Peanut Butter and Pickles? How About Whole Grains and Fresh Fruit!
Throughout the ages, pregnancy has been linked to crazy cravings from peanut butter and pickles to strawberry milkshakes and fries, although every woman has her own set of outlandish desires. For those women who experience gestational diabetes during their pregnancies, it can be difficult to balance these urges while still choosing a gestational diabetes diet.
Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar that begins during pregnancy. Generally, the condition goes away following the pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes may not cause visible symptoms. For this reason, all pregnant women should receive an oral glucose tolerance test between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy to check for this condition. If you are indeed diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the most important factor in controlling your sugar levels is a balanced diet. This can be somewhat difficult, particularly if you have never had to think about controlling your sugar levels before.
Pregnancy comes with enough stress, make things easy on yourself by creating an easy to follow meal plan. By creating a meal plan, you will be saving money, time, and best of all energy! The American Diabetes Association suggests eating a variety of foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting fat intake to 30 percent or less of daily calories, and watching your portion size as the best ways to combat gestational diabetes. Below is a sample gestational diabetes meal plan.
Breakfast: Baked Apple Pancakes
While morning sickness can often put a damper on breakfast time during one’s pregnancy, by eating a few crackers prior to getting out of bed, morning sickness can be avoided and a meal such as baked apple pancakes can be enjoyed. This recipe is perfect for a lazy Sunday morning when you have a few extra moments to treat yourself and your family to something truly special. This recipe serves 4 to 6.
1 cup milk, fat-free
3/4 cup flour, all-purpose
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp margarine, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest, grated
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Splenda (brown sugar)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Use a food processor to combine the milk, flour, egg whites, egg, baking powder, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Process until the mixture is smooth.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The pancakes should be golden brown.
4. While the pancake is in the oven, coat a small pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sauté the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Continue to sauté over low heat for 10 minutes until the apples are softened and caramelized.
5. Spread the apple mixture on top of the pancake.
Lunch: Roasted Vegetable and Bean Stew
One of the most important factors in keeping gestational diabetes at bay, is to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. This recipe for vegetable and bean stew is an excellent way to fulfill this requirement. Not only is it loaded with vegetables, there is flavor bursting through every bite. Feel free to make a large batch of this stew and freeze it for after the baby is born and you are running short on time. This recipe serves 4 to 6.
1 small acorn squash
1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1⁄2-in. chunks
2 carrots, cut into 11⁄2-in. chunks
2 parsnips, cut into 1 1/2-in.chunks
2 large zucchini, cut into 11⁄2-in. chunks
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs to garnish
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup apple cider
1 cup hot low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and the peel. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.
2. Put the squash, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and zucchini in a bowl, and drizzle them with olive oil. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Lay the rosemary sprigs on the bottom of a large roasting pan and spread the vegetables on top in a single layer. Roast for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir in the pinto beans, cider and broth. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and return it to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
5. Remove the rosemary stalks from the bottom of the pan before serving.
Dinner: Garlic and Cream Cheese Stuffed Salmon
Fish is often overlooked as an option for a pregnancy diet due to the fear of mercury harming the baby. In fact, fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, integral in the development of your baby’s brain and vision. The key is to MAKE SURE you are buying seafood products that have been deemed safe to eat for pregnant women. Wild Pacific Salmon is one such option. This is an extremely easy recipe that will take mere minutes to prepare.
2 4-ounce salmon fillets
2 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper to taste
1. Cut 4-5 slits across each salmon fillet, then fill each filet with garlic and green onions.
2. Spread cream cheese on top of each filet and cover the filets with spinach and mushrooms. Drizzle each filet with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper to taste.
3. Arrange the filets in a shallow baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Dessert: Baked Vanilla Custard
Dessert is every pregnant woman’s favorite meal of the day, however, the onset of gestational diabetes can make it difficult to find desserts that you can enjoy. This recipe for Baked Vanilla Custard is both fulfilling and completely within the parameters of the gestational diabetes diet. The topping of fresh fruit is an added bonus because it fulfills part of your daily fruit requirement.
1 quart 2% milk
1 cup Splenda
2-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Sliced fresh fruit
1/4 cup Fresh mint
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat milk in a medium saucepan until it is barely boiling then let it cool for 5 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs, Splenda, vanilla, and salt in large bowl until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk.
3. Pour the mixture into ten 6-ounce custard cups. Place the custard cups in a roasting pan, then pour 1 inch of hot water into the roasting pan.
4. Bake the custard for 50 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a kinfie into the cup, if it comes out clean the custard is done.
5. Cool the custard cups on a wire rack.
6. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
7. Serve garnished with sliced fresh fruit and mint.
American Diabetes Association. "What Is Gestational Diabetes? – American Diabetes Association." American Diabetes Association Home Page – American Diabetes Association. 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. <https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html>.
Berlin, By Eric. "Understanding Gestational Diabetes – Gestational Diabetes Center – EverydayHealth.com." Health Information, Resources, Tools & News Online – EverydayHealth.com. 29 July 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. <https://www.everydayhealth.com/gestational-diabetes/understanding-gestational-diabetes.aspx>.