Christmas is a time of family, friends, and food! But when you’re expecting there are some foods which you are told to avoid, which can make meal planning a real headache. So, if you are trying to figure out what festive foods to feast on this Christmas, or if you are catering to a mama-to-be this holiday, we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts which will make meal planning a breeze.
During pregnancy you are told to avoid unpasteurised dairy products as these may contain a bacteria called listeria. So, if you are a vegan then good news is you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of dairy-free cheeses available on the market. If you are not vegan or prefer dairy cheese, then it is recommended you avoid all mouldy soft cheeses with a white coating (such as brie and camembert) and soft blue cheeses (such as Gorgonzola and Roquefort) unless you cook these until they are steaming hot. Instead, you can opt for hard cheeses (such as Cheddar), and soft pasteurised cheeses (such as cottage cheese and cream cheese).
Meat & Poultry
If you are a meat eater you may be interested to learn that some meats are off limits during pregnancy due to the risk of getting toxoplasmosis. The meats to avoid include liver (and any product containing liver), all pate (including vegetarian pate), all game meats and raw/undercooked meat. In addition to this, you also need to avoid cold cured meats (such as salami, prosciutto and chorizo) unless they have been thoroughly cooked. This just leaves fully cooked chicken, pork and beef on the menu (and of course, the endless varieties of vegan alternatives!)
As a completely vegan brand we always recommend increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. We have some fab vegan meal ideas to enjoy over the holidays:
- Soup - Soup is always a great starter dish as you can prepare it in the morning and heat it up a few minutes before serving. They are also a great way of getting more vegetables in your diet! There are so many varieties to choose from, from a root vegetable soup to a zesty ginger and carrot soup.
- Salad – Salad is also a great option if you are low in time. Not only are they lighter than a traditional starter, they are also a great way of eating more vegetables (and fruit too, try adding some pomegranate seeds to add a delicious sweet crunch).
- Fritters – There are endless fritter recipes which can be found on the internet. These are a great option if you are after something more unusual, and to please little ones at the dinner table! If you are feeling creative you can also make up a batch of home-made sauce such as cranberry to serve alongside them.
If you are opting for a meat-free or healthier Christmas dinner try a delicious lentil bake, nut roast or homemade vegetable parcels. You can even spruce up your veggies by adding pistachios and pomegranate to your sprouts or herbs to your roast potatoes.
Let us know what you are having for your Christmas dinner below!