Should you have snacks when you have gestational diabetes? How will it impact your blood sugar? I get it! Having gestational diabetes probably means you are paying more attention to what and when you eat so you can keep your blood sugar steady and fit all those blood sugar testings in. Snacks might feel like “extra” or something you should avoid if possible. But that’s not true!
It is very possible to enjoy both snacks and carbs while also managing your blood sugars and working to have a healthy pregnancy. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up on your life or activities, especially when it comes to snacking!! Read on to learn more tips for snacking and get my go-to snack ideas for gestational diabetes!
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Benefits of Snacking with Gestational Diabetes
First let’s rethink the word “snack”. It is not a four letter word. It is not a way of eating that needs to be demonized or avoided. A snack is just food that you eat in between meals. Maybe you think of it as a mini-meal. Any food can be a snack! When we think of snacks in this way we can see lots of benefits of including them for gestational diabetes.
Snacks are a way to include food you enjoy, meet your hunger in between meals, get extra nutrients in, and distribute your food more evenly throughout the day which can be necessary at the end of pregnancy. Snacking can even help keep your blood sugar in range because you are giving your body smaller amounts of food to process rather than a big meal.
Eating snacks between meals can help prevent overeating or binging later on (which can definitely have a negative impact on blood sugars), it can help you stay energized and focused and can even help you regulate your blood sugars!
Building Balanced Snacks with Gestational Diabetes
When choosing a snack to enjoy while also working to manage your blood sugars, we want to focus on virtually the same things we would for a meal:
- Choose a snack with protein, fat, and fiber
- Consider what your body needs and also what you will enjoy (more on that here)
- Eat frequently (try to eat about every 3 hours)
- Honor your hunger AND fullness (learn how here)
Whether you want to know the best snacks for gestational diabetes, are wondering what to eat before a gestational diabetes test or while pregnant in general, or just want some easy snack ideas- these are great tips for you to follow!
Snack Ideas for Gestational Diabetes
If you are busy and often on-the-go, it’s important to have snacks on hand that fit your needs!. Pregnancy can make you feel tired and hungry all the time, so you don’t want to waste your energy and time cooking elaborate snacks, or even having to stop at the store when hunger strikes. Stick to snacks that are pre-cut, bite-sized, or easy to open, like baby carrots, apples, or pre-packaged trail mix.
It can take time to understand how to create these snacks and what works best for you, which is why I’m giving you a go-to list of convenience snacks below! These are snacks you can grab at the grocery store, a gas station, and easily keep in your car or purse or pack in a lunch box when you’re away from home!
- Yogurt cups with fresh fruit and roasted almonds
- Cheese sticks wrapped in pepperoni
- Turkey or beef jerky
- Best protein bars for gestational diabetes: Kind Protein Bar, Rx Bar, Kashi GrainFree Bar, Simple Mills Soft Baked
- Fresh fruit with nut butter (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Corn or bean tortilla chips with guacamole or salsa (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Cheese crackers, such as Whisps
- Whole grain crackers and sliced cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Vegetables with hummus (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Roasted bean snacks such as Bada Bean Bada Boom (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Smartfood White Cheddar popcorn
- Hard salami and cheese wraps
- P3 Portable Protein Pack
- Clio Greek Yogurt Bar (refrigerated section)
- Pre-packaged olives
- Oh Snap! snacking pickles, green beans, peas, or carrots
- Hippeas (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Pre-packaged nuts (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
- Harvest Snaps (vegan gestational diabetes snack)
These healthy gestational diabetes snacks are balanced, easy to prepare, and delicious, making them an excellent choice for people with gestational diabetes. They’re also nutrient-dense, providing the energy and nourishment you need to keep you and your baby healthy! Mix and match what options sounds good to you!
Lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is crucial for your health and your baby’s development, and it can also help keep blood sugar balanced too. Always carry a bottle of water with you and sip on it throughout the day!
Which of these snacks would you try? For even more food inspiration and postpartum recipe ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram!
Having a Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes
When it comes to things like snacking and nutrition, you are going to have so many voices trying to influence you and give advice during pregnancy. From diet culture, your doctor, social media, your neighbor, heck even your grocery store cashier might chime in with some unwelcome advice. This is why it’s so important to trust your inner wisdom, listen to your body, and take a pause before jumping on nutrition advice or guidance. If it feels restrictive or like it may be harmful to your mental health, listen to that. There are so many providers that can help you navigate gestational diabetes from a holistic and non-diet perspective, and I’m one of them!
I help my clients break free from diet culture’s rules, expectations, and standards so they can truly have an empowered pregnancy without all the stress, overwhelm, and restriction- no matter your body size.
If this sounds like the kind of support you need, I’d love to have a short call with you to talk more about my services and how we can work together. Book your free call here. I can’t wait to chat with you!
Emily Piazza, MS, RDN, CD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Full Spectrum Doula helping people with gestational diabetes make peace with food and work with their bodies for balanced blood sugar and a positive relationship with food.