Are you expecting and craving a delicious burrito bowl from Chipotle but are wondering: Can I eat Chipotle while pregnant?
If so, don’t worry!
Eating Chipotle is perfectly fine during pregnancy – with some considerations.
Learn more about what options are best for your growing baby (and your own cravings!).
In this blog post, we’ll cover what dishes to choose at Chipotle for the safest meal possible.
Can I eat Chipotle while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat Chipotle while pregnant.
Our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD said that it is safe to eat at Chipotle while pregnant as long as the food is thoroughly cooked and maintained at proper temperatures.
You should follow a few simple tips when ordering at Chipotle and making smart choices is important.
- Choose a bowl or salad over a burrito or the tacos
Choose a burrito bowl or a salad instead of a burrito.
A tortilla from Chipotle comes in at a whopping 320 calories!
Another advantage of choosing a burrito bowl over a traditional burrito at Chipotle is portion control.
When ordering from Chipotle, it can be difficult to know how much food you’re getting in each item.
With a burrito bowl, you can easily control your portions by adding only as much of each ingredient as you want or need.
Another option is to order a burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side.
You can split it in half and share it with a friend or take it home and enjoy it the next day.
When Dr. Doug and I go to Chipotle (which we do at least once a week!) we get a burrito bowl with all the fixings and a tortilla on the side and we split it.
The healthiest option is to have a salad.
The salad starts with a bed of greens and has no rice.
Load it up with your favorite meats, beans, and veggies.
The dressing is a honey-chipotle vinaigrette dressing that is safe to eat during pregnancy.
- Choose a chicken or veggie bowl for a lower-calorie meal option
This is going to be your best option.
The chicken and veggies are cooked to perfection and will keep you full longer.
Also, they are lower in calories than the steak or barbacoa options.
You can add your favorite toppings and dressings while still maintaining a balanced meal.
If you opt for the burrito bowl, ask for brown rice, which is higher in fiber and nutrients.
The cilantro-lime rice is safe to eat during pregnancy, brown rice is better than white rice.
You can also skip the rice or ask for a 1/2 portion to save on some calories.
If you choose the salad option, get one with a base of romaine lettuce, spinach, fresh tomatoes salsa, and grilled peppers.
These are nutrient-dense options and provide essential vitamins and minerals for your health and your growing baby.
- Add the grilled vegetables, lettuce, corn salsa, and fresh tomato salsa
It is safe to eat your bowl with fresh vegetables or grilled fajita vegetables.
So ask your server to add extra.
Tomato salsa or pico de gallo are both good options for adding flavor to your meal without increasing the fat and calorie content.
These two salsas are also a great source of vitamins A and C, which you need during pregnancy.
They will help fill you up and are low in fat and calories.
- Skip the sour cream and cheese
These are both high in fat and calories and might not be the best choice while pregnant.
Choose guacamole as a healthy substitute.
Guacamole is rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and K, potassium, calcium, and magnesium — all of which your body needs during pregnancy.
If you do decide to add cheese and sour cream, ask for them on the side, so you can control how much you add to your bowl or salad.
- Add guacamole to your bowl!
If you love avocado and guacamole add it to your bowl or salad!
Guacamole is a great addition to your bowl because it’s rich in nutrients and can help fill you up.
It’s also low in fat and calories, so adding guacamole is an easy way to boost the nutritional content of your meal without overloading on calories.
- Add either black or pinto beans to your bowl
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber!
You can save on fat and calories AND still get a filling meal by asking for extra beans in your burrito bowl.
Pinto beans are a pregnancy superfood!
You can get both kinds of beans in your burrito bowl too!
What can you eat at Chipotle pregnant?
Chipotle has a good selection of sandwiches that are safe to eat during pregnancy.
Some of the pregnancy-safe options include:
- Chicken Burrito Bowl with Grilled Vegetables and fresh salsa
- Veggie Burrito Bowl with Black Beans and Tomato Salsa
- Salad with Grilled Chicken, Fajitas, Lettuce, and fresh salsa.
