Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you probably have a lot to do to prepare, whether you're hosting this year or bringing some dishes to a family member's house. For expecting moms, eating a huge meal full of comfort foods may be the highlight of the month - and the best part of the holiday season - but there are a few things to look out for, as there are some foods that should be avoided during pregnancy.
Appetizers and beverages
Some people think that the appetizers are the best part of holiday get-togethers. However, there are a few popular Thanksgiving options that you want to stay clear of.
Families may put out pate for a fancy treat. While canned pate, typically made of goose liver, is safe for a developing baby, the kind that needs to be refrigerated is not. Other items that you should avoid include unpasteurized cheeses and unwashed vegetables.
One of the trickiest things to avoid during the holidays is alcohol. Many adults look forward to drinking a good glass of wine and having long discussions, as it's a time to relax, let go and not worry about whatever is going on at work. However, it's crucial that you don't give into temptation! While some healthcare providers say that one glass of wine will not impact your little one, you don't want to risk accidentally having more than you should.
Instead, opt for a fancy alternative so you won't feel left out. For instance, try concocting a mulled pomegranate juice, which will even look like red wine! Heat it up with some mulling spices, such as whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and grated orange zest, and you've got yourself a sweet treat. Or, if your family is having a brunch or early meal, make a virgin Bloody Mary, in which you can even throw some pickle juice! With horseradish, Tabasco sauce, celery salt, lemon and black pepper, you won't even miss the alcohol.
The main course
If you're making the turkey this year, pay special attention to the big bird. Undercooked turkey is not good for anyone, but it's especially dangerous to fetal development. It's crucial that the bird is cooked until it reaches at least 160 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. However, you should keep it in the oven until it measures 180 degrees just be safe.
This may be a hard one to give up, but eating stuffing while pregnant is a controversial topic. This is because the Thanksgiving favorite often involves cooking raw meat with soggy bread, which is prone to bacteria even after it's cooked. To avoid this, stuffing should be cooked immediately after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed - not prepared early and refrigerated for a couple of hours before stuffing it into the poultry cavity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Although eggnog is often considered more of a Christmas dessert drink, it pops up in stores in November and some families snag it for Thanksgiving to drink it plain or decked out with nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of brandy. However, alcoholic or not, it can be dangerous for pregnant women as it consists of raw eggs that could be infected with salmonella bacteria. To be safe rather than sorry, you should consider avoiding this beverage altogether.
What are some foods and beverages you've come across that expecting moms should stay away from this Thanksgiving? Do you have any pregnancy-friendly recommendations for our readers? Leave your answers in the comments section!