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holiday pregnancy

Holiday Eating Tips During Pregnancy

One of the harder parts of pregnancy is having to avoid so many meals you used to think you could never do without. When you’re pregnant, there are a lot of foods out there that could cause issues for you or your baby. Then come the holidays! It’s easy to end up confused at a get-together, needing a refresher course on what not to eat as you waddle your way through the hors d’oeuvres. Whether you’re at a point in your pregnancy where you can party hop, or you’re going to spend the holidays in your jammies binge-watching your favorite show, food will be in the air, and you may end up asking yourself what you can eat during the holidays when you’re pregnant. From grocery stores to White Elephant parties, here’s a little recap on what foods to avoid during pregnancy.

  • If the meal in question used to breathe, it should be cooked through and through. Is that sashimi over there? You might want to walk over to the veggie dish instead. Steak tartare calling your name? Eat the crackers instead. A few examples of other raw or undercooked foods to avoid during pregnancy:
    • Homemade eggnog (people usually use raw eggs)
    • Lox (raw salmon)
    • Prosciutto, salami, and other deli meats
  • You may have heard this one before: Don’t drink when you’re pregnant. Some doctors say you can have the occasional (one) glass of wine, and that’s up to you and your doctor, but ultimately, the safest thing to do is to keep the liquor cabinet closed. If you still want to feel festive, have the bartender pour some Pellegrino into a champagne flute! Plus, “Cheers!” are so much more fun when done with a flute.
  • Homemade apple cider is another one to stay away from—it’s usually unpasteurized, meaning bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella could be festering in the drink.
  • It’s easy to accidentally undercook poultry. Poultry needs to be carefully cooked, and in your case, examined. Check to make sure that the chicken feels firm and that the juices run clear, not pink. Also, be sure to store leftover poultry in the fridge and to heat it up instead of just eating it cold. The microwave can zap any harmful bacteria that may have made its way into the chicken.
  • This one could hurt, especially since it’s so cold outside: Cut back on coffee. The good news is that a cup a day is fine, and then you can drink decaf for as long as you’d like. Even try and keep your teas caffeine-lite.
  • Because turkey can’t be eaten until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you can’t eat turkey stuffing that was prepared inside the turkey unless the turkey was cooked to 165. (If the stuffing was prepared outside of the turkey, you’re fine.)
  • A little good news never hurts: Cheese is fine! Just be absolutely sure that it’s made from pasteurized milk, because if it’s made from raw milk, it may contain a disease-causing bacteria, listeria, which is more likely to become an issue to pregnant women (that being said, listeria contamination is rare).

Sure, it could be a bit of a struggle deciding what to eat during the holidays when you’re pregnant. Just remember that the difference this year is that instead of that food baby that ends up in your belly each holiday season, you have a real (non-food) baby in your belly this time! As your bond with your little one continues to grow, and especially when he or she is born, you’ll be wondering what the big deal was about raw oysters and a bit of champagne in the first place.

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