Gestational Diabetes Baby Shower

Everything you need to know about holding a Gestational Diabetes Baby Shower

This post is for all those lucky mamas that are fortunate enough to be surrounded by some lovely family and friends who want to throw them baby showers.

Having never had a baby shower myself, or attended one, I’m going by what I’ve heard about them in my Facebook group and will try my best to explain how having gestational diabetes can make a mother filled with dread when they hear the words “baby shower“.

Most think of baby showers and imagine finger foods or an afternoon tea packed with carbs and sugar-laden cakes galore. For many, baby showers can be a big part of their pregnancy that they’ve been looking forward to and the thought of having a party surrounded by things they feel they can’t eat, whilst others indulge at THEIR party is enough to make them want to cancel.

“What should I do?”… “What can I eat at a baby shower?”

The biggest question we get asked in our Facebook support group is what can they eat at their gestational diabetes baby shower.

There are a few answers to that question:

  1. Have a Day Off testing blood sugar levels, forget about GD for the day and enjoy your baby shower
  2. Have a little treat but continue to monitor blood sugar levels. Make good choices from the food supplied and just do your best!
  3. Have a GD-friendly baby shower (yes! It CAN be done)

No 1 is the response we see most being given by health care professionals when mothers ask about special occasions like Baby Showers, Birthdays, Anniversaries etc. The pro to this is that you can have a day off and celebrate your pregnancy with your family and friends the way you expected you would. It’s also a pro for some that they do not need to discuss GD diagnosis and diet with family and friends and are not feeling awkward by refusing to eat certain foods.

The cons are that you may make yourself feel quite poorly from the amount of carbs (sugar) consumed which you are no longer used to. Symptoms from high blood sugar levels (a hyper) may include the following: headache, racing heart, sweating, shaking, thirst, blurred vision, feeling nauseous, and changes in emotions (overly emotional or angry). You are pushing your body to an extreme doing this and the sugar will pass through to your baby causing them to process excess amounts of sugar and to increase their own insulin production.

A couple of high blood sugar levels do not cause complications for your baby, however, this can be the road to falling off the wagon and may mean you struggle to remain on the GD diet following the day of treats.

Feelings of guilt and regret are the next biggest con that we see when ladies have taken a ‘day off’. So you need to think if having a few treats at your baby shower is going to cause any upset to you later.

For venues where they are preparing the food

The biggest struggle for many is where venues with set menus have been booked. Some baby showers have taken a lot of time, money and effort to arrange and so it can be quite depressing and distressing looking at a menu and thinking “what on earth can I eat?! I don’t want to upset or offend anyone, but most of this food will cause my blood sugar levels to rocket!

If you are faced with a situation and want to make the best choices on a GD diet, then go back to basics and think about what is being offered.

Think about the 8 golden rules. What on that menu could you eat, is there anything you could take away or add to make it more tolerable?

list of the GD UK 8 Golden Rules for a gestational diabetes diet

Don’t be afraid to ask the venue to adapt the menu or provide something more suitable. If you had a nut allergy or were coeliac then you would have to ask for certain changes to a menu to make it safe to consume. If you want to eat foods that are better for keeping your blood sugar levels within safer limits then it is no different and most venues are more than happy to adapt their menus to suit. But it’s advisable to do this in advance so they can prepare.

However, be wary of asking for ‘diabetic menus’ or ‘diabetic food’. This can easily end up being a case of one type of carb being swapped for another, e.g. cakes replaced with fresh fruits which will still spike blood sugar levels.

Be specific with food requests so that they can fully understand what you are asking for. Think cheese and meat platters with wholegrain crackers, egg, fish and meat sandwiches on wholemeal bread, plain scones with lashings of clotted cream (skip the jam), or opt for strawberries and fresh cream!

If going out to a restaurant for a meal, check out the Eating Out page for ideas that others have tolerated well.

Baby Showers prepared at home

Baby showers prepared by family and friends at home can be the perfect opportunity to make a really great GD-friendly baby shower, OR it can be an absolute disaster!

Baby shower food and drinks can be extremely high in carbs; cakes, cookies, sweets, popcorn, sandwiches, rolls, pastries, crisps, sugar-laden soft drinks and even well-meaning bowls of high-carb fruit can all cause problems!

An example of high-carb foods and drinks to AVOID with GD

Whilst baby showers are about showering the mother with gifts and welcoming the baby to the world, having fun and spending a good time with loved ones, it’s pretty depressing to think that everyone around you can indulge in treats at your party while you can’t and putting the mother in this situation can be very upsetting for them.

The mother can choose to not eat anything whilst everyone else enjoys the very things that they are craving, or they crack and cause themselves to break their safe diet for the sake of some sweet treats.

