Foods you can eat safely

It can be confusing trying to work out which foods you can eat and which foods you should avoid when you are pregnant. Here are some foods you don’t need to avoid:

  • shellfish, including prawns – as long as they are part of a hot meal and have been properly cooked
  • live or bio yoghurt
  • probiotic drinks
  • plain fromage frais
  • crème fraiche
  • soured cream
  • spicy food
  • honey is fine for pregnant women, but is not suitable for babies under a year old
  • mayonnaise, ice cream, salad dressing, mousse – as long as they haven’t been made using raw eggs; if you’re not sure about any of these foods when you’re in a restaurant, ask staff for more information
  • some cheeses – including hard cheese such as cheddar and parmesan; feta; ricotta; mascarpone; cream cheese; cottage cheese and processed cheese such as cheese spreads
  • if you would like to eat peanuts, or foods containing peanuts (such as peanut butter), during pregnancy you can choose to do so as part of a healthy balanced diet, unless you yourself are allergic to them, or your health professional advises you not to.

You may have heard that some women, in the past, have chosen not to eat peanuts when they are pregnant. This is because the government previously advised women that they may wish to avoid eating peanuts during pregnancy if there was a history of allergy in their child’s immediate family (such as asthma, eczema, hayfever, food allergy or other types of allergy).

This advice has now been changed because the latest research has shown that there is no clear evidence to show if eating, or not eating, peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy. If you have any questions or concerns, you should discuss these with your GP, midwife, health visitor or other health professional.

For more information on foods to avoid during pregnancy, visit the NHS Choices website.

Last Updated: 23 September 2015
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