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Can I Eat Denny’s While Pregnant?

Updated May 8, 2023

Are you finding yourself craving the all-American breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes from Denny’s while pregnant?

That’s not uncommon.

Eating out can be nerve-wracking for expecting mothers who want to make sure they’re eating something that won’t harm their baby.

Can I eat Denny's while pregnant?

Join us as we explore just what options are safe or unsafe when dining at Denny’s during pregnancy so that you don’t have to worry about your order and can enjoy a delicious meal instead!


Can I eat Denny’s while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat at Denny’s while pregnant.

Our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD said that generally speaking it is safe to eat at Denny’s while pregnant.

You’ll need to follow a few simple tips when ordering and making smart choices is important.

  • Pancakes and french toast are safe to eat while pregnant.

Pancakes are safe to eat during pregnancy.

You may even find that pancakes or waffles help ease your morning sickness symptoms.

And yes, you can eat pancakes with syrup while pregnant.

If you can you should try to add a protein, so ordering scrambled or fried eggs are a good option to add if you plan to have pancakes.


  • Stick with foods that are grilled, baked, or broiled

When choosing your dinner pick items that are baked, broiled, or grilled.

Denny’s has many pregnancy-friendly, lower-calorie menu options.

Choose dishes that have grilled chicken or grilled fish as the main entree, and order broccoli or green beans as your side if those are options.


  • Have a salad!

If you’re looking for an incredible and nutritious meal during pregnancy, ordering a salad from Denny’s is a great option!

They have a selection of salads bursting with fresh vegetables, proteins, and other ingredients that are not only delicious but can provide the nutrition both you and your baby need.

One such salad is the Cobb Salad.

This salad has everything you could possibly crave during pregnancy – grilled chicken, bacon, hard-boiled egg, tomato, cucumber, green onion, and avocado all mixed together in one plate.

When ordering salads at Denny’s, be sure to ask that they hold off on adding blue cheese crumbles or caesar dressing as these are not considered safe to consume during pregnancy.

Instead, opt for lighter dressings like balsamic vinaigrette or something similar.

It is safe to eat ranch dressing at Denny’s.

They use a commercially prepared dressing that is pasteurized.


  • If you want a burger or a fried menu item consider the portion size.

If you have a burger or fried chicken then limit it to once in a while.

Plan to bring part of your meal home for the next day.

This will help you save on calories and fat.


  • If you order an appetizer share it with the table and only eat a small portion.

Denny’s appetizers are high in calories, fat, and sodium.

Your best option is going to be to order a house salad.

If you do go for one of the deep-fried high-calorie appetizers watch your portion size.

Enjoy a small serving and bring some home to enjoy at another meal.


What can I eat for breakfast at Denny’s while pregnant?

Breakfast at Denny’s is served all day and can be an excellent choice during pregnancy.

These are some pregnancy-safe options for breakfast:

  • Pancakes: A stack of these fluffy pancakes is a great pregnancy meal any time of day. They may even help your morning sickness symptoms.
  • French Toast: This dish is made with thick-sliced Texas toast, lightly coated in cinnamon, and topped with fresh strawberries and bananas if you’d like.
  • Scrambled Eggs and Cheddar Breakfast: This dish comes with two eggs scrambled with cheddar cheese and served with breakfast potatoes.
  • Omelets: Omelets are an excellent breakfast option to eat during pregnancy. Eggs are a good source of protein and are low in fat and calories. Load up your omelet with veggies and a little cheese for a complete meal. Skip adding ham or sausage to your omelet.
  • Everyday Value Slam: The Everyday Value Slam is an excellent breakfast option that comes with two eggs, two bacon strips or sausage links, toast, and hash browns.
  • Fit Slam: The Fit Slam is a great lower-calorie breakfast option. It comes with two egg whites, turkey bacon, and fresh fruit instead of hash browns.

The breakfasts at Denny’s are available as combos which include eggs, bacon, or sausage links.

