Foods to avoid when pregnant
During pregnancy, some foods can potentially be harmful to you or your baby. Discover the foods to avoid here.
Watching what you eat during pregnancy
Love your camembert cheese? Is sushi a go-to snack? You’ll need to rethink your eating habits when you’re pregnant, as these and other foods are a big no-no while your baby is developing.
Unfortunately, some of the most delicious foods – like soft cheeses, raw seafood, paté and more – can be unsafe when you’re pregnant. They could contain harmful bacteria such as listeria or salmonella, which can lead to serious complications for your baby.
Steer clear of the foods listed below. And don’t worry, you’ll be enjoying them again in no time at all.
Foods to avoid
- Processed meats – Sliced meats like ham, sliced turkey or roast beef, which are often eaten without further cooking, are at higher risk of containing listeria.
- Raw meat – You’ll have to say no to steak tartare for the moment. Plus, make sure that all meat you eat is cooked through, to make sure that any harmful bugs are killed off.
- Paté – Paté can contain higher levels of listeria and Vitamin A (a pregnancy no-no) than other foods, so definitely avoid it.
- Stuffing – Avoid the temptation of stuffing from chicken or poultry.
- Cold or raw seafood – Stay away from chilled prawns, sushi, sashimi and other raw or cold seafood. If you want to eat fish (as it can be a great source of omega-3s), make sure it is cooked through properly. Yet avoid fish like swordfish, shark and marlin as they are high in mercury.
- Soft and semi-soft cheese – This includes brie, camembert, ricotta, feta, blue and cream cheese. All these cheeses, whether pasteurised or not, may contain a food poisoning bug that could harm your baby.
- Soft serve or fried ice cream – Sadly (for some), these are not safe dessert options during your pregnancy.
- Unpasteurised dairy products – Raw milk is a no-no, as it can carry disease-causing microbes.
- Coffee, tea and other caffeine – Avoid too much caffeine and replace some of your coffee, tea and energy drinks with caffeine free options such as hot water and lemon and sparkling water.
- Raw eggs in food – Raw eggs, plus foods that contain raw eggs like mayonnaise, aioli, mousse, cake batter or pancake batter, can contain salmonella. If you love a poached egg for breakfast, make sure the yolk is cooked until hard.
- Pre-packaged salads – Avoid salads from salad bars and smorgasbords. Also, make sure you wash salad ingredients before making a salad.
- Sprouts – Keep away from alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snow pea sprouts, mung beans and soybean sprouts.
- Alcohol – It’s recommended that you avoid alcohol to remove any risk to your baby.
Find out more about what to eat during pregnancy.