In a nutshell

Yes, it's safe to have ready-made meals but make sure you cook them thoroughly


The expert view

Preparing fresh meals every day isn’t always possible when you're pregnant. Choosing ready meals occasionally is fine, as long as you have stored them safely, and they are heated all the way through until really piping hot. The risk comes if they are not heated well enough, meaning that ingredients such as chicken or other meats might cause food poisoning.

We’ve all skipped stirring ready meals, but nutritionist Dr Rana Conway says this is one of the crucial parts of preparing them safely when pregnant.

"If you're heating food in the microwave it's particularly important to follow the instructions, including advice to stir ready meals. This makes sure there are no cold spots and that every part gets properly heated," she explains. "This advice applies to foods such as pies and pasties too. Obviously you can't stir a pie, but you can cut into the middle to make sure it's piping hot."

Mums on our forum say

Some mums say it saves time, and suggest microwaving baked potatoes or frozen meals - especially when you don't have the energy to cook.

More like this

Read more about other ready prepared foods during pregnancy:

Is bagged salad safe to eat in pregnancy?


Can cured meat be harmful to my baby when I'm pregnant?


Magda Ibrahim is a freelance writer who has written for publications including The Times and Sunday Times, The Sun, Time Out, and the London Evening Standard, as well for MadeForMums.