eating out while pregnant, food safety, healthy pregnancy diet,

Finding food you enjoy during pregnancy can be tricky. This is the time when you need to be most careful about what you eat, yet, it’s also the time when you feel least inclined to spend time in the kitchen preparing meals and cleaning up. Eating out seems like the perfect solution, but it also means you’re giving away some control over your diet, which can be scary. So how do you do it right?

RELATED: Healthy Pregnancy Diet

1. Pick cafes and restaurants with good hygiene standards. Don’t be afraid to walk out if you notice improper food handling or questionable cleanliness.

2. Choose freshly prepared food over takeaways that have been pre-made to reduce the risk of foodborne bacteria.

3. Give preference to hot meals, especially if they include meat or fish. This way you’ll avoid Listeria contaminated foods – the bacteria dies when subjected to high temperatures. Make sure your food is hot and don’t hesitate to return it if it’s lukewarm,

4. Communicate your food requirements. It’s ok to be fussy and ask for your meals to be modified to suit your needs.

5. Go healthy and choose salads, soups and grilled veggies, meat or fish over deep fried options.

6. Avoid foods that are on the pregnancy do-not-eat list like raw fish, seafood or meat, raw or partially cooked eggs, soft cheeses. If you’re uncertain what is in your meal, be sure to ask before you order.

7. Don’t drink alcohol. Current drinking guidelines are to avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy. Even a small amount of alcohol can have significant negative effect on your baby.

Finally, here’s a bonus tip – now is the time to play your pregnancy card. Follow your cravings and choose where and what you want to eat. Your partner and friends will willingly oblige. It won’t be long before you lose your special privileges, so make the most of them.

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