A 5-Day 1350 Calorie Diabetes Meal Plan

Plan ahead for a week's worth of nutritious meals

meal plan photo collage

Spending a few hours a week meal planning and prepping is well worth it when you end up with balanced, nutritious dishes. You'll be armed with good-for-you choices at all times, making it easier to stick to your health goals.

Follow this step-by-step meal plan and cut your time spent in half. It outlines five days of diabetes-friendly meals, each individually reviewed and curated to provide variety, high-quality fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and at least 25 grams of fiber per day.

There's also a shopping list and prep schedule, so you don't have to waste energy figuring out what needs to be done when.

Your Calorie and Carb Goals

This meal plan provides an average of 1350 daily calories. The number of calories you need varies based on your height, weight, activity level, and goals. It's best to work with a dietitian to determine the exact number you should be aiming for, but some calculators, like the one below, can provide an accurate estimate. Plug in your info to learn your daily calorie goal for weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance.

If you need fewer than 1350 calories, omitting or halving the snack will leave you closer to 1200 to 1250. If you need additional calories, add a second snack to your day. Discuss the best timing for it with your dietitian. A few smart options include:

  • 4 tablespoons hummus with 8 baby carrots: 125 calories, 15g carbs, 6g fiber
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt with 23 almonds: 232 calories, 10g carbs, 3g fiber
  • 1 hard-boiled egg with 1/4 cup guacamole over 1/2 whole grain English muffin: 221 calories, 17g carbs, 6g fiber
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of cinnamon: 118 calories, 10 grams carbohydrate, 0g fiber  

    Also, note that 30 to 40 percent of the daily calories come from carbohydrates—that's about 100 to 135 grams of carbohydrate per day. Most (but not all) of the meals are under 40 grams of carbohydrate. The right number for you will vary here too, based on activity level and medications. Your dietitian can guide you in pinpointing your ideal carbohydrate range.

    Try not to get frustrated if it takes a few rounds of carb counting and consistently measuring your blood sugars to get it right. Eventually, you'll find what works best for you.

    Hydration

    This meal plan does not include beverages and assumes that you'll be enjoying refreshing, non-sweetened drinks throughout your day. Water is one choice, but you can also change things up and try freshly steeped mint and lemon tea or a light strawberry basil sparkler. The first adds zero calories, the second only 16 calories and 4g carbohydrate per 12-ounce drink.

    Meal Plan Overview

    Take a glimpse at what you'll be enjoying throughout the week. The nutrition info displayed is for one serving. The meal plan is designed for a family of four. Detailed prep instructions are below.

     BreakfastLunchSnackDinnerTotal Nutrient Breakdown
    MondayBlueberry crunch bowl with walnutsTomato basil spaghetti squash with turkey cilantro meatballsOlive, walnut, and edamame mixRussian red beet borscht with oven fried cod 
    Calories2775641553551351
    Carbs (g)2024751102 (30%)
    Fiber (g)5641328 (112%)
     
    TuesdayVeggie topped egg cups with whole wheat english muffins and cheddarTuna salad avocado boats with Russian red beet borschtOlive, walnut, and edamame mixSpringtime stir-fry with cheesy cauliflower cakes 
    Calories3743531554821364
    Carbs (g)4838738131 (38%)
    Fiber (g)7114628 (112%)
     
    WednesdayGreek yogurt blender pancakes with strawberries and walnutsSpringtime stir-fry with cheesy cauliflower cakesCumin lime roasted chickpeasKale and cranberry salad with lighter avocado chicken 
    Calories2994821753811337
    Carbs (g)37382121117 (35%)
    Fiber (g)867425 (100%)
     
    ThursdayBlueberry crunch bowl with walnutsKale and cranberry salad with lighter avocado chicken, 1/2 english muffinPumpkin pie spice roasted trail mixChopped salad with turmeric chicken and rainbow soup 
    Calories2113381796131341
    Carbs (g)1825144097 (29%)
    Fiber (g)3541325 (100%)
     
    FridayVeggie topped egg cups with whole wheat english muffinsChopped salad with turmeric chickenPumpkin pie spice roasted trail mixLentil stuffed sweet potatoes with rainbow soup 
    Calories3185411793091347
    Carbs (g)48321450144 (43%)
    Fiber (g)7941333 (132%)

    Grocery List

    Before you head out, carefully look over the list and cross out all the items you have on hand. This way you won't waste time at the supermarket and can grab exactly what you need.

    Buy all of your groceries in one go to save time. Once you bring them home, prep what you can to save time throughout the week. See detailed instructions below. 

