The holidays are a time of fun, family and plenty of food and drinks. When you’re pregnant, however, you must be extra careful with what you’re eating and drinking. Here are some holiday foods and drinks you need to avoid during pregnancy:
- Alcohol. It may be a bummer when everyone’s toasting the New Year, but alcohol of any kind can be dangerous to your baby. For a festive and refreshing party drink, mix cranberry juice with sparkling water and a sprig of mint.
- Eggnog. Even with the alcohol removed, traditional eggnog is made from raw, or unpasteurized eggs. Avoid eggnog entirely unless you know it was made with pasteurized eggs and contains no alcohol.
- Apple cider. Many ciders are unpasteurized and may contain E. coli bacteria. Cider is also sometimes spiked with alcohol. Opt instead for plain, pasteurized cider or hot chocolate.
- Turkey. The bird needs to be cooked until it reaches at least 160° F in the thickest part of the turkey’s thigh, but ideally, you want the temperature to reach 180° F before consuming. Make sure you fully cook your turkey before chowing down. Use a meat thermometer to check.
- Stuffing. Avoid stuffing that is cooked inside a turkey. The center cavity of the bird typically doesn’t get hot enough to kill off possible bacteria. Stuffing that’s prepared separately from the bird is safe. Place it in a separate baking dish and cook until it reaches a temperature of 165° F.
- Soft cheeses. Imported soft cheeses (such as Brie, Camembert, feta and blue cheese) are staples of the holiday buffets. But unless you see the packaging and read the word ‘pasteurized’ on it, there’s no guarantee these cheeses weren’t made from raw milk. That means they may contain the bacteria listeria, which can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Hard cheeses are okay. Top your cracker with Gouda, Cheddar or Parmesan.
- Leftovers. Pregnant women should avoid all foods that have been left out for more than two hours, as many holiday spreads are.
Learn more about maintaining a healthy pregnancy and choose Baptist Health for your Maternity Care.