Skip to Content

Can I eat Thai food while pregnant?

Updated May 8, 2023

We all love Thai food. It’s delicious and flavorful, and there’s something for everyone. 

If you’re pregnant and love Thai food, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to eat.

We’ve got you covered, in this article, we’ll discuss the safety of different Thai dishes during pregnancy, as well as provide a list of our favorite dishes that are safe to order.

So if you’re wondering “Can I eat Thai food while pregnant?”, read on for the definitive guide.

Can I eat Thai food while pregnant


Can I eat Thai food while pregnant?

The answer is yes – you can eat Thai food while pregnant, but you need to be careful about which dishes you choose.

When it comes to choosing safe Thai dishes during pregnancy, there are a few things you need to know.

First, avoid any dishes that are raw or undercooked, as these can increase your risk of foodborne illness.

That includes fish and shellfish. 

Raw seafood is not safe to consume in pregnancy.

If you choose to order a curry dish with chicken make sure the chicken is cooked through. 

If you want to be extra safe ask for your chicken to be cooked well-done.

The same goes for any dishes made with beef or pork.

You are at a much higher risk of developing food poisoning from improperly handled and cooked foods while you are pregnant.

Second, be careful with dishes that are made with a lot of spices, as these can be triggers for heartburn during pregnancy. 

If you love your Thai food fiery hot, you may not be able to tolerate the same level of heat while you are pregnant.

One of the best things about Thai cuisine is you can order the heat up or down in most dishes, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for them to make your meal a little less spicy. 

Third, you’ll need to skip the beansprouts if you choose to have pad thai, as sprouts are not safe to consume in pregnancy.

Finally, Lemongrass can be consumed in small quantities while pregnant and the amount used for flavoring in many Thai dishes is considered safe. 

However, if you have any questions or concerns about eating lemongrass during pregnancy you can ask that they leave it out and use lemon zest instead. 

Now that we’ve discussed what to avoid, let’s talk about some of our favorite Thai dishes that are safe to eat during pregnancy.

One of our favorites is pad Thai, which is a stir-fried noodle dish that can be made with chicken, shrimp, or tofu.

Remember to skip the beansprouts though, as they are not considered safe to eat during pregnancy.

Another delicious and safe option is Khao Soi, a coconut curry noodle soup that’s typically made with chicken or beef.

If you like yellow curry chicken, you’ll love Khao Soi. 

For a lighter option, we love Yum Talay, a Thai seafood salad that’s perfect for hot summer days.

It is important to be sure that if you make Yum Talay at home you cook the shrimp completely.

The same is true if you order it out in a restaurant, it is important that the shellfish (usually shrimp or prawn) is cooked thoroughly.

Undercooked shellfish can be a source of several types of food-borne illnesses, some of them potentially serious.

Finally, no list of safe Thai dishes would be complete without mentioning Tom Kha Gai, a coconut milk soup made with chicken and mushrooms. 

If you are craving comfort food Tom Kha Gai with a side of jasmine rice is the perfect meal!


Thai food to avoid when pregnant


Various types of spouts (bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and clover) are often sprinkled on top of Thai food as a final topping before the dish is served.

Since the sprouts are not cooked, they can be a source of bacterial contamination.

So the practice of adding that final dash of sprouts to the top of your soups and other meals should be avoided.


Raw meat of any kind:

Many Thai dishes contain raw meats.

During pregnancy, in particular, all raw meats should be avoided.

Even if you know the supplier carries fresh food, meats of any kind can harbor bacteria that can cause food poisoning.


Raw Seafood of any kind:

Raw seafood is also common in Vietnamese foods as it is in the cuisine of many other countries.

Again, like meat, there is the risk of food-borne pathogens in raw seafood even if it is fresh-caught seafood and is eaten the same day.>


Can I eat pad thai while pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and thinking about ordering pad thai for dinner, you may be wondering if it’s safe to eat.

After all, pad thai is a dish that contains a variety of ingredients, including peanuts, shrimp, and eggs.

While some risks are associated with certain foods during pregnancy, pad thai can generally be safe to eat as long as it is cooked properly.

Pad thai is a popular dish made with rice noodles, vegetables, and protein, typically shrimp.

It is important to note that when eating out, pad thai that is made with chicken or tofu is often considered safer for pregnant women to eat than shrimp.

This is because there is a risk of bacteria and parasites in undercooked seafood, which can lead to foodborne illness.

If you are pregnant and craving pad thai, there are a few different ways you can order or prepare it to be safe.

  • Make sure to order pad thai that is cooked all the way through and avoid dishes that are heavily seasoned with fish sauce or other strong flavors.
  • You can also ask for your noodles to be cooked in boiling water for a few minutes before they are stir-fried, which will help to kill any harmful bacteria.
  • If you are making pad thai at home, be sure to use fresh ingredients and cook everything thoroughly before eating.

You can enjoy pad thai during pregnancy as long as you make sure the type of pad thai you choose is cooked completely.

That is one of the most important steps you can take to stay safe while dining out during pregnancy.

3 bowls of pad thai -Pad thai during pregnancy


Is Thai curry safe during pregnancy?

Thai curry is a delicious and fiery dish that is popular all over the world. 

If you’re pregnant, you may be wondering if it’s safe to eat Thai curry.

The good news is that Thai curry is generally safe to eat during pregnancy, but there are some ways you can make it safer and enjoy it with less worry.

