Red Lobster is a popular seafood restaurant and a family favorite for celebrations!
You are not alone if you are wondering: Can I eat at Red Lobster while Pregnant?
But as with eating out in most restaurants during pregnancy, there are a few things you should watch out for.
So before you dive into the buttery lobster goodness let’s talk about it.
Can I Eat At Red Lobster While Pregnant?
Yes, you can eat at Red Lobster while pregnant.
Our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD said that generally speaking it is safe to eat at Red Lobster while pregnant.
Because Red Lobster is primarily a seafood restaurant there are some specific precautions you’ll need to take to eat there safely during pregnancy.
You’ll want to follow a few simple tips when ordering and making smart choices is important.
- When choosing your dinner pick items that are boiled, baked, or grilled.
Red Lobster’s menu is full of lower-calorie and lower-fat options that are perfect to enjoy during pregnancy.
Choose dishes that have grilled fish or grilled shrimp as the main entree, and pair them with a side of broccoli, brussel sprouts, a small baked potato, or even a creamy lobster baked potato.
- Order a soup and salad
They have a good selection of soups that are not only delicious but are packed with nutrition that both you and your baby need.
Consider starting with a cup of New England Clam Chowder or Lobster Bisque
The house salad is full of fresh veggies.
Choose the balsamic vinegarette dressing and skip the caesar dressing.
Caesar dressing is not safe to eat during pregnancy.
- If you choose a Seafood pasta dish such as Lobster Linguini or Shrimp Alfredo Linguini watch your portion size
Portion sizes at Red Lobster are huge and it is easy to go overboard on their pasta with seafood dishes.
They are so good!
But it is important to watch how many calories you eat during pregnancy.
So plan to split pasta dishes or take half home for the next day.
- You’ll want to limit your consumption of dishes made with sauces that are loaded with cream or butter.
That includes dishes like Shrimp Linguini Alfredo and Lobster Linguini Alfredo.
But they are loaded with fat and calories.
Either share them with your dinner partner or plan to take some home for the next day.
What are some of the dishes that are safe to eat at Red Lobster while pregnant?
Red Lobster offers a wide variety of menu items.
The best and safest choices are dishes that are cooked in healthy oils and vegetables, like Grilled Salmon, grilled shrimp, boiled main lobster, and rainbow trout.
They also offer lighter salads such as their house salad
You can order a side of broccoli to go with any meal.
Here are a few of our favorite Red Lobster Pregnancy-Safe favorites:
- Atlantic Salmon: Fresh, grilled salmon served with a side of steamed broccoli is a healthy and delicious option to enjoy while you are pregnant.
- Rainbow Trout: is made with a buttery lemon herb sauce and served with a side of garden vegetables.
- Garlic Shrimp Skewers: are grilled with a garlic butter sauce and served with a side of grilled asparagus.
- Snow Crab Legs: Snow crab legs boiled in a garlic butter sauce, served with steamed potatoes.
- Live Maine Lobster: Boiled Maine lobster is always a classic and a safe choice.
- Sesame Soy Salmon Bowl: This is a new item on Red Lobster’s menu, and it’s packed with flavor. It has sesame-crusted salmon served with a soy-ginger sauce, jasmine rice, and Asian vegetables.
- Signature Feast: Grilled lobster, shrimp, and salmon served with a side of veggies.
- Surf and Turf: Lobster tail and a Sirloin served with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli is another great choice, especially if you are looking for a hearty meal and a bigger portion size.
What are some menu items that I should avoid while pregnant?
You should avoid the following menu items while pregnant:
Deep-Fried Foods – Fried calamari, fried shrimp, and fried clams
Having said that sharing a deep-fried appetizer with other people and having a small portion is fine.
As long as eating fried foods does not make you feel sick.
Some women find that during pregnancy eating fried foods causes them to have heartburn or makes their morning sickness symptoms much worse.
Fried foods were my nemesis during early pregnancy so if you have to avoid them know you are not alone.
Raw Oysters – Raw oysters can contain a variety of harmful bacteria, including Vibrio vulnificus which can cause severe illness or even death in pregnant women.
Raw shellfish and fish are an absolute no-go during pregnancy.
Raw or undercooked oysters can contain Vibrio bacteria, which can lead to an infection called vibriosis.
Alcoholic Beverages – Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy.
There is no known safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy.
Deep-fried shrimp: Fried shrimp is delicious but it is healthier to choose grilled or boiled instead. Deep-fried shrimp is high in calories and fat, which can be difficult to digest during pregnancy.
