Gestational diabetes party food can be hard to try to figure out and may seem daunting or depressing. Party food and buffets can be a carb heavy event which can make selecting food quite tricky with gestational diabetes.
What we often see is that ladies try to make the best choices by eating a little bit of this and a little bit of that and leave hungry, upset with high blood sugar levels, which can ruin special occasions.
The key to selecting good gestational diabetes party food is planning ahead. If you are not making the food yourself, find out ahead of the event what will be available to eat and always pack a plan B, just in case the choices are limited.
Whether it’s Christmas, New Year, a Birthday party or your baby shower here’s some great ideas for gestational diabetes party food based on our 8 golden rules of eating, which means you can enjoy these things without causing spikes in your blood sugar levels!
Gestational diabetes party food ideas…
There are many dips which can be shop bought or home made which are very well suited to the GD diet. The key is to go full fat and be careful with what you choose to dip with! Chopped vegetable sticks are one of the best options but if you want a starchy carb to dip, then oatcakes or wholegrain crisp breads make a good choice, sliced and toasted wholemeal or BFree wraps (to make your own tortilla chips), or you could go for something totally different and use parmesan crisps or pork rinds (pork scratchings!)
- Sour cream and chive
- Smoked Mackerel dip; blitz boneless smoked mackerel with full fat cream cheese, 1 tbsp crème fraîche, add lemon juice and cracked black pepper to taste (see the salmon pâté recipe below)
Mini Bacon Guacamole Cups
Instead of dipping, why not make your dip into a canapé and completely omit the starchy carb? These will actually work well as a tool for pairing other carbs on your plate, being packed with protein and good fats.
These mini bacon guacamole cups will make a fab gestational diabetes party food. Pop across to Everyday I dream about food for the recipe. (For those who are unsure, cilantro is coriander in the UK).
Bacon and Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip
This dip can be served warm and makes for something completely different to the usual cold dips seen at most parties.
Take a look at ruled.me to see the recipe and yes those are pork rinds being used for dipping!
Smoked salmon, dill & lemon pâté
This recipe makes for a great snack or starter. With smoked salmon and full fat cream cheese, it is perfect for pairing with starchy carbs such as oatcakes or wholegrain ryvita crispbreads…
- 150g smoked salmon trimmings
- 200g tub soft full fat cheese
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- juice half a lemon
- small bunch dill or chives, chopped
- Scottish oatcakes to serve
- If you aren’t using smoked salmon trimmings then chop the salmon into small pieces. Tip the soft cheese, crème fraîche and lemon juice into a food processor, season generously with black pepper and blitz to your liking. Add the smoked salmon and pulse a few times if you want the pâté chunky or blitz some more if you want the pâté smooth and pink.
- Stir the herbs into the pâté and spoon into a large or four smaller bowls and serve with oatcakes as a starter or as a dip. Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com
Meat and fish ideas…
- cooked meat slices platter
- smoked salmon slices platter
- salmon terrine
- high meat content (over 90% meat) cocktail sausages
- Pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon)
- Halloumi pigs in blankets
- large grilled prawns with lemon mayonnaise dip
- cream cheese wrapped in smoked salmon
- proscuitto wrapped asparagus
- smoked salmon cucumber rolls
- spicy bacon wrapped chicken bites
- Mini Mexican chilli bites
- Home made low carb Scotch eggs
- Home made low carb Chicken pakora
- Pizza stuffed mushrooms
- Jalapeño popper stuffed mushrooms
- Bacon spinach feta stuffed mushrooms
- Whole baked salmon with green herb mayonnaise
- Crustless quiches
- Chargrilled chicken kebabs
- Chicken satay (substitute the honey with agave nectar)
Slow Cooked ham
How about a centre piece of a beautifully cooked and glazed ham?
This recipe posted by Chantele Cross-Jones on Hub Pages is Jamie Oliver’s Ham Joint Gammon in Coke Slow Cooker Recipe.
To make it GD friendly we need to tweak the recipe by cooking the gammon joint in Diet Cola instead and substituting the honey for agave nectar.
Omit the sugar in the recipe as agave nectar is sweeter than honey and so the sweetness from the agave nectar should suffice. Lower the oven temp and keep an eye on the joint when browning the glaze as agave nectar browns more quickly than honey and we want to avoid any burning.
Another ham recipe which makes for great gestational diabetes party food is this recipe from I breathe I’m hungry, Rosemary & Mustard Crusted Baked Ham.
Cooked Chicken drumsticks
Watch out for sticky sweet sauces such as barbecue or glazed chicken. Try these alternatives instead:
- Plain roasted chicken
- Garlic parmesan chicken
- Jalapeño lime chicken
- Lemon pepper chicken
- Chilli lime baked chicken
- Salt and vinegar chicken
- Spicy hot chicken
CHEESE! You can go wild with this, as long as they are pasteurised cheeses suitable to eat in pregnancy and if you’re vegetarian you can adapt the ideas by selecting vegetarian cheeses.