    Bakery and Breads

    - 18 whole wheat English muffins 

    Frozen Goods

    - 1 bag edamame
    - 10 ounces green beans

    Canned Goods

    - 4 5-ounce cans solid white albacore tuna, in water
    - 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes- 3 15-ounce cans chickpeas
    - 2 cups kalamata olives (buy a jar, keep unused olives in the fridge)
    - 42 ounces low sodium veggie broth (buy 2 32-ounce containers, freeze unused for up to 6 months)
    - 8-ounce can tomato sauce

    Pantry Items (you likely have many of these on hand)

    - apple cider vinegar
    - baking powder
    - balsamic vinegar
    - brown sugar
    - canola oil
    - chili garlic sauce
    - cornstarch
    - cumin powder
    - curry powder
    - Dijon mustard
    - fennel seed
    - garlic powder
    - ground cinnamon
    - hoisin sauce
    - honey
    - dried lentils
    - olive oil
    - olive oil spray
    - panko breadcrumbs
    - paprika
    - pumpkin pie spice
    - rice wine vinegar
    - rolled oats
    - salt and pepper
    - sesame oil
    - soy sauce
    - sugar
    - ground turmeric
    - vanilla extract
    - white whole wheat flour- whole grain unsweetened cereal (bran flakes, shredded wheat)

    Meat and Seafood

    - 10 large chicken breasts
    - 24 ounces cod fillets
    - 1 pound ground turkey

    Dairy and Eggs

    -  ¼ pound cheddar cheese
    - 14 large eggs (buy 2 dozen and store the rest)
    - 1 ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
    - large container non-fat Greek yogurt
    - 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    - 1 cup milk (swap for milk alternative if needed)

    Fresh Produce

    - 10 sprigs fresh oregano (can substitute dry)
    - 1 bunch asparagus
    - 7 medium avocados
    - 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms
    - 2 small beets
    - 3 medium green bell peppers
    - 6 medium red bell peppers
    - 1 small onion
    - 4 cups blueberries (2 pints)
    - 9 medium carrots
    - 1 small head cauliflower
    - 1 large bunch celery
    - small bunch cilantro
    - 2 large cucumbers
    - ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (can sub dry)
    - small knob ginger
    - 2 sprigs rosemary (can sub dry)
    - 3 heads garlic
    - 4 cups grape tomatoes (2 pints)
    - small head green cabbage
    - 1 large bunch kale
    - 1 lemon
    - 3 limes
    - small bunch parsley
    - 3 medium potatoes- small bunch scallions (chop up and freeze remaining)
    - 1 medium spaghetti squash
    - 4 cups strawberries (2 pints)- 4 small sweet potatoes
    - 4 medium tomatoes
    - 4 medium yellow onions

    Preparation Plan

    Remember that this meal plan is designed for a family of 4. A note is included for recipes that need to be doubled or tripled. Adjust ingredient amounts as needed if you're looking to make fewer or more servings.

    Store chopped veggies and pre-prepped meals in tupperware containers in the fridge (sturdy tupperware and mason jars are key to keeping food fresh and safe). Keep ingredients that weren't used in their appropriate places, like your pantry or the fridge, so you have them handy when it's time to use them.

    Shopping Day (You can split these tasks into 2 days if needed)

    Monday's Lunch Prep:

    • Prepare basil spaghetti squash with turkey cilantro meatballs according to instructions.
    • Divide into 4 servings and store in the fridge until Monday.

    Monday's Dinner Prep:

    • Chop up all needed vegetables for Russian red beet borscht. Store raw in tupperware until Monday evening. Boil and peel potatoes and keep stored in separate tupperware to add when needed (saves you 20 minutes of boil time on Monday).

    Tuesday and Friday Breakfast Prep:

    • Prepare veggie topped egg cups according to directions.
    • Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer.
    • Note: Multiple recipe by three.

    Monday's and Tuesday's Snack Prep:

    • Prepare olive, walnut, and edamame mix according to instructions.
    • Divide into 8 zip-top baggies. One batch is enough for two days' worth of snacks, for four people.

    Wednesday Snack Prep:

    • Prepare a batch of cumin lime roasted chickpeas according to instructions.
    • Divide into 4 mini mason jars. Store in fridge.

    Thursday and Friday Snack Prep:

    • Prepare a batch of pumpkin pie spice roasted trail mix according to instructions.
    • Divide into 8 zip-top baggies. One batch is enough for two days' worth of snacks, for four people.

    Monday

    Breakfast:

    • Assemble blueberry crunch bowl.
    • Add 5 walnut halves to each bowl, crushed.
    • Note: Multiply recipe by four.
    • Remove cod from freezer and place in refrigerator so it's ready to cook later.

    Lunch: 

    Snack:

    • Enjoy edamame mix, prepared on shopping day.

    Dinner: 

    • Prepare Russian red beet borscht according to directions, using your pre-prepped veggie and ready-to-go potatoes.
    • While borscht is cooking, prepare oven fried cod.
    • Serve 2 cups of borscht and one cod filet each. Divide remaining borscht to have for lunch the next day (about 1 cup each). Store in mason jars.

    Tuesday Lunch Prep:

    • Prepare tuna salad avocado boats according to directions and store in tupperware.
    • Note: Multiply recipe by four—two halves for each person.