This isn’t a weight loss diet where it’s easy to take a day off and get back on track the next day. Breaking the GD diet can make the mother feel extremely unwell and has an impact on their baby.

Ultimately it has to be the mother’s choice what they wish to do and they shouldn’t be pushed into ‘just having one bite’ or a ‘day-off’ if they do not wish to.

The baby shower cake

Most baby showers will involve a beautiful centre-piece cake. Often someone has gone to great trouble to order, create and make a beautiful cake.

baby shower cake
if you are lucky enough to have a beautiful baby shower cake made for you, then either have a very small piece paired really well or freeze a big slice for eating when the baby has arrived. Lots of Mums have frozen their cakes from baby showers with great success!

NOTE: Cakes can be made GD-friendly and low-carb, but being sugar-free alone does not mean a cake is suitable for someone with gestational diabetes.

Flour is high in carbs, which turns into sugar in the body and therefore cakes need to be made with low-carb flour alternatives, as well as replacing the sugar with a good natural sweetener.

NB: Honey, syrups, dates and other fruit are not suitable substitutes for sugar as they still spike blood sugar levels.

I have many recipes within my GD UK recipe subscription area that are suitable for baby shower cakes, however, it is difficult to create beautiful masterpieces that require icing and sugar paste decorations like the one pictured above which will not spike blood sugar levels. Here is a great alternative, these are my Vanilla (Baby Shower) Cupcakes. They are low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free and nut-free:

vanilla cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes
Light, fluffy, moist vanilla cupcakes, perfect for Baby Showers, Birthdays or any special occasion
Check out this recipe
vanilla cupcakes

Creating GD-friendly baby showers

Through mothers in our group sharing this page and other posts from the GD UK website and some of the GD UK subscription recipes with loved ones, they have been absolutely touched and overwhelmed by the GD-friendly baby showers and parties others have created for them. Here are some of the fabulous efforts we have seen being shared in our Facebook group…

Once you have some idea of what types of food are more suitable and which foods to avoid, it really is quite easy! Below are lots of ideas and a list of things to avoid.

A basic list of things to avoid:
  • Sweets
  • Cakes and desserts made with flour and sugar (substituting sugar for sweetener is not enough as wheat flours cause spikes in levels too)
  • Sugary drinks including pressé, cordials, fruit juices & mocktails
  • Fresh fruit and fruit juices (other than berries, cherries and kiwi, or Granny Smith apple)
  • Pastry
  • Starchy white carbs: bread, pasta, rice

Savoury ideas


There are many dips which can be shop-bought or homemade 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 (cucumber, celery and peppers are great choices, carrots are harder to tolerate) are one of the best options but if you want a starchy carb to dip, then Scottish oatcakes, Ryvitas, or wholegrain crispbreads make a good choice or you could go for something totally different and use parmesan crisps (grated parmesan cooked until bubbling, then cooled), cocktail sausages, pigs in blankets, or pork scratchings! Tortilla nacho chips, plain potato crisps, Pombears, Quavers and Twiglets can be eaten in moderation with dips too.

  • Aioli
  • Cheese and chive
  • Garlic and herb
  • Guacamole
  • Houmous/Hummus
  • Sour cream and chive
  • Taramasalata
  • Tzatziki
Hummus | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
Easter hummus
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Roasted Garlic Hummus | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Homemade guacamole, with smooth avocado, chunks of sweet tomato, plenty of garlic, sweet onion and lime
Check out this recipe
Tomato Salsa
Sweet cool tomato salsa
Check out this recipe
Tomato Salsa
Never Eat A Naked Carb Nachos
Never Eat A Naked Carb Nachos!
Perfect snack food for watching a movie. A handful of salty nacho tortillas, melted cheese, fresh tomato salsa, home made guacamole and sour cream
Check out this recipe
apple nachos
Apple Nachos
Apple Nachos
Apple Nachos | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
apple nachos

