Updated May 8, 2023
Expectant and soon-to-be mothers often have so many questions about their pregnancy diets.
One of the most common questions that come to mind is “Can I eat Taco Bell while pregnant?”
And the short answer is Yes, you can eat at Taco Bell While Pregnant.
But there are some precautions you should take and foods you should avoid.
Read on for the best menu items to order during pregnancy.
Can I eat Taco Bell while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat Taco Bell while pregnant.
Our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD said that it is safe to eat at Taco Bell while pregnant but it may not be the healthiest option. If you have to eat there during pregnancy here are a few of his suggestions to make it more healthy.
You’ll need to follow a few simple tips when ordering at Taco Bell and making smart choices is important:
- Choose a Power menu bowl over the taco and burrito options
Choose a power bowl either a chicken or veggie bowl instead of a taco or burrito.
The power bowl with chicken has only 460 calories!
The power chicken bowl comes with cheese and seasoned rice and you could skip both of those to save on calories if you wanted to.
They also offer a Power menu bowl-veggie that is an excellent choice if you don’t want chicken.
It contains only 420 calories and also comes with black beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
- Add the tomatoes, lettuce, and beans to your order
It is a good plan to order your food al fresco which means no cheese or sour cream add tomatoes at Taco Bell.
Ask your server to add extra.
Pinto beans and black beans are pregnancy superfoods!
You can get a side of black beans or a side of pinto beans with cheese and both are excellent low-calorie choices!
Tomato salsa is a good option for adding flavor to your meal without increasing the fat and calorie content.
- 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.
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
- Be sure your meat is served hot.
According to Natural Baby Life, Taco Bell reheats its meats in stores, so you don’t have to worry about undercooked meats or cross-contamination between raw and cooked meats, but it is important that the meat is thoroughly heated.
Food safety and preparation are so critical during pregnancy because when you are pregnant you are more at risk of getting a foodborne illness.
What can you eat at Taco Bell pregnant?
Taco Bell has a few good options that are safe to eat during pregnancy.
Some of the pregnancy-safe options include:
- Power Menu Bowl (chicken or veggie) with extra tomatoes, lettuce, and beans: This is a great option as it’s low in calories, but still packed with protein and fiber.
- Soft tacos: Soft tacos are a better choice than crunchy tacos as they’re easier to digest and won’t cause any gastrointestinal distress. Be sure to fill your taco with plenty of veggies for added nutrition. You can enjoy both the grilled chicken and beef soft tacos. The grilled chicken will be a lower calorie and fat option.
- Fresco menu items: The fresco menu items are all great options as they come without cheese, sour cream, and any other high-calorie condiments. They still have plenty of flavor from the fresh vegetables and salsa
- Mexican Pizza: This is a good choice as it’s packed with protein and fiber, while also still being low in calories.
- Tostada Salad (without sour cream and cheese):
Although these options are safe to eat during pregnancy, always remember to check that your food is prepared properly.
Also pay attention to portion sizes, as eating large amounts of food can increase your calorie intake — something you need to be careful about when pregnant.
What are some menu items that I should avoid at Taco Bell while pregnant?
Taco Bell does offer some menu options that you should skip during pregnancy:
- Crunchwrap Supreme: This is a high-calorie and fat option.
- Cheesy Gordita Crunch: This menu item has over 800 calories.
- Quesarito Nachos BellGrande (with sour cream and cheese): This option contains over 1,100 calories and 74g of fat. If you do order this item plan to only eat half and save half for another meal.
- Cheesy Double Beef Burrito: This burrito is high in calories and fat, with over 800 calories.
- Cinnabon Delights: These are high in fat and calories with 410 calories and 22g of fat per 4 pieces.
Taco Bell Nutritional information for pregnancy-friendly menu options:
Power Menu Bowl (chicken)
Total Fat: 19g
Fiesta Taco Salad (Chicken)
Total Fat: 33g
Total Fat: 11g
Why am I craving Taco Bell while pregnant?
Cravings are a normal part of pregnancy, and they can be hard to resist.
It’s important to remember that while they may be intense at the moment, it is possible to make healthier choices.
If you find yourself craving fast food, try to find ways to satisfy those cravings without compromising your health and safety.