Red Lobster Nutritional information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:
- Atlantic Salmon (Grilled): Calories – 630, Total Fat – 39grams, Carbohydrates – <1gram, Protein – 64 grams
- Rainbow Trout (Grilled): Calories – 490, Total Fat – 22grams, Carbohydrates– <1 gram, Protein – 67 grams
- Garlic Shrimp Skewers: Calories – 380, Total Fat – 2grams, Carbohydrates – 42 grams, Protein – 26 grams
- Snow Crab Legs: – 440, Total Fat – 34g, Carbohydrates – 0 grams, Protein – 32 grams
- Live Maine Lobster: (1 ¼ Lb Steamed) Calories – 440, Total Fat – 34g, Carbohydrates – 0 grams, Protein – 33 grams
- Sesame Soy Salmon Bowl: Calories – 930 grams, Total Fat – 42g, Carbohydrates- 90 grams, Protein – 46 grams
- Surf and Turf: Maine Lobster tail and 7 oz. Sirloin: Calories – 680 grams, Total Fat – 50 grams, Carbohydrates – 2 grams, Protein – 54 grams
How can I make sure that I am eating safely at Red Lobster while pregnant?
- Choosing the grilled fish or shrimp dishes is best.
- Make sure your meal is completely cooked and send it back if you are not sure.
- Do not eat raw seafood or undercooked seafood including clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, crab, lobster, sushi, and fish.
- Avoid drinks and sauces that contain alcohol.
- Make sure all of your food is thoroughly cooked and send it back if you have any questions.
- Avoid pre-made seafood salads.
Can I eat cold imitation crab while pregnant?
No, you should not eat cold imitation crab while pregnant because it may contain listeria.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, and it can be especially dangerous for pregnant women.
Cold imitation crab is often served in salads or sushi dishes and should be avoided to ensure you do not contract a serious foodborne illness.
It is safe to eat imitation crab that has been heated until steaming hot and is served hot.
Is crab safe during pregnancy?
Yes, Crab is safe to eat during pregnancy.
It is important that you only eat crab that has been thoroughly cooked.
Crab is low in calories, low in mercury, and is an excellent source of protein for you to eat while pregnant.
If you are not sure about eating crab during pregnancy it is safe to eat imitation crab during pregnancy.
Crab during pregnancy first trimester?
Cooked Crab is generally considered safe to eat during your first trimester.
Do not eat premade crab salad or crab rolls as they pose a risk of listeria infection.
Dr. Doug Penta, MD feels it isn’t worth the risk during pregnancy to consume any premade deli-type salads, and if you did not make it yourself, you should avoid any seafood salads during pregnancy.
What are the benefits of eating crab during pregnancy?
Eating crab during pregnancy can be beneficial to both you and your growing baby.
Crab is high in protein, and low in fat and calories.
That means that eating crab during pregnancy can help promote healthy growth.
Specifically, eating cooked crab meat can help with the brain development of the fetus, aid in digestion, reduce inflammation due to its omega-3 fatty acids content, contribute to stronger bones due to its phosphorous content, and provide Vitamin B12 which helps regulate mood.
It is important to note that pregnant women should only consume crab if it has been cooked properly.
Can pregnant women eat shrimp?
Yes, it is generally safe for pregnant women to eat cooked shrimp.
Cooked shrimp is low in fat and mercury which is important when choosing seafood to eat during pregnancy.
Shrimp are an excellent source of protein.
They also provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your baby’s brain and eye development.
Can you eat cold lobster when pregnant?
Eating cold lobster while pregnant can be tricky.
It depends on how the lobster is prepared, stored, and served.
If you cooked the lobster yourself and cooled it in the refrigerator until it was cold, it is more likely to be safer to eat than if you order it out say in a cold lobster roll.
It is best to eat shellfish that has been freshly cooked and served hot while you are pregnant.
Can I eat a lobster roll while pregnant?
You should not eat premade lobster salad rolls.
It could be risky to eat a lobster roll that is made out in a restaurant while you are pregnant.
The safest way to enjoy a lobster roll during pregnancy is to make the lobster roll from scratch at home.
That way you can be sure that you have cooked, cooled and prepared the lobster roll in a safe way.
Is Red Lobster Caesar salad safe during pregnancy?
Ceasar salad should be avoided during pregnancy as caesar dressing is made with raw eggs.
It is generally safe to eat ranch dressing during pregnancy as it is usually commercially prepared with pasteurized ingredients.
You should ask at the Red Lobsteryou’ll be eating at if the caesar dressing is pasteurized.
If it is you can safely eat it during pregnancy.
How much lobster can a pregnant woman eat?
Shellfish should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy.
As it does pose a risk of causing a foodborne illness in pregnant women.
You can eat it 1 to 2 times a week and about 3 ounces of cooked lobster meat is a good size for a dinner portion.
Lobster like most shellfish is high in sodium so it is important to eat it only in moderation while you are pregnant.
It is best if you eat your lobster meat prepared hot, whether baked or boiled.