Meat and fish ideas

  • cooked meat slices platter
  • crustless quiches
  • high meat content (over 90% meat) cocktail sausages or pigs in blankets
  • hot dog sausages
  • Peperami
  • cooked chicken pieces, or Fridge Raiders
  • cooked prawns with lemon mayonnaise dip or Marie rose dressing
  • roll-ups (cheese wrapped in ham or turkey)
  • chicken satay sticks
  • cooked chicken drumsticks (beware of sweet marinades/sauces eg. sweet chilli & BBQ)
  • GD UK Chicken Strips
  • GD UK Yuk Sung (Chinese lettuce cups)
Southern Fried Chicken
Southern Fried Chicken Strips
low carb chicken strips
Chicken Strips
Yuk Sung Chinese Lettuce Cups
Yuk Sung
Breakfast Cup Omelettes
Mini crustless quiches (breakfast cup omelettes)
Breakfast Cup Omelettes
Breakfast Cup Omelettes, so easy and quick to make. Great for eating hot or cold, packed with protein & natural fats AND cheap too!
Check out this recipe
Breakfast Cup Omelettes
Breakfast Cups
Handy bitesize breakfast cups that you can make in advance and eat cold or re-heated. You can make these simple with just eggs and bacon, or you can add cheese, veggies, herbs and spices to your taste
Check out this recipe
Ham Breakfast Cups
Quiche Lorraine
A classic Quiche Lorraine, but without the carbs. Cheese, bacon pieces, and onion. A delicious crustless quiche, perfect for meals and snacks which can be served hot or cold
Check out this recipe
Quiche Lorraine
Crustless Quiche
Quick and easy crustless quiche. A perfect lunch, dinner or snack
Check out this recipe
crustless quiche lorraine
Spanish Tortilla
A Spanish omelette, containing eggs, sliced cooked potato and your favourite fillings. Lower carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with protein. Perfect as a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as snacks which can be eaten hot or cold
Check out this recipe
Red Onion and Chorizo Spanish Tortilla
Spanish Frittata
A great way to use leftovers. This frittata can be made with all your favourite ingredients and makes for a great lunch, snack or dinner
Check out this recipe
Spanish Frittata


You can go wild with this, as long as they are pasteurised cheeses suitable to eat during pregnancy and if you’re vegetarian you can adapt the ideas by selecting vegetarian cheeses.

  • Cheese board (no grapes please!)
  • Full-fat cream cheese on oatcakes – top with chives, ham, bacon etc.
  • Baked camembert with garlic and rosemary

Many GD Mums absolutely love cooked Camembert for dipping. It feels like a real treat and is perfectly safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it is cooked until steaming hot!

Cheese paired with olives and pickled onions work much better than traditional pineapple


Eggs are one of the best GD foods out there! High in protein and natural fats and no carbs, make them a staple in the GD diet. The other great thing about eggs is that you can make some fantastic party foods to suit all occasions with them. Check out these eggy ideas:

Newborn Babies Deviled Eggs (Baby Shower) Recipe
Fun idea for a baby shower! Deviled eggs are decorated with thin slices of vienna sausage and chocolate sprinkles for eyes. (Don’t worry, the sprinkles don’t add the first bit of flavor to the eggs!)

Sandwiches and wraps

Try using lower-carb bread to make open sandwiches. You do this by using only one piece of bread on the bottom and adding the filling on top, leaving the sandwich ‘open’ to help create a gestational diabetes party food with fewer carbs.

Here’s a great example from Tesco with a turkey and avocado open sandwich

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich | Meal Ideas | Tesco Real Food
Rustle up this winning turkey and avocado sandwich combo, it’s easy and simple perfect for food on the go.
Turkey & avocado open sandwich

There are many different types of wraps available in shops, meaning some are better than others. Take a look at the comparison on this post and pick the lowest-carb ones available.

Sandwich & wrap fillings

Fillings should be packed with plenty of protein, natural fats and leafy green salad:

  • egg mayonnaise
  • egg & cress
  • ham
  • ham & cheese
  • ham & mustard
  • chicken & mayonnaise (avoid sweetcorn)
  • turkey & avocado
  • beef & horseradish mayonnaise
  • corned beef
  • bacon, lettuce & tomato
  • coronation chicken (without any raisins, apricots or dried fruit)
  • tuna mayonnaise
  • cream cheese
  • hummus & roasted peppers
  • cream cheese & cucumber
  • cheese, mayonnaise & tomato
  • peanut butter
GD baby showers sandwich platter
Egg Mayonnaise
egg & cress sandwich
GD Friendly Pizza
As quick and easy as putting a frozen pizza in the oven, but you get to choose the toppings. These GD friendly wrap pizzas are quick and huge hit with everyone who tries them!
Check out this recipe
GD Friendly pizzas on plates
These chaffles are the perfect low carb cheesy savoury bread substitute
Check out this recipe
Chaffles filled with ham and cheese salad
Chicken & Cream Cheese Bagel
Chicken & Cream Cheese Bagel | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
Chicken & Cream Cheese Bagel


Scones are a popular treat for baby showers. By tweaking traditional recipes slightly (losing the dried fruit and jam on fruit scones and ideally using wholemeal flour instead of white, you can easily make a lower-carb version which tastes AMAZING!) Check out my lower-carb recipes for scones below:

Cheese Scones
Really cheesy traditional scones with a crisp outside and soft light centre. Enjoy with a big knob of butter straight out of the oven!
Check out this recipe
cheese scones
Wholemeal Spelt Flour Scones
Wholemeal spelt flour has a slightly nutty sweet flavour which lends itself well to making these wholemeal spelt flour scones
Check out this recipe
Wholemeal Spelt Flour Scones
Jam (Raw Chia Seed Jam)
Lovely fresh sweet jam but without any sugar!
Check out this recipe
raw chia seed jam
cheese scones
Wholemeal Spelt Flour Scones

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 cheese, 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 full-fat mayonnaise as this will help with pairing foods to make them be tolerated better.