- Cheese board
- Full fat cream cheese on oatcakes – top with chives, salmon, ham, bacon etc.
- Baked camembert with garlic and rosemary
- Bacon fried mozzarella sticks
- Boursin aperitifs
- Parmesan garlic and basil crisps
- Parmesan, oregano pine nut melts
You can be really creative such as this lovely Christmas snowman made of cheese from Crafts a la mode.
Baking a mold-ripened cheese like camembert, means that it can be safely be eaten by pregnant women. This means that a baked camembert can make for a great dip, side dish or starter which is suitable for a GD diet and perfect for party occasions!
Try baking a whole camembert for 15 minutes in a oven at around 180°c. You can score the rind and push garlic cloves, rosemary and other herbs into the cheese and lightly drizzle with olive oil if you wish too. Once baked, score the top to peel back the rind to expose the lovely runny centre and use low carb vegetables for dipping, such as celery and cucumber sticks.
Things on sticks!
Use olives, meats, fish, vegetables and cheese to create bite size canapes.
These beautiful multicoloured goats cheese aperitifs from Stef à table (Billes de chèvre multicolores) bring a spot of colour to the table!
The recipe includes goats cheese and mascarpone rolled into balls, but you could use any full fat cream cheese and then finely chopped chives, pistachios, poppy and sesame seeds to coat. Skewered on sticks with cooked cherry tomatoes, ham or smoked salmon.
All perfect choices for gestational diabetes party food!
From the beautiful goats cheese aperitifs to the party basic essential… The hedgehog!
How could we forget the humble party hedgehog?! This one makes me chuckle, but come on, we all love a party hedgehog (don’t we???!) Avoid the pineapple and go for pickled onion, or olives and cheddar on cocktail sticks. Simply wrap a potato in foil or use half a grapefruit and stick your cheese and onion sticks into it. You could even add some pieces of high meat content sausages too… nom nom nom!
You can make mini crustless quiches, or large ones to be sliced
- Nuts (avoid sweet coated/flavoured nuts and go easy with salted ones)
- Potato crisps (real potato crisps, avoiding flavours that are sweet such as honey BBQ etc. with dips for pairing)
- Devilled eggs
- Hard boiled eggs
- Celery with cream cheese in the middle
- Stuffed mini peppers
- Courgette pizza bites
- Cauliflower breadsticks
- Low carb homemade onion bhajis
- Open sandwiches. Use GD friendly bread such as soya & linseed bread. Only use a piece of bread on the bottom and add the filling on top, leaving the sandwich ‘open’ to help create a gestational diabetes party food with less carbs
Creamy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
Take a look at Slice of Kitchen Life for the recipe of these yummy looking stuffed mushrooms which will work great as another vegetarian gestational diabetes party food
Halloumi pigless pigs in blankets
Instead of the traditional pigs in blankets, why not try a vegetarian version using halloumi cheese cut into fingers, wrapped in aubergine:
Ingredients: 1 small aubergine, olive or coconut oil, for greasing, 1 pack full fat halloumi cheese, ½ lemon, zest and juice, handful basil leaves, shredded, pinch crushed chillies (optional: 1 tsp agave nectar)
Recipe: Preheat the oven to 200°c. Remove and discard the top of the aubergine, then cut lengthways into 5mm slices, discarding the end pieces with skin all on one side. Brush the aubergine slices lightly with oil and place on a hot griddle pan for 1-2 mins on each side, until the slices are charred. Add the lemon zest, shredded basil leaves and crushed chillies into a bowl. Slice the halloumi into finger-sized sticks and add to the bowl. Toss gently to coat the halloumi sticks. Wrap each halloumi stick in a slice of aubergine and place on a lined tray, seam-side down. Brush with a little extra oil, season and drizzle over the agave nectar if using. Bake for 10 mins then squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter with a little extra basil.
Mini wholemeal cheese scones
Instead of making full sized scones, you could try making mini versions, cut open with sour cream and chives as canapés.
Don’t forget the salad!
Salads can be as basic or as interesting as you want to make them. Green leafy salads with the addition of avocado and olives make great salads for anyone with gestational diabetes. Keep dressings on the side so that people can choose what they’d like to add, but include some mayonnaise as this will help with pairing foods to make them better tolerated.
There are plenty of safer sweet treat alternatives you can have, enjoy and not cause high blood sugar spikes with. Once again, it’s all about planning and preparation!
GD UK Cheesecakes
Our GD cheesecakes which are sugar free and low carb are a great success with all. Family and friends don’t even realise these cheesecakes are sugar free and they work great at meals and parties. You can make larger cheesecakes which can be sliced, individual ones, or even mini ones in shot glasses if you’re looking for party desserts to pass around!
Homemade Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups
Sweets are very hard to tolerate with gestational diabetes and sugar free alternatives can cause digestive upset (see our information on diabetic foods) but chocolate is a better choice due to the fat content which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
The peanut butter helps to pair the chocolate and makes these sweet treats even more tolerable. If you make these then you will have to be good and not eat the lot! Great for a sweet treat IF you can be good. If you cannot eat peanut butter then an alternative nut butter would work just as well.
