Christmas foods you can and cannot eat when you are pregnant.

December 21

  • Pregnancy

Christmas foods you can and cannot eat when you are pregnant.

By Karen McEwen

Even though Christmas is not quite as we anticipated it to be this year, there is always the food to look forward to! But there’s sometimes a lot of conflicting advice about what you should and shouldn’t eat and drink too.

Our midwives have collated a list of the most common foods that they get questions about to help you:

  • Nuts – A large research study showed that it is safe to eat all nuts in pregnancy. In fact, the study showed that pregnant women who ate peanuts at least once a week had a 20-25% decreased chance of their child being diagnosed with asthma at 18 months.
  • Cheeses – Cheeses that are well cooked or made from pasteurised milk are safe to eat in pregnancy, this is because heat kills a harmful bacteria called Listeria. Cheese contains calcium which is good for your baby’s bone development. Examples of hard cheeses are Cheddar, Edam and Parmesan. Examples of soft cheeses are Camembert, Brie and Stilton.
  • Meats – Cold cured meats and undercooked meats such as beef, salami, prosciutto ham, chorizo and peperoni may contain toxoplasmosis. Although rare, if eaten during pregnancy this bacteria can affect a baby’s development. Well-cooked cold meats such as ham, beef, chicken and turkey are safe and contain protein which is good for cell growth.
  • Pâté and haggis – Pâté and haggis can contain liver which has a high vitamin A content, which may affect your baby’s development in pregnancy. Pâtés whether meat or vegetarian have also been known to contain listeria, a bacteria which can affect your baby.
  • Eggs – Most raw hen eggs in the UK are safe to eat if they are Lion Code stamped as they are unlikely to contain a bacteria called salmonella. Although salmonella will rarely cause harm to your developing baby, it can cause you severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Foods that often contain raw egg are tiramisu, mousse and homemade mayonnaise.
  • Alcohol - Current studies have shown there isn’t a known safe alcohol intake during pregnancy, but alcohol intake is linked to developmental problems in babies. Try experimenting with the many non-alcoholic options available now, such as mocktails, alcohol-free gin and beers.

Summary  

When you are pregnant it’s good to know the latest advice about food and drink to help you make choices. Remember not to let others put pressure on you to do things that you don’t want to do. It’s your Festiv