Denny’s also offers a side of ham.

You should not eat the sausage and the ham.

Cured and smoked meats pose a serious potential foodborne illness risk to pregnant women.

Processed meats like sausage and ham can carry listeria, which can be fatal to you and your unborn baby.

Our OB/GYN believes the risk of contracting listeria outweighs any benefits of eating smoked, cured, or processed meats.

Well-done bacon is generally considered safe to eat, but because it is high in calories, fat, and sodium should only be enjoyed in small portions.


What can pregnant women eat at Denny’s?

Eating healthy at Denny’s doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Here are a few of Denny’s pregnancy-friendly menu options:

  • Fresh Fruit Crepes: A light and airy crepe filled with fresh fruit, topped with honey & cinnamon, and served with a side of yogurt.
  • Fit Slam Breakfast: A low-calorie breakfast option includes two egg whites, turkey bacon, grilled tomatoes, and an English muffin.
  • Everyday Slam breakfast: Includes four options of pancakes, eggs, and sausage or bacon. (Order without ham or sausage)
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon: A grilled 8 oz. Alaskan Salmon filet served with two sides. I ordered broccoli and rice as my side when I tried this dish.
  • Sirloin Steak: A 6 oz. sirloin steak served with two sides.
  • Mama D’s Pot Roast: Slow-cooked pot roast served with mashed potatoes and gravy. This is a good option if you are craving comfort food.
  • Cobb Salad: A delicious salad with grilled chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and tomatoes.
  • House Salad: A simple salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Avoid blue cheese dressing and caesar dressings. They are not safe to eat during pregnancy.



What are some Denny’s menu items that I should avoid while pregnant?

You should avoid the following menu items while pregnant:

  • Fried Foods – Fried chicken, Classic sampler. French fries

Having said that sharing a deep-fried appetizer with other people and having a small portion is fine.

You should avoid fried foods during pregnancy if they cause you to become nauseous or if you have heartburn after eating them.

Some women find that during pregnancy eating fried foods causes them to have heartburn or makes their morning sickness symptoms much worse, so stick to small portions of fried foods.

  • Moons Over My Hammy Sandwich: This is a very popular sandwich choice at Denny’s.

But you should avoid it while pregnant because of the ham.

It could be made with a cured ham or deli-ham and is not worth the possible Listeria risk.

  • Classic Benny Breakfast: This dish features Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.

It is not safe to eat runny eggs or sauces made with raw eggs during pregnancy so poached eggs and hollandaise sauce is not safe to eat while you are pregnant.

  • Southwestern Benny Breakfast: This dish features chorizo sausage, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.

Like the Classic Benny Breakfast, this is not safe to eat while you are pregnant as it contains chorizo sausage and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce.

  • Mile High Denver omelet: This dish features ham, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheddar cheese.

Ham is another food item to avoid while pregnant because of the listeria risk.

Be sure to check the ingredients of your meals and avoid foods containing processed meats like ham and sausage,

  • My spicy Hammy: For the same reason as above, this should be avoided during pregnancy. It may not be safe to eat cured or processed ham during pregnancy.

Foodborne illnesses can be a serious risk during your pregnancy, as maternal infection can increase the risk of complications for both you and your baby.

Eating cured ham and sausage can be especially dangerous, as these foods are more likely to contain listeria, a bacteria that is particularly harmful during pregnancy.

Listeria can cause high fever, stiff neck, headache, sleepiness and confusion, seizures, and other serious health issues in pregnant women.


Denny’s Nutritional information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:

Wild Salmon:

350 calories

23g fat

32g protein


Berry Vanilla Two Crepes À La Carte:

530 calories

24 fat

7g protein


Fit Slam Breakfast:

450 calories

12g fat

27g protein


All-American Slam® w/ hash browns & white toast

1170 calories

80g fat

50g protein


Loaded Veggie Omellet:

920 calories

56g fat

36g protein


Hearty 9-Grain Pancake Breakfast (add hash browns, egg & meat choices) 2

410 calories

11g fat

10g protein


French Toast Slam® (add egg choice)

830 calories

55g fat

30g protein


How can I ensure I am eating safely at Denny’s while pregnant?

