Updated May 8, 2023
Can I eat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup while pregnant? If you are wondering you’re not alone!
This question comes up a lot, broccoli Cheddar Soup is a common craving for pregnant women during the winter season.
Panera offers a variety of tasty food options, and its creamy broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of the most popular items on the menu.
Can I Eat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup While Pregnant?
Yes! You can eat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup while you are pregnant.
If you are craving warm and comforting creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Panera this winter there are a few things you should know before you dip your spoon into the steamy deliciousness.
The first is that you need to make sure the Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup is served hot and don’t let it sit out too long before eating it.
Pregnant women should not eat soups, stews, or chilis that are not thoroughly heated, as it can lead to foodborne illness.
Second, some people may be more sensitive to the cream in the soup and experience nausea or vomiting after eating broccoli Cheddar Soup, so if you are in your first trimester of pregnancy and are experiencing morning sickness, Broccoli Cheddar Soup may not be the best choice.
Eat your soup slowly and consider having bread or a sandwich with it.
This can decrease your chances of suffering nausea or vomiting after eating it.
If you are unsure about an ingredient in the creamy broccoli Cheddar Soup, it is best to ask your server or check with the restaurant before ordering.
When it comes to broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera, the good news is that their soups are fully cooked, served hot, and their ingredients are safe for pregnant women to eat.
Photo Credit: Maternity Comfort Solutions
However, there are still a few things to keep in mind about the Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup :
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women should avoid eating food from restaurants that could put them at risk for foodborne illnesses.
This includes undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs; unpasteurized dairy products; unwashed fruits and vegetables; and certain types of fish.
The Broccoli Cheddar Soup at Panera is made with pasteurized cream so there should be little risk of foodborne illness.
These pathogens can cause serious illness and even death in pregnant women and their unborn babies.
While there may be no reported cases of Salmonella or Listeria infection from Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup, it is important to be aware of the potential risks.
Pregnant women should avoid eating soup that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.
If the broccoli Cheddar Soup is refrigerated, it should be consumed within three days of opening.
The safest option for pregnant women is to eat freshly made broccoli Cheddar Soup
While the risk of foodborne illnesses from creamy broccoli Cheddar Soup is low, it is still something to be aware of if you are pregnant.
Third, One of the best sides to order with Panera’s broccoli cheddar cheese soup is sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread is safe to eat during pregnancy and is low in calories and fat when compared to Panera French baguettes or chips.
Finally, Let’s talk about bread bowls.
Should you get your broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl?
If you like the bread bowls at Panera there is no reason you can’t have your soup in a bread bowl.
Just be mindful that a bread bowl has a lot of calories.
How many calories? The broccoli and cheddar cheese soup in a bread bowl has a whopping 900 calories!
That’s a lot for a bowl of soup.
Even if you can eat the bowl.
What I would do and what are OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD suggested is to modify your calories the rest of the day so that you’re not overeating and gaining too much weight too fast during your pregnancy.
That’s what I would often choose to do during pregnancy if I wanted something that wasn’t super healthy.
I also like to do the pick-two at Panera.
If you’re doing the broccoli and cheddar soup you can do a bacon turkey bravo sandwich with it.
That’s safe to have during pregnancy you or you could do a salad with it.
Just be sure to skip blue cheese dressing or any blue cheese crumbles.
Blue cheese is not safe to eat during pregnancy.
Not only is the broccoli and cheddar soup warm and comforting a bowl only has 370 cal calories.
A cup of broccoli and cheese soup only has 180 cal so if you get it as a side with a sandwich or a salad it’s much lower in calories and fat.
Two excellent choices for sides to have with a cup or a bowl of Panera broccoli cheddar soup is the tomato basil cucumber salad.
The tomato basil cucumber salad has only 90 calories!
Or the fruit cup which only has 60 calories.
Both are excellent choices to have if you are expecting.
So what is in the Panera broccoli cheddar cheese soup?
The soup is made with chopped broccoli shredded carrots spices cheese sauce.
What is the nutritional information for Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
One serving of their creamy broccoli Cheddar Soup contains 370 calories, with 24 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein.
However, it’s important to note that this soup is high in sodium, providing 1470 milligrams per serving.
Make sure you drink plenty of water with your soup.
Regardless, with its rich flavor and creamy texture, Panera’s creamy broccoli Cheddar Soup can be a satisfying addition to any lunch or dinner meal.
Tips for making Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup healthier and a complete meal:
- Add some leafy greens: Broccoli is a good source of vitamins and minerals, but adding some additional leafy greens to your soup will give you an extra boost of nutrients.
- Limit using extra cheese: Adding extra Cheese can add calories and saturated fat to your soup. If you’re watching your weight gain during pregnancy, limit the cheese or choose a lower-fat variety.
Some other menu items that go well with Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup include:
- Toasted Frontega Chicken Sandwich: A classic chicken sandwich pairs perfectly with Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Just be sure to choose whole-grain bread for a healthier meal.
- Salad: Add some greens to your meal with a side salad. Pairing your soup with a salad is a great way to up your veggie intake.
Panera healthy menu options for pregnancy:
The best fall/winter season salad you can order at Panera during pregnancy is the Fuji apple salad with chicken.
This salad includes chicken, arugula, romaine, kale, tomatoes, red onions, pecan, blue cheese, and apple chips.
When you order the salad you need to ask them to leave off the blue cheese.
You can substitute cheddar for gorgonzola cheese.
The best sandwich choice at Panera for pregnant women is the Turkey Artisan Ciabatta.
This sandwich includes turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, and leafy greens on ciabatta bread.
It’s a good source of protein and healthy fats, but be sure to ask for light mayo or mustard to limit the number of calories and fat in the sandwich.
Our OB/GYN, Dr. Doug Penta, suggests that pregnant women should balance the broccoli Cheddar Soup with more protein.
Three delicious options for increasing your protein intake when eating at Panera are:
- Signature Chef’s Chicken sandwich
- Chipotle Chicken on Focaccia
- Toasted Steak and White Cheddar
- Bacon Turkey Bravo on artisan bread
Can I Eat Panera Broccoli mac & cheese while pregnant?
Yes! More good news broccoli mac n cheese is a relatively healthy option!
The mac cheese at Panera has 740 Calories, 48 g of Fat: and 25 g of carbohydrates.
Panera broccoli mac n cheese is made with pasteurized milk, cream, and cheese.
You should avoid unpasteurized dairy products during pregnancy, as they may contain harmful bacteria.
Pregnant women should also be sure to balance the high calorie and carbohydrate content of broccoli Mac & Cheese with more protein-rich foods.
List of foods not to 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, undercooked shellfish, raw oysters.
- Raw eggs including homemade mayo, hollandaise sauce, and eggnog.
- Undercooked meats – lunch 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 there is no ice or refrigeration source keeping the food cool, take a pass.
- Caffeine- soda, chocolate. (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 simply avoid them. Green tea is OK.)
What should a pregnant woman eat daily?
A pregnant woman needs to consume a variety of nutrients every day to support both her own health and the development of her baby.
Protein is essential for building new tissue and can be found in meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and eggs.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth and is especially important during the third trimester when the baby’s skeleton is rapidly developing.
Pregnant women should aim to get 1000 mg of calcium per day from low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Iron is also important for the formation of new blood cells, and pregnant women need about 27 mg of iron per day.
Good sources of iron include lean red meat, dark leafy greens, and fortified cereals.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant:
- Avoid buffets – you don’t know how fresh the food is or how well it’s been cooked. Not going to be an issue at Panera, 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!
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