Christmas is the perfect excuse for many people to eat whatever they want. But it can be difficult to know what to eat at Christmas if you are pregnant. The key to enjoying the holidays, as at all times during pregnancy, is to eat a balanced diet.
You may be tempted to sample every food on the table, as will most of us. But it’s important to maintain the right weight during your pregnancy. This will help to keep you and baby healthy and avoid complications.
Being careful about what types of food you’re eating at Christmas when pregnant will help you stay healthy through to childbirth.
So before you devour all the food on offer during this festive season, make sure you know which foods to should avoid eating this Christmas time.
Meat spreads are quite abundant during the Christmas season, but you have to be careful when eating them. Never eat pate that’s bought from the frozen section of the grocery store, as it might contain listeria. If you can’t avoid eating meat spreads, make sure they’re heated through until steaming hot.
Rich Christmas fruit cake is one of the most popular items at any Christmas dinner table. A fruit cake may be very hard to resist, especially when you’re craving for sweets. However, before you take a bite, make sure that the cake wasn’t soaked in liquor after it was cooked. If the fruit has just been cooked with alcohol, it’s usually fine because all that alcohol burns off during the process.
No Christmas feast is complete without a cheese platter. But, while you can safely munch on Emmental or Cheddar cheese, make sure to avoid mould-ripened soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert and blue-veined varieties such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola. These types of cheeses may carry listeria that has been discovered to cause premature delivery or miscarriage.
Turkey and stuffing
Another hit in any Christmas dinner table is turkey and stuffing. While it’s okay to eat both when you’re pregnant, it’s very important to see if the turkey is cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning, which could be very harmful to you and your baby. Stuffing should also be cooked separately from the turkey to make sure that all the bacteria is killed.
After a huge feast for Christmas, most of us find ourselves finishing leftovers over the next few days. But to avoid food poisoning, make sure that all food has been stored and refrigerated properly.
Of course, it’s also very important to keep your food intake under control to avoid bloating and other digestion problems that could easily cause discomfort during your pregnancy.
If you want to sample different dishes, try to get smaller portions so you can still maintain your recommended daily intake. It’s also very important to pace yourself when eating so you can chew and digest the food well. Take food breaks in between meals and drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Eating at Christmas season when pregnant is definitely a lot of fun. You just have to be a bit more careful with what you choose from the dinner table to protect yourself and your baby from any potential problems. Remember to keep active – pregnancy yoga or pilates can keep off those extra pounds. Take a break, keep that balance, and most importantly enjoy yourself.
More guidance on a healthy diet during pregnancy can be found on the NHS website.