3-Day Diabetes Meal Plan for Spring

By: Micaela Young, M.S.

Quick and delicious spring meals to help take the guesswork out of healthy eating for diabetes.

Enjoy all the flavors of spring with this healthy diabetes meal plan. The meals and snacks are balanced for calories and carbohydrates throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable and help you feel energized. Each day comes in right around 1,500 calories, meals fall between 3-4 carb servings (or 45 - 65 grams of carbs) and snacks are kept to 1 carb serving (or 15 grams of carbs). We include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and keep things like refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and sodium at bay as they can be harmful if you eat too much.

Related: The Best Foods for Diabetes

Talk with your doctor or dietitian to set nutrition goals specific to you based on your age, activity level and weight-loss goals. In this plan, the calorie and carbohydrate totals are listed next to each meal and snack so you can swap in foods with similar nutrition as you like. Once you master this 3-day meal plan, move onto one of our other healthy meal plans for diabetes.

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How to Meal-Prep Your Meals:

A little prep can save you time on busy days. Complete these steps all at once before the start of Day 1 or pace yourself by completing each day's prep the day before.

1. Cook 1¼ lbs. (20 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breast. This will make 15 oz. cooked chicken. You'll use 4 oz. for lunch on Day 1, 8 oz. for dinner on Day 2, and 3 oz. for lunch on Day 3.

2. Make a batch of Easy Brown Rice. You'll use 2 cups cooked rice for dinner on Day 1 and ½ cup for lunch on Day 3. Freeze the remaining 1/2 cup rice to use at a later time.

3. Make Creamy Salad Dressing: Combine 1 Tbsp. low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. each lemon juice and olive oil, and 1/8 tsp. each salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder. Refrigerate for lunch on Day 1.

4. Prepare Peanut Butter Overnight Oats: Stir together ½ cup 1% milk (or water) and 2 Tbsp. unsalted peanut butter in a pint-size glass jar until smooth. Stir in ½ cup old-fashioned oats, ½ cup frozen mixed berries, and 2 Tbsp. walnuts. Refrigerate overnight for breakfast on Day 2.

5. Make Soy-Ginger Sauce: Combine 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp. canola oil, ½ tsp. grated fresh ginger, and 1/8 tsp. each garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days for lunch on Day 3.

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Mix & Match Snacks

Round out each day's calorie target and keep hunger at bay by choosing a snack or two from the list below. Each contains about 1 carb serving (15 grams carbohydrates).

• 1 multigrain Wasa cracker + ½ avocado, mashed (185 calories, 13g carbs)
• 1 small apple + ½ oz. Cheddar cheese (135 calories, 21 g carbs)
• ½ cup sliced strawberries + 1 oz. unsalted cashews (187 calories, 15 g carbs)

Day 1

Tofu & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Breakfast (434 calories, 48 g carbs)

Yogurt Parfait

• 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
• ½ cup whole-grain cereal, such as Kashi GoLean Crunch
• ½ small sliced banana
• 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

Top yogurt with cereal, banana and walnuts.

Lunch (576 calories, 36 g carbs)

Chicken & Avocado Salad

• 2 cups mixed salad greens
• 3/4 cup sliced cooked chicken
• 1/2 avocado
• 1/4 bell pepper, chopped
• Creamy Salad Dressing
• 1 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine greens, chicken, avocado and pepper. Dress with the creamy salad dressing and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

• 1 small apple

Dinner (514 calories, 49 g carbs)

• 1 serving Tofu & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Daily Totals: 1,524 calories, 133 g carbs, 28 g fiber, 14 g sat fat, 97 g protein, 984 mg sodium

 

Day 2

Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

Breakfast (518 calories, 50 g carbs)

• 1 serving meal-prepped peanut butter overnight oats

Lunch (454 calories, 51 g carbs)

Chipotle Bean Burrito

• 1 8-inch whole-wheat wrap
• ½ avocado
• 1 diced scallion
• 1/3 cup rinsed low-sodium black beans
• 1/4 bell pepper, chopped
• 2 Tbsp. ­chipotle salsa
• 2 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese

Fill wrap with avocado, scallions, black beans, bell pepper, chipotle salsa and cheese.

Dinner (514 calories, 43 g carbs)

• 1 serving Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Parsley-Walnut Pesto

Daily Totals: 1,486 calories, 144 g carbs, 32 g fiber, 15 g sat fat, 65 g protein, 1,334 mg sodium

 

Day 3

Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Breakfast (434 calories, 48 g carbs)

Yogurt Parfait

• 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
• ½ cup whole-grain cereal, such as Kashi GoLean Crunch
• ½ small sliced banana
• 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

Top yogurt with cereal, banana and walnuts.

Lunch (567 calories, 36 g carbs)

Easy Chicken & Rice Bowl

• ½ cup cooked brown rice
• ½ cup sliced cooked chicken
• 1 diced scallion
• 1/4 cup sliced snow peas
• 1/4 cup shredded carrot
• Soy-Ginger Sauce
• 3 Tbsp. crushed unsalted peanuts

Combine rice, chicken, scallions, snow peas and carrots together in a bowl. Dress with the soy-ginger sauce and top with peanuts.

Dinner (401 calories, 41 g carbs)

• 1 serving Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew
• 2 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 bell pepper, sliced

Combine greens and pepper together. Dress with 2 tsp. each olive oil & lemon juice

Daily Totals: 1,502 calories, 135 g carbs, 31 g fiber, 12 g sat fat, 105 g protein, 1,290 mg sodium

 

WATCH: What Does a 1-Day Diabetes Meal Plan Look Like?

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