It’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, right? Sleigh bells, mistletoe, presents…parties, parties, and more parties…
Whilst the ‘unpregnant’ version of you might have relished the thought of a few glasses of champers to celebrate the end of another busy year, the ‘pregnant you’ might be more in favour of a night with your feet up watching ‘Love Actually’…
If you do, however, manage to muster up the energy to attend a few shindigs as a pregnant woman (and good on you!), there are a couple of party staples that you’ll need to watch out for, to ensure that you keep yourself, and your unborn bub, healthy.
- The Punch
We all know someone who tries to convince the pregnant woman that having a glass of wine a day ‘won’t do any harm’, but the current guidelines recommend that pregnant women should avoid consuming alcohol to reduce the risk of harming their unborn child. Luckily, these days there are a plethora of delicious non-alcoholic wines, bubbles, and spirits for you to choose from. Dress up your drink in a fancy glass and garnish it just like you would if it were a real cocktail…You won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!
- Platter Perils
Cheese platters and dips are popular party staples, however, if you’re pregnant, some items require a bit of careful dodging. Soft and blue cheeses should be avoided, but can be eaten if heated to at least 75 degrees…bring on that baked camembert! Hommus, and any other dips or dressings containing tahini, are now also on the ‘banned’ list due to the increased risk of salmonella… and paté should also be avoided.
- Fishy Meats
Generally speaking, any meat or seafood that’s left sitting out on the table and has gone cold is off-the-menu during pregnancy. Avoid any cold chicken, deli meats, pork, fish or prawns for now. Raw meats or seafoods, such as oysters or sashimi, are also off-limits and will have to wait until your little one has been welcomed earth-side. The good news is that all of these meats and seafoods can be consumed if they are cooked and consumed while still hot, so you don’t have to kiss them goodbye completely!
- The Salad Bar
Salads and fruits might not seem likely candidates for ‘danger foods’, but, if you’re pregnant, there are a few rules to follow to keep you and your bub safe…Any pre-cut, pre-packaged vegetable or fruit salad should be avoided, as well as anything that contains sprouts, such as alfalfa, snow pea sprouts, or mung bean sprouts. Wash all fresh fruit and veg really well before eating to lower the risk of listeria and salmonella.
- Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding…
…But hold the homemade custard unless it’s heated to at least 71 degrees and made within the last 24 hours! You can eat store-bought custard cold if it has just been opened, but heat it up if using the next day. Other items on the dessert menu to avoid are soft-serve ice-cream, and any dessert containing raw egg, such as some chocolate mousses. Go to town on the pavlova, normal ice-cream, and fruit mince tarts though! It’s Christmas, after all!
Written by Clare Carrick
Nutritionist (BHSc) and Founder of Loop Nutrition