Food is a big part of the holidays, but you may need to avoid some of your favorite foods during this holiday season to keep your baby safe. Your immune system is weaker right now, making you vulnerable to some food-borne illnesses that can cross into your placenta and hurt the baby, so even though it is tempting to break the pregnancy diet during the holidays, it is important to stick with it. If you are pregnant this holiday season, here are some foods you should avoid.
You already had to give up your rare steaks and sushi, but you need to be extra cautious during the holidays to make sure any meat you eat is cooked all the way through. That big, beautiful turkey on your table needs to have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees to make sure it is safe for you to eat.
The fancy meat tray with cured meats like salami and prosciutto should also be approached with caution. If you are preparing everything yourself, you can freeze it for four days to make sure you kill anything that can hurt the baby.
Undercooked meat has a risk of carrying toxoplasmosis, which is an infection from a parasite that can cause a miscarriage, so it is vital to the safety of your baby that you avoid any meat that may be undercooked.
If the stuffing was prepared inside the turkey, it is best to avoid it. Stuffing prepared outside the bird, in a pan, is perfectly safe to enjoy.
Even if the eggnog is not spiked, it should still be avoided. Homemade eggnog is usually made with raw or undercooked eggs, which can contain salmonella. However, while you cannot enjoy your granny’s famous eggnog, you can drink store bought eggnog, it is made with pasteurized eggs, so it is perfectly safe for you to drink.
Cheese is another staple that you are likely to encounter during the holidays, but you should avoid soft cheeses that were made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk can contain listeria, but the pasteurization process kills it. It is best to avoid cheeses like Brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, Havarti, gorgonzola, muenster, and others, unless you know they were pasteurized.
You can still eat cheddar, Monterey Jack, feta, swiss, and mozzarella. You can also eat cream cheese, which is often used in holiday dips.
Licking the beaters when baking is something many people love to so, but since it usually contains raw eggs, it is best to avoid it this year.
If the cider is unpasteurized, you should avoid it, because it can run the risk of E. Coli. Of course, alcoholic cider should also be avoided, even if it is pasteurized.
Creams and Sauces
Caesar dressing, hollandaise sauce, and other types of sauces should be avoided if they are made with unpasteurized eggs, because the eggs in these sauces are usually raw.
But the Pie is Safe!
You can still have your big slice of pumpkin pie at the end of your holiday dinner. Pumpkin helps regulate blood sugar and it can help reduce cramps and swelling in your legs. While there are some favorites you should avoid, at least the pumpkin pie is perfectly safe to eat; just make sure your whipped cream is pasteurized.