6 Holiday Foods to Avoid Eating While Pregnant

With the holidays approaching, it’ll soon be time to enjoy quality home cooked meals and feast on delicious holiday goodies. It’s that time of the year where you just let go and enjoy the best foods without any regrets. However, the holidays can be tricky while you’re pregnant. There are certain foods and drinks that you have to avoid.

Knowing what’s off limits and what you can actually eat or drink can quickly become overwhelming. So many people have different advice, but not all you hear is true. That’s why we want to help simplify the holidays for you by giving you tips about what you can and can’t eat or drink.

Stuffing

You may not know this, but most doctors recommend avoiding stuffing. This is because stuffing is usually cooked within the turkey, which makes it more prone to carrying foodborne illnesses. If you absolutely can’t live without stuffing this holiday season, make sure it gets cooked outside of the bird, which eliminates the risks.

Undercooked Meat

Meat is often the main meal in most homes during the holidays – primarily turkey. You’ll want to make sure that all of the meat you eat was fully cooked. Undercooked meat is the number one food to avoid while pregnant and with the stress of the holidays, it’s easy to serve dinner before it’s fully cooked. Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165° F, ground beef, pork and lamb should reach 160° F and finally, beef, pork and lamb steaks, chops and roasts should reach 145° F.

Homemade Eggnog

One of the best traditions of the holidays is drinking some delicious homemade eggnog. The issue with eggnog is that it can often be spiked with alcohol. However, even if there is no alcohol in the eggnog, you should still avoid it as it’s often made with raw eggs. Raw eggs can carry salmonella bacteria, which can be extremely bad for you, especially while pregnant. Fortunately, store-bought eggnog uses pasteurized eggs, making it a safe alternative.

Brisket

A Hanukkah classic, the brisket, is another meal that you have to be cautious about eating. You don’t have to avoid it altogether, but if you’re going to eat some while pregnant, make sure that the brisket was cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. This is the temperature where any bacteria would be killed, making it a nice dish to enjoy in complete safety. However, if you can’t confirm the internal temperature, you should probably avoid it.

Cheese

Cheese is often a great appetizer that is served before the main meal during the holidays. Most people love cheese – it’s pretty delicious. However, if you aren’t sure that the cheese was made with pasteurized milk, you should avoid eating it. Some cheeses are made using raw milk and this can contain listeria, which is dangerous bacteria for pregnant women. Hard cheeses are okay, like gouda, cheddar or parmesan – the ones you’ll want to avoid are soft cheeses like blue cheese, brie, camembert and feta.

Leftovers

Holiday meals are huge – we tend to cook way more food than we actually need. This leaves us with a lot of leftovers to hand out to our guests. If you’re tempted to bring home some leftover turkey or mashed potatoes, we recommend leaving it for someone else. It’s highly recommended to avoid food that has been sitting around for hours and in most cases, the food doesn’t get put in the fridge immediately after being cooked. It’s often on the table for an hour or two and then gradually gets wrapped up and stored away. This holiday season, say no to leftovers!