Pregnant During Thanksgiving? Here’s Our Guide For A Safe, Delicious Feast

Thanksgiving is a beautiful time to sit around with your loved ones and celebrate one of life’s purest pleasures—delicious food! (And, of course, remembering all you have to be thankful for.) Food, friends, and family are all extra important when pregnant, so Thanksgiving is a big deal this year. Just make sure you stay safe and avoid foods that could put you or your unborn baby at risk. Here’s a quick rundown of foods to avoid and enjoy this Thanksgiving.

Expecting African-American mom and dad celebrate Thanksgiving around the dinner table with their daughter

If You’re Pregnant, Avoid These Thanksgiving Foods  

Charcuterie Board

You may have to forego the before-meal snacks this year, as almost every part of this appetizer is unsafe during pregnancy. First, let’s talk cheese. Soft cheeses are one of the stars of any good charcuterie board. But when made with unpasteurized milk, they can also be a source of Listeria, a bacteria that can cause sickness, miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm labor. 

Deli meats and pates can also carry Listeria. It is also best to avoid cured and raw meats as they may have parasites that cause toxoplasmosis, an infection that can lead to miscarriage. So, sadly, it’s best to steer clear of the charcuterie board this year.

Undercooked Turkey

Though everyone at the Thanksgiving table wants to avoid undercooked turkey, it can pose a risk to you while pregnant. Raw or undercooked turkey can contain bacteria, such as E. coli or Salmonella, so make sure the entire bird is heated to at least 165°F before digging in.

Oh, and if you have your heart set on leftover turkey sandwiches for your Black Friday lunch, you’ll need to reheat the meat to 165°F again to kill off any bacteria that may have developed while sitting in the fridge.


Stuffing is a beloved staple of many Thanksgiving dinners, but it’s not always safe during pregnancy. Stuffing cooked inside the turkey can get contaminated by any bacteria in the raw meat. To be completely safe, you'll need to cook the stuffing to at least 165°F, which can mean overcooking the turkey. Play it safe and stick with dressing (cooked in a separate dish) instead!

Apple Cider

Opt for the pasteurized variety if your family loves breaking out the cider during the holidays. Unpasteurized apple cider can carry E. coli and other bacteria that can harm you or your growing baby.

Unwashed Raw Fruits and Veggies

Raw fruits and veggies are also potential sources of bacterial contamination. To stay safe, make sure everything’s thoroughly washed before eating.

Raw Dessert Batter

Who hasn’t snuck a bite of raw cookie dough or brownie batter? It’s hard to resist! Unfortunately, it’s best to stay away this holiday season, as raw eggs can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. There’s always next year!

Yummy Thanksgiving Foods To Enjoy While Pregnant

Don’t worry, you won’t spend Thanksgiving staring at an empty plate. We wouldn’t do that to you! There are still plenty of delicious, healthy(ish) foods that you can safely enjoy during your Thanksgiving feast, such as:

  • Washed fruits and veggies
  • Fully-cooked desserts (say yes to pumpkin pie and no to mousse)
  • Nuts and hard cheeses
  • Fully-cooked turkey (yay!)
  • Dressing, cooked outside the bird

If you’re still worried about what to eat this Thanksgiving, talk with your healthcare provider before chowing down. The peace of mind will be worth the extra phone call! 

While you’re considering all that you’re thankful for, we’re sure your unborn child is at the top of the list. If you’re still excitedly waiting to learn whether your little one will be a boy or a girl, check out our at-home Juno Birch™ Fetal Gender Test today!

Please note: and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

November 09, 2022 — Stephanie McClintock