Custard creams can most definitely be eaten. I’m sure they tell you that in the hospital leaflets, don’t they? Joking aside it’s a minefield when it comes to what foods to avoid during pregnancy and it’s changed again since I was pregnant.

I thought it might be useful to give you a little run down of those food that you shouldn’t be consuming due to potential risks to the baby.

I was pretty lucky in that I didn’t really miss any of the foods you shouldn’t eat. I’m not a big pate fan and I don’t exactly tuck in to a slice of brie that often. I do however have friends who could think of nothing but a big plate of chorizo or a mega cheese board. To the extent that they had a mammoth feast waiting for them when they came out of hospital. Complete with a glass of bubbles of course.

This isn’t meant to be a preachy list and is just taken from the NHS guidelines during pregnancy. No one is going to judge you if you have a sneaky taste of something so called ‘naughty’. In fact Lolly was known to eat a raw steak and Lisa is currently enjoying dippy eggs on a weekly basis. As always do let us know what your experiences were.

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This is probably the most obvious and one that most people find hard. I’m going to sound all Mother Teresa here but I didn’t. I don’t really drink much and in fact have decided that to be honest I don’t like it so I’m not even going to force myself this year. I much prefer a sparkling elderflower. I digress. When I first found out I was pregnant nobody suspected as they are used to me not having an alcoholic drink but I know it is a dead giveaway for lots of people. If you are partial to a G&T then get yourself practising some yummy mocktails to see you through the nine months.

There are conflicting views on this in that some people say the odd glass is fine whereas others say not a drop should pass your lips.


You do not need to avoid caffeine all together but you do need to limit the amount you have. This is because it can cause a low birth weight and high levels of caffeine can lead to miscarriage. The advice is to have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day.

Caffeine is also hiding in some of your favourite dark chocolate bars so if you are partial to a bar of green and blacks a day you need to make sure you count this in your caffeine allowance. To help here is a little guide to the caffeine levels.

one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
one mug of filter coffee: 140mg
one mug of tea: 75mg
one can of cola: 40mg
one can of energy drink: 80mg
one 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: most UK brands contain less than 25mg
one 50g bar of milk chocolate: most UK brands contain less than 10mg

Herbal and Green Teas

This is an area that is a bit unknown and so the NHS advice is to drink them in moderation, no more than four cups a day.

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pregnancy foods to avoid




Whilst writing this post the team realised what a minefield the whole cheese issue was. We apparently all avoided things we could of actually eaten! You want to avoid any soft cheese with a white rind (mould ripened cheese) such as brie and camembert as well as mould ripened goats cheese. These are only safe to eat when they are cooked. Make sure they are cooked through and steaming hot to kill any bacteria.

You should also avoid soft blue cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola. Again they are only safe to eat if they are cooked.

Hard cheeses are fine to eat as well as soft cheeses made from pasteurised milk. This includes the following:

  • cottage cheese
  • mozzarella
  • feta
  • cream cheese
  • paneer
  • ricotta
  • halloumi
  • goats’ cheese
  • processed cheeses, such as cheese spreads
  • Milk and Yoghurt

    Try to buy pasteurised (most milk) or UHT milk. If you have to buy unpasteurised then boil it before using it. You shouldn’t drink unpasteurised goats or sheep milk.

    You’ll be pleased to know all yoghurts are safe to eat unless they are homemade with unpasteurised milk.

    Ice Cream

    I’m pretty sure when I was pregnant a Mr Whippy was out of the question but soft ice cream is now fine to enjoy on a nice hot day. If you ever make your own ice cream make it with pasteurised egg substitute or an egg free recipe.


    Despite some conflicting reports the NHS guidelines are still to avoid raw or partially cooked eggs during pregnancy so dippy eggs and soldiers are out. This is due to the risk of Salmonella so make sure your egg whites and yolks are cooked through and also avoid products that contain raw egg such as homemade mayonnaise. There was news reports last year that it is now safe so I’d be interested to hear what your midwives have told you on this.



    You need to avoid all forms of pate during pregnancy, even vegetarian ones, as they can contain listeria. Sorry.

    Raw Or Uncooked Meat

    You should make sure you avoid raw or uncooked meat due to the risk of toxoplasmosis. You need to make sure your meat is cooked all the way through and steaming hot and with no sign of any blood left in it. In the summer this is particularly important when you are out at BBQs as sausages and burgers are prime culprits.

    Cured Meats

    These aren’t banned but you should be cautious when eating them. The likes of parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni are cured and fermented rather than cooked so could contain toxoplasmosis bacteria. The packet should tell you if it is ready to eat or if it needs to be cooked first. The NHS advises that you can reduce the risk by freezing the product before you eat it.

    Prepacked Meat

    Some countries advise against this but in the UK it is safe to eat pre packed meats like ham and corned beef.


    Not something I ever ate but Liver has high levels of Vitamin A that can be harmful to baby so it should be avoid during pregnancy. This contains all forms of liver including liver pate and liver sausage.


    A lot of game is shot using lead pellets and so it is best to avoid Game during pregnancy. Some meats such as Venison and other large game sold in Supermarkets are shot using low levels of lead so should be fine to eat.


    I eat a lot of fish so luckily the majority of white fish is fine to eat during pregnancy. There are certain types of fish you should avoid though.

    Shark, Marlin and swordfish should all be avoided whilst pregnant and also if you are trying to conceive.


    Tuna contains high levels of mercury and so you should limit this to twice a week if it is a tuna steak or four tins of tuna per week. That seems quite a lot of Tuna!

    Oily Fish

    You should also limit your oily fish intake to twice a week as it contains pollutants. This includes Salmon, Herring, Mackerel and Trout. Tuna steaks also count as oily fish so make sure you count these as well.


    Shellfish is fine to eat so long as it is cooked through and not raw as they contain harmful bacteria. I didn’t realise this and stupidly avoided all the shellfish dishes, even the cooked ones, when we went on holiday! You can however eat cold, pre cooked prawns.


    Sushi should be fine to eat during pregnancy if it contains raw or lightly cooked wild fish so long as the fish has been frozen first. This is because wild fish can contain parasites that can make you ill. The vegetarian sushis that contain cooked fish, vegetables or eggs are fine to eat. If you are concerned check with the shop or restaurant first and if you like make sushi at home then make sure you freeze the fish for at least four days first.



    Unless you have a peanut allergy then they are safe to eat during pregnancy. This was different when I had Molly and I was told to avoid them. The guidelines have now been changed as they have found no direct link between you eating peanuts and your baby developing a peanut allergy.


    I’m not suggesting you actually eat soil but make sure all fruit and veg is washed with traces of soil removed.

    Vitamins and Fish Oil Supplements

    You shouldn’t take high-dose multivitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A. Stick to the pregnancy supplements as advised by your midwife.

    Phew, and we’re done! I know it can seem a bit scary faced with all these things you should and shouldn’t eat but you will get through it. Hopefully you won’t miss things as much as you think.