Here are some tips to ensure you have a safe and nutritious meal:

  • Order a grilled or baked dish, such as grilled chicken, lean beef, wild-caught salmon, or beans.
  • Have a salad with nutrient-dense ingredients like greens, nuts or seeds, avocado, and other vegetables.
  • Make sure your meal is cooked thoroughly – no raw or undercooked meats or seafood.
  • Avoid any unpasteurized dairy products such as soft cheeses.
  • Skip the cured ham and sausage. They are high in nitrates and sodium. And they may be a source of food-borne illnesses such as Listeria or Salmonella if not prepared properly.


Helpful hints for eating at Denny’s during pregnancy:

1. Try to go at less busy times during the day.

Denny’s does not take reservations and they do not have call-ahead seating.

They do have a fast turnover for tables though and you shouldn’t have too long of a wait if you go at the less busy times of the day.

Try early morning, right after lunchtime, or after the dinner rush.

They are usually busy on the weekend mornings, so it is best to go during the week if you can.


2. Plan to start with a salad or a cup of soup

Start with a salad or soup if you go for lunch or dinner.

It will help you to not overeat if you choose a higher-calorie entree for your main meal.


3. Make smart meal choices

When ordering your meal, consider how you are feeling.

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 salad or grilled chicken

Also, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your meal to stay hydrated.


4. Ask your server for any modifications to your meal

If you have any special requests or needs, don’t hesitate to ask the waitstaff for assistance.

For example, if you want your chicken or fish cooked a little longer don’t hesitate to ask.


5. 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.

If you want a dessert get one to go and enjoy with your partner or friends later on at home.


What foods should I not eat while 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.


Tips For Eating Out During Pregnancy First Trimester:

When eating out during the first trimester of pregnancy, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure that you and your baby are safe and healthy.

Here are some tips:

  • Refrain from consuming uncooked items, particularly poultry, fish, eggs, and other meats as Listeria increases the risk of foodborne illness. It is best to eat your eggs scrambled, fried (cook the yolks completely), or hard-boiled.
  • Exercise caution when selecting foods with high mercury levels such as shark, tilefish, and king mackerel, as these may lead to birth defects. It is safe to eat salmon, cod, pollock, or haddock 1-2 times a week during your pregnancy.
  • Nourish your baby’s neural tube development by opting for folic acid-rich leafy greens.
  • Steer clear of fried or greasy dishes if you deal with morning queasiness or all-day sickness.
  • Consume small meals to keep your energy up and combat queasiness.
  • Avoid any alcoholic beverages – there is no safe amount that can be consumed while pregnant.
  • Abstain from all-you-can-eat buffets to guarantee the freshness and temperature of the food served.
  • Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excess amounts of caffeine – they will likely contribute to unhealthy weight gain while pregnant.
  • Staying hydrated is essential – make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day!
  • Ensure that you don’t skip meals; instead, opt for frequent meals in small servings to keep your energy up without overeating later on.



  • Doug Penta MD OB/GYN

    Dr. Doug Penta, MD - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Dr. Doug Penta, is a seasoned Obstetrician and Gynecologist with over 38 years of practice, co-founded Maternity Comfort Solutions to provide evidence-based pregnancy and parenting information. A Boston University alum and former Clinical Professor at Harvard, his articles on Maternity Comfort Solutions offer expectant mothers invaluable nutritional insights.

  • Sue Winters RN

    Sue Winters, RN - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Sue combines 20 years of nursing with a rich background in early childhood education. Co-founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions, her articles provide creative toddler activities and practical tips on pregnancy nutrition and baby shower planning, embodying her commitment to supporting families through early parenthood.

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