One of the best parts of the festive season is the huge stream of food on offer. It’s not unusual for women to attempt to shed a few pounds before the Christmas holidays begin, just to allow for all the indulgence that will no doubt take place.
However, pregnant women need to be extra careful around food at Christmas to ensure they protect themselves and their little ones.
The following is a list of food expectant mums should be wary of.
Turkey and stuffing: Make sure any turkey you eat has been cooked thoroughly to ensure all bacteria is killed, so food poisoning can be avoided. If you’re planning on tucking into a helping of stuffing, it should be cooked separately to the turkey, as the cavity won’t reach a high enough temperature to destroy lurking bacteria.
Pate: This shouldn’t be bought from the refrigerated section of the grocery store as there is a risk of it containing listeria. Meat spreads are only safe to eat if they’ve been heated until steaming hot.
Soft cheeses: Cheese platters are common at Christmas parties, as they’re easy to prepare. If you’re offered a platter, be sure to avoid any unpasteurised soft cheeses, which could contain listeria. These include blue-veined cheeses, brie, feta and camembert.
Eggnog: Eggnog has enjoyed an increase in popularity in Ireland and the UK, but pregnant women should avoid it as it contains raw, unpasteurised eggs and is usually made with alcohol.
Christmas cake: Fruitcake and other desserts that use alcohol are usually fine because most of the alcohol burns off during the cooking process. However, if the fruitcake has been soaked in liquor after it has been cooked, it should be avoided. Similarly, your granny’s Sherry Trifle is probably best skipped.