    Tuesday Dinner Prep:

    • Chop up asparagus, bell peppers, and cauliflower flowerets for springtime stir-fry with cheesy cauliflower cakes. Optional: blanch or microwave cauliflower today or tomorrow to cook it.
    • Note: Double both recipes.

    Tuesday

    Breakfast:

    • Assemble veggie topped egg cups with whole wheat English muffins and cheddar. Each sandwich should contain a reheated egg cup between a whole wheat English muffin with 1/2 ounce cheese.
    • Note: two sandwiches per person.

    Lunch:

    Snack:

    • Enjoy edamame mix, prepared on shopping day.

    Dinner:

    • Prepare springtime stir-fry with cheesy cauliflower cakes according to directions, using pre-chopped veggies.
    • Note: Double both recipes.
    • Serve 1.25 cup servings of stir-fry with 2 cauliflower cakes each. Divide leftovers between 4 tupperware containers for Wednesday's lunch.

    Wednesday Breakfast Prep (optional):

    • Prepare Greek yogurt blender pancake batter. Store in fridge until next morning.

    Wednesday Dinner Prep: 

    • Prepare chicken breast at the same time as the cauliflower cakes, to use in tomorrow's lighter avocado chicken.
    • Note: double the recipe (prepare 2 large chicken breasts).

    Wednesday

    Breakfast:

    • Prepare Greek yogurt blender pancakes.
    • Serve 3 pancakes each with 7 walnut halves and 1 cup sliced strawberries.

    Lunch:

    Snack:

    • Enjoy cumin lime roasted chickpeas, prepared on shopping day.

    Dinner: 

    • Prepare kale and cranberry salad according to directions.
    • Prepare lighter avocado chicken according to directions, using yesterday's prepared chicken.
    • Serve 1.5 cups salad with 3/4 cup chicken. Pack leftovers—3/4 cup kale salad with 3/4 cup lighter avocado chicken salad with 1/2 whole wheat English muffin—for tomorrow's lunch.

    Thursday Dinner Prep:

    • Chop cucumber, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives for the Mediterranean chopped salad. Store in tupperware container until tomorrow.
    • Chop onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, carrot, tomatoes for the rainbow soup. Store in separate tupperware container until tomorrow.
    • Note: Double the Mediterranean salad recipe.

    Thursday

    Breakfast:

    • Assemble blueberry crunch bowl.
    • Add 5 walnut halves to each bowl, crushed.
    • Note: Multiply recipe by four.
    • Remove 8 chicken breast from freezer, to use for dinner.

    Lunch: 

    • Enjoy leftover kale salad with lighter avocado chicken salad and 1/2 whole wheat English muffin.

    Snack:

    • Enjoy pumpkin pie spice roasted trail mix, prepared on shopping day.

    Dinner:

    • Prepare turmeric chicken according to instructions. Double the recipe.
    • Prepare rainbow soup according to directions.
    • Assemble Mediterranean chopped salad according to directions, while the chicken is in the oven and soup is cooking. Double the recipe.
    • Serve two cups chopped salad with one chicken breast and one cup soup each. Save leftover soup for tomorrow's dinner. Divide remaining chopped salad (two cups each) and chicken (one piece each) into tupperware for lunch the next day.

    Friday Dinner Prep:

    • Simmer lentils while the soup is cooking, to use in tomorrow's lentil stuffed sweet potatoes.
    • Note: Double this recipe.

    Friday

    Breakfast:

    • Assemble veggie topped egg cups with whole wheat English muffins. Each sandwich should contain a reheated egg cup between a whole wheat English muffin.
    • Note: two sandwiches per person.

    Lunch:

    • Enjoy leftover Mediterranean chopped salad with turmeric chicken.

    Snack:

    • Enjoy pumpkin pie spice roasted trail mix, prepared on shopping day.

    Dinner:

    • Assemble lentil stuffed sweet potatoes, according to directions, using the cooked lentils prepared yesterday. You can microwave the sweet potatoes instead of roasting them, to save time.
      Note: Double this recipe.
    • Serve one stuffed potato each with about 1.25 cups leftover rainbow soup.

    A Word From Verywell

    The goal here is to prepare what you can ahead of time so that you can ease up your workload throughout the week, leaving mostly assembly. Chances are that everything won't be perfect, and that's OK. You can and should modify steps to fit your needs and personal workflow.

    It may be helpful for you to schedule time into your calendar, as you would for a meeting or appointment. Blocked out time serves as a reminder for the task and reduces potential distractions and excuses.

    If you want to create your own meal plan, explore the many diabetes-friendly recipes we have available. Generally, you should strive for balance and variety. Focus on filling up your plate with vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins like fish and chicken, legumes, and lower-fat dairy products. Portion sizes are also important. Meals rich in fiber and protein will fill you up, helping you stick to an appropriate serving size and in turn better manage your blood glucose, cholesterol levels, weight, and overall health.

    Sources:

    American Diabetes Association. Planning Meals. 2017.

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