Avoid lobster meat that has been sitting out on a buffet as you do not know if it has been maintained at a proper temperature.
Is it safe to eat at restaurants while pregnant?
Yes, it is safe to eat out in restaurants while pregnant.
Eating out is a fun and social activity that many of us love!
It is important when eating out in restaurants during your pregnancy that you watch your portion sizes, and watch out for high fat, high sodium, and sugar-loaded sauced.
Also, it is critical to make sure the foods you order are cooked completely before you consume them.
Photo: Maternity Comfort Solutions
What is vibriosis?
Vibriosis is an illness caused by the Vibrio bacteria, which are found in warm coastal waters.
The most common symptoms of vibriosis are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
These symptoms can be very serious in pregnant women, so it is important to take precautions when consuming raw seafood, such as sushi or oysters.
It is recommended that pregnant women avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish and seafood.
Vibrio bacteria are also found in certain crustaceans, such as lobster and crab.
Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of these foods to cooked dishes such as Red Lobster’s Lobster Bisque.
Helpful hints for eating at Red Lobster while pregnant:
1. Join the waitlist before you arrive
Red Lobster strongly recommends that you join their waitlist before you arrive.
They don’t take advanced reservations. Wait times at Red Lobster can be long.
Getting on the waitlist prior to arrival will help to ensure that you get a table at a time that is convenient for you and you won’t be standing and waiting for an hour or more!
2. Plan to start with soup and salad
Red Lobster offers soup and salad.
Plan to start with a cup of clam chowder or lobster bisque.
This will allow you to eat a smaller portion of a high-calorie entree and have some to take home for lunch the next day.
3. Consider your order carefully
When ordering your meal, be sure to take your needs and desires into consideration.
If you’re feeling tired or nauseous, for example, you might want to avoid heavy meals or foods that are high in fat and grease.
Fatigue can make symptoms of morning sickness worse and eating a large meal before bed while you pregnant can make sleeping difficult and uncomfortable.
Instead, opt for lighter fare such as a salad, or grilled shrimp or salmon.
Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your meal to stay hydrated.
4. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need
If you have any special requests or needs, don’t hesitate to ask the waitstaff for assistance.
For example, if you want your crab or salmon cooked a little longer don’t hesitate to ask.
5. Take your time eating your meal
When pregnant, it’s important to eat slowly.
Enjoy your meal at Red Lobster.
Have an appetizer, enjoy the Red Lobster cheddar biscuits.
Eating slowly gives time for you to feel fuller on less food too.
Taking your time will help you to avoid overeating or becoming too full and uncomfortable.
6. Ask for a take-out box
If you are getting full ask for a take-out box
That way you can enjoy the rest of your meal the next day.
Refrigerate your leftovers as soon as you get home.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant:
- Skip the buffet – you don’t know how fresh the food is or how well it’s been cooked. Not going to be an issue at Red Lobster, but a good tip to keep in mind as you plan where to eat out during pregnancy.
- Stick to restaurants that you know and trust – this way you can be sure that the food is fresh and of good quality.
- When in doubt, ask your waiter or waitress for recommendations on safe dishes to eat while pregnant.
- Order simple dishes that are easy to digest.
- Avoid anything with raw eggs or undercooked meat.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Beware of hidden sources of sodium in restaurant food
- Avoid foods made with unpasteurized dairy products.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a modification to your meal!
These are foods to not eat when pregnant:
- Foods that are not pasteurized– certain types of cheese like soft cheeses, Brie, Blue Cheese, etc.
- Certain types of fish– shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Raw eggs including egg nog, hollandaise sauce, caesar dressing, homemade mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, and runny eggs.
- Undercooked meats– lunch meats. Deli meats.
- Hot foods that are not “hot”, avoid hot foods that have been sitting out without a warming source. Same for foods that should be eaten cold. If no ice or refrigeration source is keeping the food cold, take a pass.
- Caffeine– soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. (Limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg a day)
- Herbal Teas (There are so many ingredients in herbal teas so it is best to avoid them simply. Green tea is OK.)
- Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Avoid sauces made with alcohol, desserts made with alcohol, and all alcoholic beverages.
How to eat healthy during pregnancy:
Eating healthily during pregnancy is essential to the development of your baby.
Here are some tips to help make sure you are getting the nutrients you need:
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This will help ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need.
- Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine. These can all lead to unhealthy weight gain and other problems during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for both your health and the baby’s health.
- Don’t skip meals. Eating small, frequent meals will help to keep your energy up and prevent you from overeating later on.
- Eating small frequent meals can help decrease morning sickness and heartburn
- Take a prenatal vitamin with your doctor’s approval to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you and your baby need.
The bottom line if you are asking can I eat Red Lobster while pregnant?
Yes, you can!
Choose items that are grilled, boiled, or baked and not deep-fried for your healthiest choice.