For example, if you’re craving tacos, try making them at home with lean protein and lots of vegetables.
Here is one of the best copycat taco bell crunchwrap recipes we have found.
If preparing food at home keep this advice from the CDC in mind, clean, separate, cook, and chill your foods to prevent foodborne illness.
You can also look for healthier options on the menu or get creative by swapping out unhealthy ingredients for healthier alternatives.
This way, you can still enjoy the flavor of your favorite foods while avoiding potential risks associated with eating fast food.
Try to stay mindful of your cravings and practice moderation when it comes to indulging in them.
With a little self-control, you’ll be able to make healthier choices that will help you both during and after pregnancy.
Can I eat Salsa While Pregnant?
Yes! You can eat salsa while pregnant.
Milder salsa may agree with you more than a hot and spicy salsa during pregnancy so keep that in mind.
Spicy salsa may increase your feelings of morning sickness or heartburn during pregnancy.
It’s also important to make sure the salsa is prepared properly.
If you make your own at home wash your vegetables and fruits thoroughly and do not chop them on cutting boards that you have used for cutting meat.
If you are meal-prepping during pregnancy refrigerate any uneaten salsa right away and use it within 3 days.
Can I eat a Taco Bell quesadilla while pregnant?
Yes! A taco bell quesadilla is safe to eat during pregnancy.
It is made with pasteurized cheese.
The only concern with the quesadilla is the number of calories and fat.
But if consumed in moderation it is safe to eat.
Helpful hints for eating at Taco Bell while pregnant:
1. Try the taco bell app
You can use the taco bell app to order your food for pick-up, delivery, or for drive-thru.
This can save time and you won’t have to stand in line and wait for your order.
They often offer deals and coupons in the app which can make using it budget-friendly.
2. 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 special requests
If you have any special requests or needs, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for assistance.
Taco Bell is used by people asking for sandwiches to be altered from what is listed on the menu.
Tips for eating out in restaurants while pregnant:
- Prepare before going out: Plan ahead and make sure to pick the healthiest option.
- Review menus online: Many restaurants post their menu online which can help you make informed decisions.
- Ask your server questions about ingredients: This will help avoid any potential allergies and sensitivities.
- Opt for smaller portions: Ordering large dishes can be both unhealthy and expensive.
- Skip side dishes like fries: These tend to be high in calories and fat, so opt for salads or other healthier sides instead.
- Avoid fried foods: Deep-fried foods are usually high in fat and calories, so opt for grilled or steamed options where possible.
- Look for hidden sugars & sodium levels: Check with your server on items that may contain hidden sugars or be higher in sodium content.
- Stick to water when drinking: Sodas can add extra calories and sugar, so plain water is a better option when eating out.
- Indulge occasionally – everyone deserves a treat sometimes just remember to keep it balanced with healthy choices throughout your pregnancy!
Tips for eating out during pregnancy’s first trimester:
- Begin with small dishes: Start off your meal by ordering starters or side items if you don’t have a huge appetite.
- Be aware of food allergies and sensitivities: Pregnant women can be more prone to reactions, so pay attention to any potential allergies or sensitivities.
- Wash your hands before eating: Make sure to clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Choose low-mercury fish: Salmon and tilapia are best during this time period.
- Mind your drink choices: Stick to water or opt for a mocktail instead of a cocktail.
- Avoid greasy foods: These can lead to more issues with vomiting and nausea.
- Eat dark leafy greens when possible: Kale, spinach, and other dark leafy greens are full of folic acid (which is essential for a 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.
Tap Here To Get your FREE Printab;e 56-page Pregnancy Meal Planner
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 Taco Bell 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.
How to Eat Healthy While Pregnant
Your baby’s health and well-being are in your hands.
One of the most crucial ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy is by eating a well-balanced diet.
Incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can provide your growing baby with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed for proper development.
However, it’s important to remember that limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine is also vital to avoid unhealthy weight gain and complications during pregnancy.
Drinking plenty of water is also a must to Stay hydrated and keep your baby healthy.
And don’t forget, eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help maintain your energy levels and prevent overeating.
By taking these simple steps, you’re giving your baby the best start in life.