- Barbacoa Burrito Bowl with Grilled Vegetables and Guacamole
- Veggie Burrito Bowl with Pinto Beans and Guacamole.
- Sofritas Burrito Bowl with Grilled Vegetables and Tomato Salsa
Photo: Maternity Comfort solutions
What are some menu items that I should avoid at Chipotle while pregnant?
Chipotle does offer some menu options that you should skip during pregnancy.
- Carnitas are made with pork and are safe to eat while pregnant, but they are high in fat and calories. Carnitas are not the healthiest protein you can order at Chipotle.
- Steak is another high-fat meat option. It is safe to eat during pregnancy, but you should limit your intake due to the higher calorie and fat content.
- Barbacoa: This beef option is high in fat, so it is not the best choice for pregnant women.
- Queso sauce: This cheese sauce is high in fat, calories, and saturated fats. It is made with cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese, so it is safe to eat during pregnancy. If you decide to have the Queso get it on the side of your bowl or salad so you control your portion size.
- White rice: White rice is not a nutrient-dense food and should be avoided during pregnancy. Instead, opt for brown rice.
- Tortilla chips: Skip the chips or only have a small serving. They are high in calories and fat and low in nutrients. Sour cream is high in saturated fats and not the best choice
Chipotle Nutritional information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:
Chicken Burrito Bowl
Total Fat: 37g
Veggie Burrito Bowl
Total Fat: 30g
Barbacoa Burrito Bowl
Total Fat: 37g
Salad with grilled chicken
Total Fat: 31g
Sofritas burrito bowl
Total Fat: 18g
What about Listeria risk during pregnancy?
These days, pregnant women are more informed than ever when it comes to the risks of listeria.
With the advent of online resources, it’s easy to learn about the steps you can take to protect yourself and your unborn child from this potentially serious infection.
And yet, not everyone is taking advantage of this wealth of knowledge.
Many expectant mothers still have questions about what foods are safe to eat, and whether fast food chains like Chipotle are off-limits.
The truth is that, while there is some risk involved, the chances of contracting listeria from such establishments are generally low.
But how do you weigh that risk against the potential benefits of indulging in a burrito or bowl?
That’s a question only you can answer, based on your own personal level of risk tolerance.
For some, a 1% risk of listeria might be acceptable, while others may feel that any level of risk is too high.
Either way, it’s important to remember that pregnancy can increase your susceptibility to foodborne illness, so it’s wise to err on the side of caution whenever possible.
Can I eat chipotle sour cream while pregnant?
Chipotle sour cream is made with pasteurized milk.
It is safe to eat during pregnancy, but it is high in fat and calories so it should be eaten sparingly or not at all.
If you order sour cream, get it on the side and make sure it is cold before you eat it to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
Can I eat salsa while pregnant?
Yes! Salsa is safe to eat while pregnant.
You may want to stick to milder salsas or a fresh Pico de Gallo as spicy foods can sometimes cause stomach upset during pregnancy.
It’s also important to make sure the salsa you eat is prepared in a clean and sanitized environment.
Can I eat guacamole while pregnant?
Yes! Guacamole is safe to eat during pregnancy.
It contains healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that can help support your baby’s growth and development.
Chipotle Guac is made fresh every day.
Can you have Chipotle queso while pregnant?
The Queso sauce at Chipotle is made with Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese so it is considered safe to at during pregnancy.
But it is high in fat and calories so it should only be eaten sparingly while you are pregnant.
I would opt to get a small cup full on the side if I were going to have it.
Skip the Queso and chips as a small order comes in at a whopping 780 calories!
Helpful hints for eating at Chipotle while pregnant:
1. Use the Chipotle App to order
Chipotle has an app that will cut down on your wait time.
Not having to wait in line when you are hungry and pregnant is the ideal reason to use it.
You can order your bowl burrito or salad, customize it, and pay all on the app.
I’ve waited 30-40 minutes in an endless sea of humanity just to order at Chipotle.
Now we use the app about 75% of the time.
Plus if you use the app, you get free food as you earn points or use their coupons for free items.
