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10 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

November 20, 2016

Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding (1)

Food cravings- they are a real thing in pregnancy. And, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, chances are lots and lots of food is in your future. But before you dig in, we want to help you know what foods are safe—and not safe—to eat while pregnant.

Let’s start with the good. There are MANY foods that you can eat while pregnant. Be sure that these foods are rich in minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to you and your growing baby. If you’ve had food aversions during pregnancy, these foods are a great go-to as they pack plenty of nutrients in just a couple of bites:

1. Iron-rich foods

Chicken or turkey both are high in iron, which for many pregnant women is an especially important supplement to take to avoid low iron levels. If you prefer vegetarian options, consider eating dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. Cooked dried beans, quinoa, lentils, dried fruit and tofu are also great alternatives.

2. Yogurt

Calcium is important for your baby’s growing bones. Try and get at least four servings of calcium each day. One way to do that easily is to eat yogurt. Add fruit to it and granola to make a yummy breakfast parfait.

3. Avocados

You don’t want to overdo it with this high-caloric food, but the benefits of this fruit are endless: it is loaded with vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and potassium. Switch out butter on your morning toast with mashed avocado – yum!

4. Lentils

Lentils contain folic acid, which is an important nutrient that pregnant women should consume during pregnancy. Lentils also have protein, vitamin B6 AND protein- wow! Eat lentils in a soup, on salads or as a side dish.

5. Salmon

You always hear that you have to be extra cautious about consuming fish while pregnant. One fish to consider, though, is cold-water fish like salmon because it is packed with omega-3’s. This fatty acid helps reduce the risk of prenatal depression and is important for the development of your baby’s eyes and brain. Just be careful to not exceed consuming 8-12 ounces of fish each week.

6. Oats

Oats contain Vitamin B, iron, fiber and many other minerals. You can make oatmeal for breakfast, or add them to your cookies and pancakes. This can also help if you ever get, ah-hem, backed up and are constipated.

7. Mangos

Yum! Did you know mangos contain more Vitamin A and C than a salad does? They do, so add this fruit to your snacking throughout your day.

8. Nuts

This salty snack is full of important minerals and Vitamin E. This snack is so easy to take with you to run errands or to satisfy your salty cravings with. Add them to your salads as well for an extra crunch.

9. Edamame

Another great side dish are these cooked soybeans. Edamame is full of protein, calcium, folate and Vitamins A and B. Great as a snack with a hint of sea salt or toss them into a salad.

10. Carrots and Peppers

These veggies are full of beta-carotene which is critical for the development of your baby’s organs, bones, skin and eyes! Cut them up ahead of time to be able to easily grab for on the go snacks or add them as a side dish to dinner.

Now, let’s focus on the foods that you definitely want to avoid. Luckily, these foods are easy to spot, so they are easily avoidable. Important nonetheless to specify in this list below:


1. Raw meat

2. Deli meat

3. Fish with mercury (shark, swordfish, tuna- contains low levels, but should only be eaten in moderation)

4. Smoked seafood

5. Raw shellfish (oysters, clams and mussels)

6. Raw eggs

7. Soft cheeses (brie, feta, gorgonzola, queso blanco – avoid anything that is made from unpasteurized milk)

8. Pate

9. Caffeine: Caffeine is especially important to avoid during your first trimester. There have been studies done that show that high intake levels of caffeine are linked to miscarriage. Do not consume more than 200mgs of caffeine per day.

10. Alcohol

(Note: as always, if you are unsure of what foods you consume during pregnancy, be sure to consult with your doctor as well.)

We know this list may seem intimidating, but you can consume WAY more than you cannot during pregnancy. And, if you are unsure of what foods will be at a party that you are attending, fill up on the foods you know you can eat above. These nine months will fly by and you will be so grateful to stick with foods you know are healthy for both you and your baby.

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