First, be sure to avoid any dish that contains raw fish or shellfish, as these can contain harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. 

Second, Choose a Curry that is not too spicy, be sure to order your Thai curry mild or medium instead of hot.

Spicy food can aggravate heartburn and indigestion, which are common during pregnancy

Third, ask for your Thai curry to be made with coconut milk instead of dairy milk.

With these precautions in mind, Thai curry can be a safe and enjoyable part of your pregnancy diet.


Is Thai green curry safe in pregnancy?

Thai green curry is a popular dish made with a variety of fresh ingredients, including ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk, and chili peppers.

While it’s generally safe to eat during pregnancy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, be sure to choose a dish that is not too spicy.

Second, avoid dishes that contain fish sauce or shrimp paste, as these can be high in mercury. finally, make sure the vegetables in your dish are properly cooked.

With these guidelines in mind, here are a few green curry dishes you can try during pregnancy:

  •  Gaeng Keow Wan Gai: This dish features chicken simmered in a green curry sauce made with coconut milk, lemongrass, and chili peppers.
  • Pad Kra Pao: This stir-fry features chicken or beef sauteed with garlic, chili peppers, and Thai basil. It’s typically served with rice and a fried egg on top.
  • Phat Khanaeng: This dish features green beans simmered in a green curry sauce made with coconut milk and chili peppers.

Thai green curry can be a delicious and pregnancy-safe meal option. 


thai food while pregnant


Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:

Green Curry with Chicken: This classic dish features chicken simmered in a fragrant green curry sauce until tender.

Serve with flatbread and a salad.

Green Curry with Beef: This dish features beef simmered in a green curry sauce until tender.

Serve over steamed rice or with a cucumber salad for a delicious and healthy dinner.

Green Curry with Tofu: This vegetarian-friendly dish features tofu simmered in a fragrant green curry sauce until tender. 

Serve with a chopped salad for a complete weeknight meal.


Can I eat Thai Veggie rolls while pregnant?

Thai veggie rolls are a delicious and healthy snack option that can be enjoyed during pregnancy.

Made with various fresh vegetables, 

Thai veggie rolls are typically served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce on the side.

When choosing Thai veggie rolls, be sure to select those that are made with rice paper wrappers.

These wrappers are usually made with tapioca starch, which is safe to consume during pregnancy.


Can I eat rice while pregnant?

Rice is a staple food in many cultures, and it’s also safe to eat during pregnancy. 

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when eating rice during pregnancy.

First, be sure to cook the rice thoroughly. 

Undercooked or raw rice can contain bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

Second, avoid rice that has been boiled in water that has not been purified. 

This can contain harmful contaminants that can lead to illness.

Finally, be sure to rinse the rice before cooking it. 

This will remove any dirt or debris that may be present.


3 Common types of rice served with Thai dishes are:

  • Jasmine rice: This is a long-grain variety of rice that is commonly used in Thai cooking. It has a subtle floral aroma and a slightly sticky texture.
  • Basmati rice: This is a long-grain variety of rice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a nutty flavor and a fluffy texture.
  • Sticky rice: This is a short-grain variety of rice that is commonly used in Laos and Thailand. It has a chewy texture and is often steamed instead of boiled.


Does Thai food have MSG?

Many people are concerned about the presence of MSG in Thai food.

While it is true that some Thai dishes do contain MSG, it is not necessarily present in all Thai dishes.

If you are concerned about the presence of MSG in your food, you can always ask the restaurant if they use it in their cooking.

Additionally, there are a number of MSG-free Thai restaurants that cater to those who are looking for a meal without this ingredient.

So, if you’re wondering whether or not Thai food has MSG, the answer is that it can but doesn’t have to.

It all depends on the restaurant and the dish you order.

When it comes to MSG, the best thing to do is to ask your waiter or waitress about the ingredients in each dish. 


Can you eat MSG while pregnant?

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a common ingredient in Thai food.

It’s used to enhance the flavor of dishes and make them more savory.

While MSG is generally considered safe to eat during pregnancy, some women may experience side effects like headaches, dizziness, or nausea.

If you’re concerned about MSG, you can ask your waiter to hold the ingredient when ordering a dish.


These Are The Most Common Food-Borne Illnesses

  • Listeria
  • Salmonella
  • E Coli
  • Mold
  • Campylobacter
  • Botulism

These pathogenic bacteria can be found in foods that are not kept at the proper temperature, stored improperly, or that are undercooked.

To reduce your risk of foodborne illness during pregnancy you want to pay close attention to how you prepare, cook and store the foods you eat


Common symptoms of foodborne illness from undercooked meats are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever


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.


List of Foods you should eat during pregnancy:

  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal
  • Pinto Beans
  • Black beans
  • Arugula
  • Bananas
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Eggs
  • Lean Meats
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp


What should a pregnant woman eat daily?

A pregnant woman needs to consume various nutrients every day to support her 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.


Tips for eating healthy during pregnancy:

Eating healthily during pregnancy is important for both the mother and 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.


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.
  • 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!

Final Thoughts

Pregnant women can safely enjoy Thai food by taking a few simple precautions.

Be sure to cook the rice thoroughly, choose dishes that are not too spicy, and avoid anything with raw eggs, raw seafood, or undercooked meat.

When in doubt, ask your waiter or waitress for recommendations on safe dishes to eat while pregnant.



  • 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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.