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
  • Children and pregnant women can now safely eat their eggs soft boiled, runny or raw, as long as they're stamped with the British Lion Code mark. If your diet is medically managed, speak to your health professional first.
  • certain soft cheeses can be safe to eat when you are pregnant, as long as they are made using pasteurised milk. These include
    • cottage cheese
    • mozzarella
    • feta
    • cream cheese
    • paneer
    • ricotta
    • halloumi
    • goat's cheese
    • processed cheese such as cheese spreads. 
  • During pregnancy, it is safe to eat all hard cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan and stilton, even if they are made with unpasteurised milk. Hard cheeses don't contain as much water as soft cheeses, so bacteria are less likely to grow in them, so although listeria can still be present in hard cheese, the risk is much lower.
  • 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 have chosen not to eat peanuts when they are pregnant. This is because the government previously advised women to avoid eating peanuts  if there was a history of allergy in their child’s immediate family. However, this advice has now been changed because the there is no clear evidence to support this.  

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

Last Updated: 06 February 2018
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