Christmas Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy




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Christmas is right around the corner, and you may be wondering if there are any foods that are off limits during your pregnancy. Fortunately, a few of the foods you should avoid are foods you should not be eating whether you are pregnant or not.

 

Before we jump right into what not to eat, there are some general things to remember when preparing your Christmas Feast.

 

Make sure to wash your hands, a lot. Before, during, and after preparing your meal. Along with clean hands, you must also have clean surfaces and utensils. This is particularly important when dealing with raw meat.

 

Turkey. Don’t worry, you can still eat turkey! Just make sure it is fully cooked. Consuming undercooked turkey puts you at risk for salmonella or toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, usually does not cause symptoms in adults, but may affect your unborn child. To prevent this, check the temperature in the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh. To be fully cooked, it must be at least 180 degrees.

 

Smoked Meat and Deli Meat. Avoid any smoked meat (or fish) and deli meat that is found in the refrigerated section, due to the heightened risk for listeria which can cause serious birth defects. An alternative is canned meat. These come already sterilized, making it safe for consumption while pregnant.

 

Leftovers. Get your leftovers into the refrigerator as soon as possible. This lowers the risk of contamination by any bacteria.

 

Stuffing. Make your stuffing in a separate pot or pan. Stuffing that is cooked inside the turkey’s cavity does not get hot enough to kill all of the harmful bacteria, which leaves you vulnerable to illness.

 

Raw Unwashed Veggies. Raw vegetables need to be washed thoroughly, which will ensure they have not been exposed to germs.

 

Homemade Sauces, Creams, and Soft Cheese. Make sure you are using pasteurized milk and eggs, otherwise you increase the chance of foodborne illness. You will also want to be careful when choosing your ciders or eggnog. Not just to make sure they are pasteurized, but to also make sure they are free of any alcohol.

 

Desserts. Avoid consuming any raw batter. Raw eggs are at risk for carrying salmonella. Think twice before you lick that spoon! Custards, mousses, and homemade ice cream may also contain raw eggs, so make sure to read the ingredients or ask the chef.

 

These are just a few holiday healthy eating tips—it is by no means comprehensive. If you have any questions, be sure to consult your doctor. By following these safety tips, you will ensure a delicious and safe Christmas for you and your baby.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

 

Find more Articles, Resources, and Benefits for Parents at EPAOA.org.

By Lauren DiCamillo of Expecting Parents Alliance of America 




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  • Pregnancy
  • Parenting Information



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