Pasta, rice and couscous and potato salads are all high in carbs, so if you decide to make this type of salad, you can help increase the protein and fat in the dish by adding protein and natural fats like cheese, olives or avocado.

BLT Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
BLT Pasta Salad
Delicious crunchy creamy coleslaw. The perfect side dish for adding extra fibre and natural fats to help to pair carbs on your plate
Check out this recipe
Kickin’ Coleslaw
Creamy coleslaw but one that packs a huge chilli kick! If you like spice in your life, then this coleslaw should not disappoint!
Check out this recipe
Kickin' Coleslaw
Pink Pickled Slaw
Crisp, fresh, tangy slaw. The perfect accompaniment to salads, sandwiches and crackers
Check out this recipe
Pink Pickled Slaw
Celeriac Remoulade
Crunchy strips of celeriac, coated in a creamy French mayonnaise dressing. A lovely alternative to traditional coleslaw and a tasty side dish to add to your salad
Check out this recipe
Celeriac Remoulade

Sweet Treats

This is where the baby shower can be quite tricky. Most mothers with gestational diabetes will have been avoiding eating cakes and desserts but may have a few safer items that they rely on. Not only does sugar raise blood sugar levels, but so does the flour in pastry and fruit and so it can make sweet treats quite tricky to find. However, there are quite a few options which will still be tolerable and a nice sweet treat!

Mint Choc Cheesecake
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
lemon cheesecake
Lemon Cheesecake
vanilla cheesecake image
Vanilla cheesecake

Avoid Fruit platters and Fruit salads

This may seem like a great idea… swapping sweets and cakes for healthy fresh fruit, but what many fail to realise with gestational diabetes is that the majority of women simply can’t tolerate it due to high amounts of fructose (natural sugars from fruit) and so it becomes a food that they desperately crave, but have to avoid.

baby shower fruit platter
avoid fruit platters unless using only berries which are lower carb

The best fruit options are mentioned above, such as berries, kiwi, cherries, lemons and limes and so although you mean well, please don’t go to all the trouble of creating masterpieces such as these, thinking that they will be better options, as sadly they will still spike GD mothers blood sugar levels.

Gestational Diabetes UK Subscription Cake Recipes

I have many cake recipes which make for lovely sweet treats which will not raise blood sugar levels as normal cakes would. These are enjoyed by many of my members and have been baby shower saviours for lots of ladies, but are also so good they are enjoyed by all without realising they contain no refined sugar or wheat flour!

Vanilla Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
low carb strawberry cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Coconut Bounty Cake Cupcakes
Coconut Bounty Cake
Mocha Cupcakes
Baked Cheesecake
Basic Chocolate Cake
Lemon Curd Cake with edible flowers
Lemon Curd Cake
Victoria Sponge Nut Free whole cake on a vintage plate
Victoria Sponge (Nut Free version)
Coffee and Walnut Cake
Coffee and Walnut Cake
Carrot Cake
Chinese Fruit Cake Cut
Chinese Fruit Cake
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Black Forest Gateau
Lemon Loaf Cake
Blueberry and Lemon Traybake
GD Brownies

Baby Shower Drinks

Sadly, even drinks can cause problems with blood sugar levels, especially things like fruit juices, smoothies, milkshakes and spritzers. When high-sugar liquids are consumed, being liquid, the body doesn’t need to do much to process them and so the sugar is absorbed even faster than with foods.

However, there are lots of safe drinks which can be brightened up and follow your baby shower theme! There are tons of sugar-free and no added sugar-flavoured sparkling waters and sodas out there.

Fizzy drinks such as diet pink lemonade are great for a pink baby shower theme, you just need to look out for no added sugar versions in shops and supermarkets. Or you can make your own using zero or sugar-free lemonade with a couple of drops of food colouring!

Citrus Refresher
Citrus Refresher; diet lemonade with sliced citrus fruits and fresh mint
Fake Pimms
Fake Pimms | Non-alcoholic | Gestational Diabates UK
Check out this recipe
Fake Pimms
Fake Pimm’s

Have FUN!

Don’t let gestational diabetes put a downer on your baby shower. Remember it’s not just about food and drink, it’s a time to celebrate and enjoy time with loved ones and friends before your baby arrives. Play games and have some fun!

gestational diabetes baby shower
GD UK Recipe Subscription Ad

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