What to eat when you're pregnant at Christmas
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  • Pregnancy
  • 28.11.22

What you should and shouldn’t eat if you’re pregnant this Christmas

If you’re pregnant this holiday season you’re probably already starting to think about what you can and can’t eat at the Christmas buffet. 

Unfortunately, mimosas aren’t the only thing you’ll have to avoid. When you are pregnant certain foods contain bacteria that can be harmful to you and your baby and can make you very sick. 

But don’t let us put a damper on your Christmas feast.  While you may not be able to tuck into your grandmother’s famous eggnog or aunt’s cheese platter, there are many other delicious foods you CAN eat and enjoy along with your family and friends. 

Why do you have to avoid certain foods during pregnancy? 

When you are pregnant the bacteria found in some foods can be harmful for you and your baby. Your immune system is lower, so you are more at risk of food-borne illness. 

Food-borne illnesses that are caused by bacteria such as listeria can not only make you sick, but cause serious complications for your baby. 

What you can and can’t eat at Christmas

The Grace Private team have put together a list of foods that are typically on the Christmas table to help you work out what you should and shouldn’t eat this holiday season.

Snacks and nibbles:

Unfortunately, the snacks and nibbles platter is where you’re going to feel you’re missing out the most. Although, there are still plenty of yummy snacks you can eat when you are pregnant.

Foods to avoid: 

  • soft cheeses such as brie/camembert/gorgonzola and varieties of blue cheese
  • pate
  • processed meat such as salami or prosciutto 
  • pre-cut or packaged fruit
  • hummus or other dips containing tahini
  • raw salmon
  • unpasteurised products 
  • anything containing raw egg like aioli  

Foods which are safe: 

  • hard cheese
  • freshly washed and cut fruit and vegetables
  • crackers.
  • soft cheeses made with pasteurised milk, such as ricotta, cream cheese, feta, halloumi and mozzarella.

christmas lunch pregnancy


Whether you’re having a traditional hot Christmas dinner, or opting for a cold lunch, if you’re pregnant there are several foods you should avoid. 


  • raw seafood including oysters, prawns and sashimi
  • food that is precooked then eaten cold
  • meat that isn’t cooked through properly
  • sushi
  • fish (cooked or raw) high in mercury such as shark/swordfish. 
  • cold deli meats like ham or chicken.
  • stuffing inside a turkey or chicken
  • pre-packaged salads such as coleslaw or potato salad
  • sprouts such as alfalfa/snow pea sprouts 
  • unpasteurised dairy products. 
  • dressings made with raw egg such as mayonnaise, aioli. 


  • freshly prepared salads – made with fresh, washed fruit and vegetables 
  • well-cooked turkey, chicken, beef and other meats 
  • stuffing that is cooked outside the bird
  • whole grain bread 
  • green leafy vegetables (high in iodine, iron and folate) 
  • dairy food made with pasteurised milk 
  • beans, lentils and legumes
  • nuts and seeds 


If you’re a sweet tooth, you may find it difficult to refrain from eating certain desserts, however homemade ice cream, soft-serve ice cream or uncooked meringue can pose a serious risk and harbor dangerous bacteria. 

Again, you should avoid unpasteurised dairy products or cold-pressed juices, food containing raw egg as well as desserts soaked in alcohol. 

What about alcohol? 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines advise that women who are planning to fall pregnant or are pregnant should avoid alcohol completely. 

Fortunately, nowadays there are some amazing non-alcoholic alternatives such as alcohol free champagne and other drinks. Or, why not get out the blender and whip up some delicious home-made mocktails! 


For many people, eating leftovers on Boxing Day is just as important as Christmas lunch! 

However, if you are pregnant you need to be vigilant to ensure you’re not putting yourself at risk of contracting harmful bacteria. Leftovers should be eaten within 24 hours and reheated so they are steaming hot, to above 74 degrees Celsius, for at least two minutes. 

Need more information? 

If you would like more information on how to create the perfect pregnancy diet, we recommend you to make an appointment with Grace’s Dietitian, Sharnie Dwyer. 

Sharnie has a holistic approach and a special interest in helping women manage their diet throughout all stages of their pregnancy and beyond. Ask for ‘Grace’ next time you visit your GP for a referral. 

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