Festive Food Safety for Pregnant Women

Christmas is a time for fun, overindulging on tasty food and treating yourself to delicious festive drinks.  The holiday season is filled with crumbly mince pies, crispy roast potatoes, dazzling centrepiece roasts, frosted panettone and rich Christmas cakes. When you’re pregnant, you may see these festive foods full of hazards, and you’re probably right! You must be extra careful as to what you eat and drink during the Christmas period due to the effect it can have on your baby. We’ve rounded up all of your favourite Christmas dishes to let you know which ones are safe to indulge in!christmas-dinner-1

  • Spiced Cider

Before you sip on that glass of spiced cider, make sure there is absolutely no alcohol in it. Instead, try non-alcoholic apple cider to get you into the festive mood.

  •  Eggnog

A lot of eggnog recipes contain brandy, so double check before you gulp it down! If Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without a bit off eggnog, you can try pasteurized non-alcoholic eggnog.

  • Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs

This luxurious breakfast dish is a classic this time of the year.  Pregnant women are advised to refrain from eating raw and part cooked eggs because of the risk that they contain salmonella bacteria.  When you’re pregnant, you are more at risk of food poisoning as your immune system is not functioning as well as usual. You can substitute scrambled eggs for a hardboiled egg or a well-cooked poached egg. Salmon is high in brain boosting Omega 3, but make sure it is completely fresh and pre-packaged if you want to indulge in a scrumptious and nutritional  breakfast.

  • Turkey and the Trimmings

Turkey is a healthy, lean meat full of nutrients. However when cooking the meat, you must ensure that it is cooked properly to avoid the risk of salmonella infection. Don’t forget plenty of fibre rich vegetables on the side!

  • Soft Cheeses

When the cheeseboard and nibbles are out, take care as it is advised for pregnant women to avoid any unpasteurised, mould ripened or blue cheeses.  These cheeses can contain bacteria called listeria which can harm your baby.  Why not make your own cheeseboard of hard cheeses including cheddar, gruyere, halloumi, mozzarella or red leicester.  Soft processed cheeses such as cottage cheese, yoghurt, ricotta or soured cream do not contain listeria so you could also give those a try!

  •  Pate

This spread can contain harmful bacteria so try a spread such as hummus or peanut butter!

  • Puddings and Pies

Ice cream from a tub is fine, but avoid homemade versions, mousses and meringues as they contain raw undercooked eggs. Also check that your Christmas pudding has no raw egg in it. If it does, try shop brought trifles and mince pies.

However you decide to dine this Christmas, take care before feasting on traditional tasty treats for the health of you and your baby.

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