Take a look at the recipe at Sugar Free Mom. Use a peanut butter which has less than 7g total carbohydrate per 100g or you could even make your own by blitzing peanuts!
No added sugar angel delight
No added sugar Angel Delight or shops own brand no added sugar ‘Delight’ is a sweet treat that is tolerated well by most ladies with gestational diabetes.
You can make this as directed on the pack, but use whole (full fat) milk as opposed to semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, as this makes the dessert more tolerable. You could also make this with Soya, coconut or almond milk. Some like to make the mixture with half milk and half cream and others like to top the delight with whipped cream once set.
Another option is to make this on top of sugar free or no added sugar jelly and top with whipped cream to create a trifle.
Chocolate truffles can easily be made with my chocolate ganache recipe, then chilled. You can coat the truffles in cocoa powder, raw cacao powder, chopped nuts, seeds, or drizzle with peanut butter, nut butter, or dark chocolate. Check out this video for the method…
Chocolate chestnut truffles
Another sweetie alternative which, as long as you don’t eat the lot, you should be able to enjoy a few as a nice treat.
Check out the recipe at Total Sweet.
GD UK Cakes and Treats
Our low carb brownies are the best recipe we’ve found for a wonderful chocolate cake fix without raising blood sugar levels. Or we have a few different cupcake and cake recipes that work well for things like baby showers and Birthday parties!
Enjoy these on their own or with chopped nuts and cream.
To see the recipes and benefit from many more pages of ideas, hints and tips, shopping lists, recipes and a 7 day meal plan with our silver package, then check out our membership options here.
The best possible thing to drink is water as it helps to flush excess sugars from the bloodstream, but if you’re having a party no doubt you’d like something a bit more exciting than just still water.
Try carbonated water with a slice of lemon or lime or look at what sugar free, zero, or no added sugar drinks you can find in the shops. Remember, no added sugar does not mean the item is low in sugar, it just means that no additional sugar has been added and so drinks containing naturally occurring sugars, such as fruit juices may still be high in carbs!
Cranberry lime spritzer
Any mocktails or drinks that use fruit juices are going to be slightly more risky, so if you try this, try to use a no added sugar cranberry juice like Ocean Spray Cranberry Light which has only 1.5g total carbs per 100ml, or a shops own brand no added sugar cranberry juice.
You can find the recipe at Sugar-Free Mom.
Strawberry Basil Italian Lemonade
Here’s another refreshing cold fizz to try that may brighten your party celebration! If you tolerate the odd strawberry fine, then try out this recipe. This would also look the part in a champagne glass, so you feel a like you’ve not missed out on a special drink.
Non alcoholic store bought drinks
One of the biggest problems with non alcoholic drinks is that they tend to be very high in carbs and drinking liquid sugar is going to cause many problems for anyone with any type of insulin resistance.
Watch out for non alcoholic wines, spritzers, beers, ciders, cocktails and fruit juices. Unfortunately, you will need to pay very close attention to labels when it comes to selecting your drinks. Ideally you want to select drinks which have zero carbs per 100ml.
Seedlip spirits are a range of non alcoholic spirits which are also sugar and sweetener free. This means that they are a range of drinks that are suitable for gestational diabetes! There are 3 spirits currently available:
- GROVE 42 “A zesty & complex, citrus-forward blend of three types of orange & uplifting spice distillates. Simply serve with tonic & a twist of orange peel. Orange & Mandarin peel & pith top notes, with juicy Blood Orange undertones open up to a stalky, grassy character. Clean, fresh notes of Ginger & Lemongrass with a dry finish from a subtle Peppercorn prickle.”
- SPICE 94 “A complex blend of aromatic Jamaican Allspice berry & Cardamom distillates with two barks & a bright citrus finish. Simply serve with tonic & a red grapefruit peel garnish. Seedlip Spice 94 is aromatic with warm spiced notes, citrussy top notes from Lemon & Grapefruit peel and a long bitter finish from the highest quality barks (Oak & Cascarilla).”
- GARDEN 108 “A floral blend of hand-picked Peas & homegrown Hay from founder Ben Branson’s Farm, with traditional garden herb distillates in celebration of the English countryside. Simply serve with tonic & a sugar snap pea to garnish. The fresh & floral Seedlip Garden 108 captures the essence of the English countryside. Sophisticated top notes of hand-picked Peas & Hay and a complex herbal base character of Spearmint, Rosemary & Thyme.”
Non alcoholic beer
When it comes to beer, once again they can be very carb heavy. One of the lower carb options is Becks Blue, which has 9g carbs per bottle. 9g of carbs is the equivalent to just over 2 tsp of sugar. In liquid form this will raise blood sugar levels much faster than eating the equivalent amount of carbs and so whilst this is a lower carb option, it is still a risky choice, especially if you are eating at the same time.
For more help selecting drinks then take a look at our drinks page here.