Eating for two might seem stressful enough without the added pressure of eating a certain way due to gestational diabetes. Meal planning for a gestational diabetes diet really doesn’t have to be so difficult, however. There are some gestational diabetes meal basics that can help you make life and eating easier.
Easy enough, in fact, that these basics can be broken down into three main tips to make meal planning easier for you.
Three Main Meal Planning Basics for Gestational Diabetes:
Always Plan Ahead
A little preparation makes all the difference when it comes to planning for any diet, but is especially important when planning for a gestational diabetes diet. Planning ahead comes in many forms:
Research— Peruse some websites or cookbooks and decide on what meals you want to eat throughout the week. Having a plan ahead of time will help avoid the scramble to think of something healthy and satisfying to make each day.
Lists Rule— Based on the recipes you chose for the week, make a detailed grocery list and stick to it. Having a detailed list will help make sure you stock everything you need, and sticking to the list religiously helps avoid any naughty snacks hiding in the back of your pantry to taunt you.
Meal Prep— A lot of meals can be made easier by prepping them ahead of time. For example, for healthy and delicious casseroles, stews and more, you can chop up your ingredients such as fresh veggies and put them in baggies. Store the baggies in the refrigerator or freezer, and simply pull them out when it’s time to cook.
Part of being pregnant sometimes means being hungry– all the time. Keeping simple and healthy snacks that are suitable for your gestational diabetes diet on or around you at all times will help you avoid making poor decisions when hunger strikes.
Great and easy snacks include cheese and crackers, hummus and chopped veggies, and even some snack bars. Of course, when choosing store bought options, always check the labels thoroughly for added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and total carbohydrates.
Many of your favorite recipes can be modified to fit into your gestational diabetes diet. Making easy substitutions, such as brown for white rice or whole wheat pasta instead of regular noodles, can boost the health benefits of your favorite recipes without changing the overall taste too much.
You can also make your dishes extra healthy by replacing the rice or noodles with vegetables. For example, grated cauliflower is a great substitution for rice, and you can even mash it like potatoes. Noodles can be replaced by zucchini, yellow squash, or eggplant and need very little cooking time so your prep isn’t more difficult.
When making any recipes, your main focus should be using whole and real ingredients instead of processed options. Replace as many carbohydrates as possible and avoid any added sugars.
Eating a gestational diabetes diet might seem like a pain, but it is actually pretty simple when you follow these three main basics. You can stay full and satisfied with delicious meals and snacks, as well as keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
Please check out my other blogs about gestational diabetes meal basics.