Christmas party food you can eat when pregnant

If you're pregnant and not sure which festive snacks you can indulge in and which are best avoided, check out our guide. Don't worry, there's no need to feel you're missing out as there are PLENTY of treats you can still enjoy. Happy munching!

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  • So, which Christmas treats can you actually eat?

    There are plenty of festive foods you can enjoy when pregnant – and a few it pays to avoid.

    As a mum-to-be, you’re more susceptible to food poisoning due to changes to your immune system, and the consequences can be long-term. So if you’re at a party and aren't sure how food has been prepared, ask, or play it safe and avoid it. But the risk is small, so don’t worry if you eat something accidentally.

    There might be lots of sweet and savoury treats, but try not to forget healthy eating at Christmas. Your baby still needs you to eat well and have plenty of fruit and veg.

    When it comes to New Year – forget detoxes and diets if you’re pregnant: be sensible but definitely make sure you enjoy a little chocolate and other festive goodies too...

  • Seafood

    You can eat:

     - Sushi as long as the fish was frozen first (the raw variety may contain tiny worms that are killed by freezing). Ready-made sushi should be fine as regulations mean that the fish must be frozen first. But a restaurant making sushi may use fresh fish, so ask before you order.

    - Smoked salmon is safe too. However, if it’s been on a buffet table for a while, the risk of listeria increases.

    You should avoid:

    - Shellfish, including oysters, prawns and mussels - as they can cause food poisoning, unless served piping hot.

  • Cold meats

    You can eat:

    - Leftover turkey, as long as it's been well stored in the fridge. And use it up within two days of cooking it.

    You should avoid:

    - Parma ham and salami. These are cured but not cooked and can cause toxoplasmosis, which can adversely affect your baby’s development.

  • Cheeses

    You can eat:

    - Hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, and pasteurised soft cheeses like Boursin.

    You should avoid:

    - Soft mould-ripened cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert, and blue cheeses like Stilton. These can contain listeria unless they’re cooked thoroughly and eaten hot.

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  • Puddings

    You can eat:

    - Christmas cake – although if it’s homemade check that the icing doesn’t contain raw egg.

    - Mince pies, cake, trifle and most shop-bought ice-cream – as long as it’s been made using pasteurised eggs.

    You should avoid:

    - Puddings containing raw or partly cooked eggs, such as homemade mousse, cheesecake and meringues, as these can contain salmonella.

  • Salad

    You can eat:

    - Leafy green salads, but only if you make sure they’re thoroughly washed first.

    You should avoid:

     - Coleslaw as it can contain listeria. Also, steer clear of salads made with homemade mayonnaise, as the raw eggs may contain salmonella. Mayonnaise from a jar is a good, safe alternative.

  • Nuts

    Nuts are such a staple of Christmas fayre we thought we'd better include some info on them.

    Since 2009 guidelines on eating them when pregnant have changed and it's now considered safe for pregnant women to eat nuts as part of a balanced diet – unless, of course, you're allergic yourself or a health professional has told you not to for any reason.

    And the really good news is any nuts are an excellent source of nutrients.

    For example, walnuts are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help keep the skin soft. Omega-3 is also essential for your baby's brain and nervous system. So enjoy!

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Last updated on 11 November 2014

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