2. Consider splitting a bowl with your partner or friend if you order the steak, barbacoa, or carnitas bowl
The steak, barbacoa, and carnitas are much higher in fat and calories than the chicken or plant-based options at Chipotle
Splitting a bowl with someone will decrease your portion size and help make a meal healthier option.
You can also get creative and split two types of bowls between the two of you and take the other half home.
3. Take advantage of Chipotle’s sides
Chipotle has a variety of sides that are low in fat and calories.
Opt for a side of black beans, pinto beans, tomato salsa, or corn salsa with your meal for an added boost of flavor and nutrition.
These are healthy choices don’t be afraid to ask for extra beans, salsa, salad, or veggies!
3. Consider how you are feeling before you order.
When ordering your meal, be sure to take your own needs 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.
Instead, opt for lighter fare such as a salad with only a few toppings.
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 staff for assistance.
Chipotle is used by people asking for bowls and burritos to be altered from what is listed on the menu.
If you want more of an item or would like half and half of the beans or half and half of the meats all you need to do is ask.
5. Take your time eating your burrito bowl or salad
When pregnant, it’s important to eat slowly.
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. Take left-overs home
If you are getting full take the rest of your bowl home.
That way you can enjoy the rest of your sandwich the next day.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant:
- Plan ahead – plan what you’d like to order before going out and make sure it’s the healthiest option for you.
- Check the menu online in advance – many restaurants post their menus on their website to help you choose the best dishes.
- Ask your server questions about the ingredients used – this will help you make more informed choices and also reduce waste from ordering incorrectly.
- Choose a smaller portion – often restaurants serve large portions, which can be unhealthy and expensive. Ask for a smaller portion or take home leftovers for another meal.
- Skip the fries – side dishes like fries are often high in calories and fat, so opt for a salad or other healthier sides instead.
- Avoid fried foods – deep-fried foods are generally high in fat and calories, so opt for grilled or steamed options instead when possible. Fried foods can also increase your symptoms of morning sickness at night.
- Look out for hidden sugar & sodium – some dishes may contain hidden sugar or be high in sodium, so ask your server if there is any additional information they can provide on these items.
- Order water – while soda may taste amazing, it’s best to stick to plain water when eating out as it won’t add extra calories or sugar to your meal.
- Splurge once in a while – don’t always feel guilty about indulging once in a while! Just remember to keep everything balanced with healthy choices most of the time
- Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets – you don’t know how fresh the food is or how well it’s been cooked. Not going to be an issue at Chipotle, but a good tip to keep in mind as you plan where to eat out during pregnancy.
Special tips for eating out during pregnancy’s first trimester:
- Start small – Go for starters or side dishes if you’re not feeling so hungry.
- Be mindful of certain food allergies and/or sensitivities – Pregnant women are more prone to get a reaction from food allergies, so it’s important to be aware of any potential allergies or sensitivities.
- Wash your hands – Before you eat, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
- Choose fish wisely – Aim for low-mercury fish like salmon or tilapia while pregnant.
- Be aware of your drink choices – Stick to water or order a mocktail instead of a cocktail.
- Avoid greasy foods – Eating foods that are deep fried or made with a lot of butter can cause you to have more issues with nausea and vomiting
- Choose dark leafy greens – when possible choose to eat dark leafy greens like Kale or spinach. Dark leafy greens are full of folic acid which is important to your baby’s neural tube development in the first trimester.
List of 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, 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 While Pregnant
As a mom-to-be, eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health.
I know firsthand how hard it can be to resist the temptation of sugary snacks and fast food cravings, but it’s essential to prioritize whole, nutritious foods.
Eating a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish can help ensure that you and your baby are getting the right nutrients to thrive.
I also found that limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine helped me avoid unhealthy weight gain and other complications during pregnancy.
It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t perfect I gave into unhealthy cravings during my pregnancies, but I did make smart choices more often than I made unhealthy food choices.
And you can too!
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also key to feeling your best.
And trust me, eating small, frequent meals throughout the day not only keeps your energy up but also helps alleviate common pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and heartburn.
Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for your little one.