Being pregnant during the summer can be particularly challenging. From trying to stay adequately hydrated to constantly wiping places you never even knew could produce sweat, pregnancy and heat aren't always a great mix. But you can't stay inside forever, tempting as that may be. At some point, you're going to go to the beach, a picnic, or attend an outdoor party and you might wonder what are some safe warm weather foods to eat when you're pregnant.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist (that's still a thing, right?) to know that the deviled eggs, which have been sitting out on the picnic table for more than four hours, probably aren't safe to eat, pregnant or not. Yet every few years, a new study or trend will declare pregnant women need to avoid certain foods at all costs. You might even remember the "listeria hysteria," as Fortune called it, over deli meats and other cold cuts in 2015 which caused major panic for moms-to-be. But what's just hype and what's actually legit?
Obviously you want to do everything humanly possible to make sure you have a safe pregnancy and your baby arrives happy and healthy, so don't let summer scare you away from enjoying food and fun in the sun. Check out these warm weather foods that are safe to eat while you're pregnant.
1. Deli Meats
Remember that whole "Listeria Hysteria" thing? It turns out that the listeria bacteria found in cold cuts can be killed if you heat it first, according to Parents. In general, my OB-GYN advised that if I was going to eat meat of any kind, play it safe and cook it thoroughly.
Nothing says summertime like an abundance of avocados and giant portions of guac. Thankfully, it's not only safe to eat, but good for you. Anar Allidina, a registered dietitian, told The Huffington Post that "avocados are a great source of fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6." Additionally, avocados fight morning sickness and help your baby's brain and tissue growth.
3. Hot Dogs
A staple of many summer barbecues and cookouts, hot dogs and hamburgers might seem risky to some. But according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, hot dogs, sausages, and meat on the grill are safe for pregnant women as long as they are cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Fish Tacos
The FDA recommends pregnant women eat eight to 12 ounces of fish in a week, but the risk of mercury still scares many moms-to-be. If you want to eat a fun warm weather food like fish tacos, the Mayo Clinic advises pregnant women stick to fish which are low in mercury but high in good nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, such as, "salmon, trout, mackerel, tilapia, and cod."
5. Fresh Fruits
Kind of a no-brainer, but just to calm any worries you might have about noshing on that fruit platter, check out what the experts have to say on the matter. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, pregnant women should "choose fresh fruits and juices rather than frozen or canned. Eat plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits, melons, and berries."
6. Bell Pepper
Veggie platters are sure to be found at any pool party, beach outing, or summer celebration. But did you know there's one item that stands out among the rest not just form being safe but for its amazing benefits? "Red bell peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C compared to green peppers — one large red bell pepper contains 209 mg of vitamin C, three times that of an orange," Alldina told The Huffington Post.
7. Chips and Salsa
Once upon a time, sodium was a huge no-no for pregnant women. Now, however, it seems salty, summertime snacks such as chips and salsa are back on the menu. Amanda Leonard, a registered dietitian, told Baby Center that during pregnancy, "a moderate amount of sodium is useful because it can help maintain adequate fluid levels."
So long as your leafy veggies have been either safely prepared at home or you know the mixed greens at a party came in a pre-washed, sealed bag, salads can be safe during pregnancy, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
9. Mixed Nuts
Nearly any kind of social gathering will have a bowl of mixed nuts available for munching. But should they be avoided during pregnancy? According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), nuts are safe to eat when pregnant and can be a great source of protein, iron, fatty acids, and zinc.