You Have Gestational Diabetes:

  • Jar sauces, for example, might have a lot of sugar in them. Make your meals from scratch so you know exactly what is in them.
  • Tomato ketchup, brown sauce, and BBQ sauce are examples of table sauces. Gravy granules and sauce thickeners contain a lot of sugar, even the low-sugar varieties, so try to avoid them and instead use mayonnaise or creamy sauces. Due to the flour and thickeners used in these gravies and sauces, some women may find them difficult to handle.
  • For gravies, try utilizing meat juices and stock cubes, and look for sauces that don't require flour or thickening agents. As natural thickeners, use celery, butter beans, lentils, chickpeas, and butternut squash in stews and soups.
  • For some mothers, tomatoes might be difficult to tolerate. Many recipes call for chopped canned tomatoes or tomato puree. Compare product labels to find the ones with the least amount of total carbs. Increase the quantity of protein in the meal by including a lot of meat, keep the number of starchy carbs low, and give it a shot. You'll never know unless you try.
  • Keep a watch on your carb intake! With larger meals, it's easy to double carb without even realizing it, so pay special attention to what starchy carbohydrates are on your plate, then consider the additional types of carbs you might be adding on top, such as carb-heavy vegetables like root vegetables.
  • Remember to include a complex unrefined carb on your dish, such as Spiralizing zucchini spaghetti is a terrific way to increase your vegetable intake while lowering your carb intake, but your body (and baby) require a tiny quantity of carbohydrates for energy and to keep ketosis at bay.
  • After supper, avoid having a dessert or pudding. Larger amounts of food will be difficult for your body to handle, so wait an hour, test your blood sugar levels, and then enjoy dessert as a treat.

Read more : Morning Sickness: All You Need To Know

Conclusion

Gestational diabetes poses a great threat to your health during your pregnancy and in the long run after delivery. Preterm birth, obesity, and low birth weight of your child are just some of the complications that may occur.

Having specific foods and a customized diet plan goes a long way in keeping your blood sugar levels. Try the gestational food ideas mentioned in this blog to manage it!

Furthermore, getting creative in the kitchen adds that fun factor to your diet. Try these easy and healthy gestational diabetes recipes. A great addition to your gestational diabetes menu ideas, don't you think so?

Keep reading our nutrition blogs for more healthy information!

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Rama Manikumar

Rama is a nutritionist and a lifestyle consultant. Having worked in the health industry for more than 20 years, her expertise in health and well-being brings a fresh and healthy approach to everyday habits- food and lifestyle. She walks the talk and delivers excellent quality nutrition, and helps develop habits that peak health & Well- being. Rama Holds a Batchelor’s degree in Biology; Extended/Specialized degree in Nutrition & Dietetics (Pennsylvania State Univ. USA).

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  1. Basic Food Preparation: A Complete Manual Paperback - 1 January 2001 by Department Of Food And Nutrition - Lady Irwin College - New Delhi.
  2. Quick and Easy Gestational Diabetes Cookbook: 30-Minute, 5-Ingredient, and One-Pot Recipes Paperback - September 21, 202, by Joanna Foley RD (Author)
  3. Tasty recipes when you have gestational Diabetes. Recipies from Diabetes UK and British heart Foundation, South East London, NHS Trust.