Take it or Leave it? Holiday foods to avoid while pregnant

The first post in our Holiday Series was all about giving gifts to the new parents in your life!  From coffee to hillarious bedtime stories, we hope The Best Holiday Gift List for New Parents gave you some practical (and fun!) ideas.  Continuing to help you troubleshoot the holiday season, this week's post is all about ... FOOD! (You're welcome.)

Eating for two.

Being pregnant means that you have EARNED some indulgence.  Your body is doing some pretty cool things (you know... like growing a human!) We know that the holidays are full of temptation and the Nog flows but once a year BUT... safety first!  You are eating for two, after all.

Peterborough doula holiday food safety

Did you know that while you are pregnant your immune system may be weakened and have a hard time fighting off infections and bacteria that it would normally have no problem shutting down?  Unfortunately, it's true which means that as a pregnant person you need to be mindful of what you eat to make sure that you are your baby don't get sick this holiday season (or any time of year!)

Dangerous bacteria and parasites like listeria, toxoplasma, salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and E. coli can lurk in improperly prepared, cooked, and stored foods. And listeria and toxoplasma can cross your placenta and affect your baby even if you never feel symptoms of the illness yourself.
— http://www.babycenter.com/0_holiday-foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy_1408439.bc

The bad news is that these party poopin' nasties can thrive during the holiday season.  Party trays with meats, cheeses, sushi rolls, and treats are often left out longer than we might like.  Lots of hands sharing food from the same plates means the chances of bacteria being spread around is high than usual and you and your little baby-bean need to watch out!

Take it or leave it. 

To help you make it through the holiday season happy, healthy, and not feeling like you are missing out let's play a little game of "Take it or leave it."  We will tell you which foods to avoid and what you could enjoy instead!  There are so many delicious holiday treats to enjoy so you have lots of options.

Ho-Ho-Hold the Eggnog.

Eggnog is a favourite holiday treat for so many of us but it is almost always found at the top of the list of holiday food offenders because ... you guessed it... it is made with raw eggs!  

Don't worry too much!  Most store bought eggnogs are pasteurized and considered safe but to play it extra safe why not try a Soy or Coconut Nog?  They are safe, delicious, and available at most grocery stores during the winter months!

Cut the Cold Cuts.

Deli meats, weiners, and pate should be on your "leave it" list this season as well.  Unless they are heated to steaming, canned (ie. not from the refrigerated section of the grocery store), or fresh off the grill it is not worth the risk to you or baby.

Bummed out?  Don't be!  If you are a fan of "pigs in a blanket" try making them with a veggie dog!  If you are a pate lover, why not try a vegetarian version?  This Mushroom and Walnut pate recipe is delicious and easy to make.  

 Soft cheeses like Brie  and Camembert (or anything with a rind, really) are not considered safe for pregnant people because they are a higher risk for listeria contamination.  

Soft cheeses like Brie  and Camembert (or anything with a rind, really) are not considered safe for pregnant people because they are a higher risk for listeria contamination.  

Give a hard "no" to a soft cheese.

Brie. Camembert. Ooooooo... Listen, I know the heaven that is soft, melted, baked cheese.  Jenn has been vegan for more than 8 years and still drools every time she sees one of those glorious little wheels of baked goodness appear on a party table.  But if you are pregnant you should probably give the Brie a friendly nod and keep right on moving.

What could there be to replace the molten gooey-goodness of Brie? Not much! Sorry.  BUT you can enjoy the simple pleasure of a beautiful jelly or fresh butter on a beautiful bread and remind yourself that next year... the brie is yours!

Stuff the Stuffing!

I think we can all guess where the danger with stuffing is, right?  Right.  The solution to this one is SO easy that you totally don't have to miss out on this holiday classic at all!  Make your stuffing as per usual but - here's the wild part - don't put it in the turkey's butt! Instead, form the stuffing into a load, wrap it in tin foil or pack it into a baking dish and bake it separately.  It is just a delicious and pregnancy safe!  

Happy Holidays!

So now that you know what foods to avoid this holiday season and. more importantly, what delicious options you still have available to you get out there and enjoy the season!  Grab a cup of Coco Nog, wrap that veggie dog in puff pastry, and try something new.  Have a fabulous time celebrating the season and your beautiful belly with friends and family.

Happy Holidays,

Jenn & Steph

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