Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. Following a meal plan that focuses on regular, balanced meals and healthy snacks helps manage GDM. Some women with GDM may need medication along with diet changes to manage their blood sugar (glucose). Keeping your blood glucose near goal will help reduce risks for both mother and baby. A healthy meal plan during pregnancy includes eating a variety of nutritious foods in moderate amounts and at regular meal times. 

Healthy food choices include vegetables, fruits, lean protein, low- fat dairy, legumes and whole grains.

Here are some basic guidelines that will help you manage your blood glucose. 

Create a healthy meal plan:

  • Eat 3 meals per day
  • Plan to eat your meals at about the same time each day. 
  • Do not skip meals. 
  • Eat a variety of foods (fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products). 
  • Have a small snack if your meals are more than 5 hours apart. 


While all foods can affect your blood glucose, carbohydrates may have the biggest impact. A meal plan with consistent amounts of carbohydrates can help improve your blood glucose. This means that you eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal. 

Examples of healthy carbohydrates are: 

  • Starches (whole grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta) 
  • Beans (lentils, chickpeas) 
  • Starchy vegetables (winter squash, potatoes, corn, peas) 
  • Fruit (apples, grapes, oranges) 
  • Low-fat dairy products (milk, plain yogurt) 

Carb Counting:

Count your carbohydrate intake daily. You may want to use a website such as to do this. 

Avoid foods that are high in sugar such as: 

Flavored yogurt Ice cream Juice Dried fruit Syrup-packed canned fruit Fruit spread (jams, jellies) Baked goods (cookies, cake, pastry) Candy Crackers Sugar-sweetened cereals Sweetened drinks (soft drinks, sweetened drink mixes, Kool-Aid®) Sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, syrup)

Portion Control:

Even healthy foods, such as large portions of fruit, will cause your blood glucose to rise if you eat too much. 

Follow the My Plate Planner at

Goodyear OB/GYN Meal Planner
For more information: Diabetes Meal Planning | CDC

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