As we enter the Festive Season, and the aromas of all your favourite Christmas dishes start drifting through the air, you’re probably worrying about what foods you can and can’t eat. Don’t stress, there are plenty of festive treats you can enjoy when pregnant.
Here’s a quick guide to holiday food you can enjoy when pregnant:
1. Cheese and fruit platters:
While it is best to avoid soft cheeses including brie, camembert, ricotta, feta and blue cheese, which can carry listeriosis bacteria, you can still enjoy some of the harder varieties of cheese such as cheddar, halloumi, Jarlsberg, Swiss or tasty. Cottage and cream cheese as well as bocconcini and mozzarella are also fine as long as they’re not from a deli counter.
You can also eat fruit safely, as long as it’s been washed beforehand.
If you cooked it and it’s eaten while still hot, then meat is fine. And if your party features a carving station with roast beef or turkey, make sure the meat is cooked well-done and is still steaming hot.
Fish, such as smoked salmon is an excellent source of protein and safe to eat. Just make sure to avoid fish high in mercury such as shark, marlin, swordfish or broadbill. Again make sure any fish you eat is well cooked.
Make sure stuffing is cooked separately from the poultry and eaten hot.
Only eat what you know has been washed properly and avoid any homemade mayonnaise or aioli which may contain raw eggs. It’s advised to stay away from pre-made or pre-packaged salads including coleslaw and fruit salads from salad bars, smorgasbords or delis as these can harbour some nasty bacteria. Also avoid all bean sprouts.
6. Pudding and ice-cream
Feel free to enjoy your Christmas pudding, mince pies, cake or trifle for dessert, but make sure the ice-cream or custard you smother it in is from a tub and not home-made. Fruitcake and other desserts that use alcohol as an ingredient are generally ok as the alcohol burns off during cooking. However, if the alcohol is added after the cooking process, it’s best to steer clear.
If your craving for eggnog cannot be subdued, you could try making a virgin, pregnancy-safe version with pasteurised egg product, an egg alternative or even soy.
The good news is, all nuts are an excellent source of nutrients and are considered safe for pregnant women to eat as part of a balanced diet.
Foods to avoid:
• Unpasteurised foods
• Soft cheeses
• Raw eggs
• Raw fish
• Cold and undercooked meats such as parma ham and salami
• Deli food
• Alcoholic beverages
Once the feast is over, ensure you refrigerate any leftovers immediately and eat them within a day to avoid unwanted food poisoning or bacteria.
Once the leftovers are eaten, you should revert to something a little healthier