Thanksgiving Foods To Avoid when Pregnant

If you’re pregnant, you’re probably thrilled you don’t have to worry about a waistband this Thanksgiving. You can fill up on all of your holiday favorites without reservation, right?

Almost. Even though you’ll be embracing your bulging belly this Thanksgiving, you do need to steer clear of a few foods that can be dangerous for your growing baby.


Photo: is ground meat and fat minced together to create a spreadable paste. It is considered by some to be a treat during the holidays, but pregnant women should avoid the refrigerated version. Canned pates, however, are considered safe for your growing baby.

Apple Cider

Apple cider isn’t as obvious as an avoidable beverage, but pregnant women do need to steer clear if it is unpasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating liquid or food to the point of killing all of the bacteria within it.

Uncooked Turkey

Before you consume turkey or any other poultry, you need to make sure it is cooked properly. The turkey should be cooked until it reaches at least 160 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh, but it is even better if it is cooked to 180 degrees.

Unpasteurized Soft Cheese

Soft cheeseThis is another food category that must be pasteurized before you enjoy it. Most cheeses in the United States are pasteurized these days, but make sure you ask before eating to make sure you aren’t consuming any bacteria that could harm your baby.


If you’re heading to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving, you’ll need to avoid stuffing if it is being prepared inside the turkey. Why? Because the turkey cavity doesn’t get hot enough to kill bacteria. Thankfully, you can enjoy stuffing if it is cooked separately as a side dish, just make sure it is heated to at least 160 degrees.

Unwashed Vegetables

Don’t forget to wash vegetables before preparing your meal! Regardless of pregnancy, you should wash vegetables to ensure you are removing dirt and bacteria.

Raw Batter

BatterEating raw cookie dough, brownie, or cake batter is a childhood pastime for a lot of adults. Little did we know it wasn’t the safest thing to do! Any batter contains raw eggs, which is unhealthy for anyone, but especially pregnant women. Raw eggs contain salmonella, which isn’t good for growing babies.

Custard Pie

If any kind of custard pie is a Thanksgiving favorite in your family, you’ll need to avoid it while pregnant. This is another treat that includes raw eggs.


The temptation to have just one glass of wine while pregnant can be strong over the holidays, but you should abstain. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that there should be no gray area: pregnant women should not drink alcohol in any quantity.

Cold Turkey Sandwiches

Not an obvious food to avoid, leftover turkey refrigerated after dinner is subject to the same listeria present in deli meat. That means you should heat it to piping hot temperatures prior to enjoying a Black Friday treat!

If you’re presented with other food on Thanksgiving and you’re not sure if you should eat it, it’s best to steer clear. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Happy Thanksgiving!

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