So, you’re wondering which foods to avoid pregnant? Well, that tells me that you’ve just found out the good news! Yay!!! I’m so happy for you! It’s an exciting and happy time. But, it can also be very overwhelming! One of the first questions that new mummas ask me is which foods they need to avoid. So, in this blog, I’m going to reveal my list of the 21 most important foods to avoid when pregnant, and when you can eat them again!

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

So, although I usually like to focus on what TO eat instead of what to avoid, I know that when you’re newly pregnant your first goal is to simply ensure that you’re protecting your little bubba from harm. So, let’s get into my list! In no particular order… 

  1. Alcohol – not technically avoid, but it’s really important to avoid because not only can it cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, but emerging research has linked alcohol to increased anxiety levels in offspring
  2. Foods that are over their ‘use by’ date – it may sound obvious, but now that you are pregnant, if you’re unsure, throw it out
  3. Ham – it’s a common sandwich filler because it’s quick and easy, but it has a high listeria risk and it’s not all that rich in nutrition anyway. Replace it with tinned tuna.
  4. Salami – in addition to having a high listeria risk, salami is high in saturated fat.
  5. Raw meat – I love sashimi and beef carpaccio, but the listeria risk is too high during pregnancy. Once you’ve given birth, you can eat these again.
  6. Pate – pate is high in vitamin A which can cause toxicity during pregnancy. It’s also another high listeria risk, so even though it is yummy, wait until you’re holding your little one in your arms.
  7. Chilled prawns – this is another of my favourite foods too. Prawns are also rich in nutrition, particularly protein and omega 3, but they are a listeria risk, so if you’re going to eat them, serve them hot.
  8. Chicken stuffing – if you want to eat chicken stuffing, you’ll need to make sure that it’s cooked separately and served hot.
  9. Camembert – to eat camembert, ensure that it’s cooked to over 75 degrees Celsius (which is 170 degrees Fahrenheit) and eat it immediately. But, be careful not to burn your tongue! Unfortunately brie and bluevein cheeses are also on the no go zone.
  10. Bocconcini – although slightly higher in kilojoules, I’d recommend swapping bocconcini for parmesan.
  11. Ricotta – replace ricotta with cottage cheese, but eat within two days of opening the pack.
  12. Soft serve ice cream – instead of indulging in a soft serve ice cream, treat yourself to a delicious, creamy yoghurt instead
  13. Mayonnaise – both mayonnaise and its cousin aioli contain raw eggs which have a high risk of bacteria, so avoid them during pregnancy.
  14. Undercooked eggs – egg yolk can be a breeding ground for the bacteria, salmonella which can be harmful to your unborn baby. To reduce your risk, ensure that eggs are well cooked during your pregnancy.
  15. Alfalfa sprouts and mung beans – sprouts should also be avoided during pregnancy.
  16. Unwashed produce – the surface of unwashed or unpeeled fruits and vegetables can be effected by unwanted bacteria, so during pregnancy it’s safest to give them a quick wash before consuming. And make sure to store them in the fridge.
  17. Store bought fruit juice – when fruit juice is sitting in the store for weeks on end, it gives bacteria the chance to grow. It also decreases its nutritional content.  If you want fruit juice, squeeze your own and drink it immediately.
  18. Soft drinks and diet soft drinks – whether drinks are sweetened with sugar or alternative sweeteners, emerging research suggests that they can increase your bubba’s risk of weight issues and metabolic syndrome down the track, so stick to water or milk.
  19. Foods containing excess sugar – in general foods that are high in refined sugar such as chocolate, cakes and biscuits should be avoided during pregnancy as you need to be focusing on nutrient-rich foods instead.
  20. Flake – is high in mercury. If buying fish and chips, order fish such as barramundi or flathead instead of flake.
  21. Herbal tea – herbal teas are medicinal which means that they can impact the health of you and your baby. Check out my video on which herbal teas are safe during pregnancy.

Phew! Well, now that you know what NOT to eat, download my free pregnancy meal plan so that you know what you CAN eat! Just go to Then check out my website for more nutritious and delicious pregnancy recipes.


Melanie McGrice in the kitchen

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