7 Must-eats to Include in Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

Pregnancy can be a roller coaster ride, especially when managing nutrition with essential fat intake, antioxidants, proteins and keeping food cravings in check. More so if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. However, the good news is that you can sustain a healthy pregnancy by keeping your blood sugar levels in check through proper nutrition, daily physical activity and working closely with your doctors (obstetrician endocrinologist and dietitian). The objective is to follow a meal plan that is easy, manageable, keep your blood sugar low, and leaves you stress-free.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and in most cases, disappears after childbirth. In this condition, the mother experiences high blood sugar levels. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can reduce insulin effectiveness,  meaning glucose levels stay high in the blood instead of being taken to the cells for energy. Approximately 4 to 14 out of 100 pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. The risks of gestational diabetes can include complications for mom and baby – a large baby can increase the risk of needing a cesarean section, and uncontrolled blood sugar may put the mother at higher risk of high blood pressure. Medical Nutrition Therapy is the first step in the management of this condition. A balanced diet with optimum calories is essential. The goal is to gain weight according to prenatal BMI, avoid excessive weight gain, and control blood sugar levels.

Here are 7 must-eats to include in your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan…

  1. High-fibre foods/Complex Carbs
  • Include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your daily diet to ensure adequate fibre intake. Include one serving of whole beans and legumes like moong, moth, chana, rajma, lobia, green peas etc.
  • A variety of cereals and millets with high-fibre content are recommended. You may prefer brown rice, whole wheat, and millets like jowar, bajra, foxtail etc.
  • Take a blend of wheat flour and soya bean flour OR wheat flour and roasted channa flour in the ratio of 4:1 to improve the protein quality. Avoid all refined, processed grain, maida products and bakery products.
  • You may enhance the fibre content by blending cereals and millets or by adding vegetables in cereals and millets as in the preparation of vegetable – rotis, rice and porridge.
  1. Protein-rich food

Vegetarians may prefer milk, yoghurt, cheese, beans, pulses, soya nuggets, tofu, and paneer. Non-vegetarians can include eggs, fish, and chicken. It is preferable to use low-fat milk-toned (3% fat) or double toned (1.5% fat).

  1. Vegetables

Vegetable salads must be a part of your daily diet. Your diet must include green leafy vegetables, cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, peppers, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, capsicum, bottle gourd, ridge gourd. Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, colocasia, beetroot and yam.

  1. Fruits

Fruits offer a great variety of vitamins, nutrients and fibre and can be consumed daily as a snack. The options are endless: sweet limes, oranges, guava, musk melon, apples, papaya, kiwi, watermelon, etc.

However, they must be consumed in quantities as prescribed by a nutritionist and must be consumed as whole fruits and not fruit juices

  1. Nuts & Oil seeds

Nuts and oil seeds like flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, and groundnuts can be a part of your diet in quantities prescribed by the nutritionist. Avoid coconut or groundnut chutneys.

  1. Cooking oil

Make sure to use oil in limited quantities – 2 tablespoons or 30ml of oil per day is recommended.

Preferably use groundnut, rice bran, til or soya bean oil. Limit saturated fats like full-cream milk, dairy cream, ghee, salad dressing, red meat etc.

  1. Fluids

Take fluids in plenty and do so frequently. The minimum intake should be 2-3 litres per day. Tea and coffee consumption must be in moderation.

Gestational diabetes is manageable with timely intervention and medical nutrition therapy. Apart from having a dedicated meal plan, it is important to adhere to scheduled meal timings. It is recommended to eat small frequent meals every 3 hours. Avoid all types of sweeteners even honey, jaggery and sweets and desserts and all high fats, salts, and sugars (HFSS). Observe control on serving size, as a greater quantity of food intake can raise blood sugar. 45-minutes of daily physical activity is a must. You may do so with small breaks and break it up into 10–15-minute sessions half an hour after every meal.

To summarize, the four key factors in the management of blood sugar are meal timings, the quantity of food, quality of food and physical activity. A healthy and safe birth experience is possible even with gestational diabetes.

Please consult with your nutritionist to develop a diet plan that is customized to your nutritional needs.

Healthy snacking to curb the craving

3 healthy recipes, just for you!

 India is presently fighting a war against malnutrition and in a bid to promote “balanced diet”, the entire month of September is celebrated as National Nutrition Month. It is the most awaited time of the year for all practicing Dietitians- nutritionists in India to conduct and use various forms of media and programs to emphasize the importance of nutrition

A qualified Dietitian-Nutritionist is trained to provide customized dietary advice. Every diet prescription is based on an individual’s anthropometry, biochemical, clinical, and dietary profile. We also look at the socio-economic status and the affordability to provide nutrition advice. It’s not true that only exotic fruits or grains have great benefits! The locally available seasonal foods are what provides the best nutritional benefits. So, one can always go local for poshan.

