Eat This, Not That: Holiday Pregnancy Edition

Pregnant woman holding her stomach, in front of a christmas tree

By: Ami Kochendorfer

Snow now covers the ground [in Minnesota] and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We all know what that means… food—and lots of it! While we need to be mindful of what we are shoveling into our mouths this month, those who are pregnant (myself included) need to take extra precautions and know what to eat and what to steer clear of this holiday season.

Eat this, Not that

Water vs. Eggnog

Eat this: As much water as you want. Not that: eggnog

Some selections are ok, but most homemade eggnogs contain raw eggs and may be spiked with liquor which are both no-noes during pregnancy. It’s best to hold off on your eggnog fix until next year. So instead guzzle on some water. Not only will it keep you hydrated, it will also help fill you up so you don’t eat as much at meal time.

Turkey vs. Stuffing

Eat this: Turkey. Not that: Stuffing or dressing.

Unless you know it was baked in it’s own dish vs. inside the turkey. Stuffing that is placed and baked inside the turkey typically doesn’t get heated through enough to kill any bacteria that may be lurking from the raw turkey it came in contact with when shoved inside, which can cause salmonella in anyone, but pregnant women are more susceptible. Opt for the white turkey meat over the dark stuff for less fat and calories.

Veggie Tray vs. Meat and Cheese Tray

Eat this: Veggie Tray. Not that: Meat and Cheese Tray

Have you ever been somewhere that a tray like this doesn’t sit out for longer than it should? Always does. That’s why it may be wise to opt for another app (pass the veggie tray!). Plus, deli meat may cause listeriosis (Lysteria is a type of bacteria) and pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected. Listeria can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, serious infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth. So pull that veggie tray a little closer! Try to eat veggies from every color group to get all the possible nutrients and vitamins you and your baby will need.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Soft Cheese

Eat this: Sweet potatoes. Not that: Soft cheeses including Brie, Camembert, and Feta

Also, stay away from soft cheese such as Brie, Camembert, and Feta (unless the packaging says it is pasteurized). However, hard cheeses, like Cheddar, Gouda, and Havarti are totally fine for pregnant women so have at those for a dose of calcium! If you want a healthier option than cheese, sweet potatoes should be on your list! They are loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and potassium! All good for baby, too!

Certain Desserts vs. Cranberries

Eat this: Cranberries. Not that: Tiramisu or homemade ice cream.

Tiramisu and homemade ice cream may contain raw eggs. Double check with the maker before indulging. Or just stick with the things you know are ok just to be on the safe side. As hard as it is, be careful not to over-indulge in all the goodies! Maybe try cranberries instead! Not only are these sweet and delicious, they are bursting with antioxidants and fiber. Baby approved.

Pass on completely


A no-brainer. Toast the holidays with a cup of cider or hot chocolate… or better yet, ice cold water!

There you have it, folks. A short list of do’s and don’ts to help out the pregnant gals this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Photo credits: Ali Edwards | egg nog | stuffing | turkey | sweet potatoes | tiramisu

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