When we talk about a healthy diet for pregnant women, we suggest the following:

  • Eating healthy during pregnancy is crucial for both mother and her baby. Sometimes cravings hit you and you end up eating foods that you have been avoiding the whole
  • Using the right combination of food groups plays a major role in providing the balanced nutrition for the better growth of the baby
  • Balanced diet requires inclusion of varied food groups that provide all essential nutrients like complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals
  • A balanced wholesome diet should include three major meals and 2-3 smaller meals (health snacks) to meet the day’s nutritional
  • The healthy snacks in between major meals help distribute the calories and promote better digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Snack on foods that that are rich in protein, calcium and fibre that is going to keep you full for a longer period and to meet the nutrient gaps in the major meals

 From the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, we thought of bringing to you some easy and nutritious recipes that will cater to your snacking needs.

#1 Mexican Gram Chaat

When we think about grams it’s not always boring! Mexican gram chaat recipe is a good blend of complex carbohydrate, protein, and fibre with loads of antioxidants that helps in managing your cravings without cutting down on taste!


Boiled black eyed bean/lobia-20gms

Black chana – 20 gms

Rajma -20gms

Sweet corn-10 gms

Cucumber diced (with skin, no seeds) -10gms

Tomatoes diced (without seeds)-10gms

Coriander -chopped

Crushed pepper – to taste

Salt – ¼ tsp


  • Soak all the grams/legumes overnight
  • Pressure cook all grams/legumes (with salt) along with sweet corn and keep aside
  • In a bowl toss all cooked grains with tomatoes, cucumber, and seasoning (salt and pepper). Mix well
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with a fresh lemonade.

Total no. of servings: 2

NUTRITION FACTS -per serving

Calories -115 kcal | Protein-6.5gms | Carbohydrate- 22gms | Fibre -5gms

Ideal category: Moms-to-be, Breastfeeding moms or for someone looking for snacks rich in protein or fibre


#2 Thalipeeth

Traditional Indian foods are also a treasure trove when it comes to nutritional values. While talking about traditional food, let us introduce this Maharashtrian wonder- Thalipeeth.

The flour for thalipeeth is called bhajanee!! The flour is prepared from roasted grains, legumes, and spices. The rest of the  ingredients include grains such as rice, wheat, bajra and jowar , legumes such as chana, and urad and spices, most commonly coriander and cumin seeds.

This traditional recipe has a twist of its own. Healthy fibre and protein-rich millet thalipeeth is a guilt-free snack which replaces your regular munching. It is a good breakfast option too!


Jowar flour -60gms

Onion -1tsp of (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves – few (chopped)

Jeera -¼ tsp

Sesame seeds (roasted) – ¼ tsp

Green chilies -2 nos (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Oil -2.5ml


  • In a bowl take jowar flour, add onions, coriander, green chilies,
  • Mix everything well then add water in parts so that it forms into a soft smooth dough
  • Take a thick butter paper and brush with oil. Take a small portion of dough and flatten it on butter Gently press with your fingers and flatten the dough to get a flat bread. While flattening, sprinkle a few drops of water also on the dough.
  • Spread a bit of oil on the The tawa must be hot. So, you can keep it on medium to high flame. Regulate the flame as required.
  • Lift the butter paper and gently place it with the thalipeeth side touching the
  • Now carefully peel the butter paper from the rolled thalipeeth
  • Sprinkle some oil on thalipeeth. Cover with a lid and let the thalipeeth cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the base is golden and You can brown the base more if you want.
  • Remove and serve the thalipeeth hot

Total No. of servings: 2

 NUTRITION FACTS -per serving

Energy-193kcal | Protein-6 grams | Carbohydrate-43 gms | Fibre-2.7gms | Iron-3.18gms

Ideal category: Pregnant Diabetics, Type II Diabetics, Anemics, Menopause, Elderly, Weight Loss


#3 Paneer Salad

Try this super healthy salad rich in antioxidants and protein as a refreshing mid-morning or evening snack which will take care of your hunger providing you with a combination of healthy fibre, protein, and vitamin C!


Paneer-30gms (slightly sauteed)

Cucumber -50gms

Carrot -20gms

Bell peppers-20gms (Red, green, yellow)

Olives- 10gms

Lime vinaigrette dressing -5ml (Olive oil -1tsp+ Lime – 1 wedge)

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl along with lime vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Serve.

Total No. of servings: 1


Energy: 103.5 kcal | Protein:2.8gms | Fat :3.7gms | Carbohydrates: 4.gms

Ideal category: Moms-To-Be, Weight Loss, Morning Sickness, Diabetes, Hypertension

Try these recipes at your home and do not forget to leave your feedback! How did you find our ordinary recipes to add an extraordinary benefit to your daily routine? Have wonderful, nutritious, healthy days all through the year!!