Updated May 8, 2023
If you’re pregnant and love Chinese food, you may be wondering — Can you eat Chinese food while pregnant?
The answer is yes – as long as you choose the right types of Chinese food. One of the best things about Chinese food is that it is usually made with fresh ingredients including lots of healthy vegetables.
Today, we’ll discuss some safe and healthy options for expecting mothers who want to enjoy a delicious Chinese meal.
So pull up a chair, order some takeout, and let’s get started!
Can you eat Chinese food while pregnant?
As we said above: Yes, you can eat Chinese food while pregnant
One of the great things about Chinese food is that there are so many different options.
Whether you’re in the mood for something light and healthy or hearty and filling, there’s a dish out there that will hit the spot.
And because Chinese cuisine is so diverse, it’s easy to find dishes that are pregnancy-friendly.
Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Stir-fried vegetables: A classic dish that can be made with just about any combination of veggies, stir-fried vegetables are a nutritious option for pregnant women. Just be sure to order them without any added MSG. I love having these with brown rice and I ask them to add some red chili sauce.
2. Egg drop soup: This delicious soup is packed with protein and nutrients, making it a perfect choice for expecting mothers. Plus, it’s easy on the stomach – perfect if you’re feeling a little queasy.
3. Steamed fish: Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy pregnancy. And when it’s steamed, it’s low in calories and fat. Just be sure to avoid any fish that may contain high levels of mercury, such as sharks, swordfish, or tilefish.
4. Vegetable spring rolls: These little bites are a great option if you’re looking for something light and healthy. Most spring rolls are made with fresh veggies and wrapped in delicate rice paper, making them a perfect pregnancy-friendly snack.
5. Fried rice: A takeout favorite, fried rice is usually made with chicken, shrimp, or beef. But you can easily order a vegetarian version that’s just as delicious.
Many varieties of fried rice include eggs which are a good source of protein and as long as they are cooked completely are safe to eat during pregnancy.
6. Chow mein: Another takeout classic, chow mein is a hearty dish that can be made with chicken, beef, or shrimp. Just like fried rice, you can also order a vegetarian version of this dish.
7. Sweet and sour chicken: A delicious option for pregnant women who are craving something sweet, this dish is made with white meat chicken that’s been fried and then coated in a sweet and tangy sauce.
8. Peking duck: A mouthwatering option for meat-lovers, Peking duck is a classic Chinese dish that’s made with roasted duck. You can find it at most Chinese restaurants.
9. Vegetarian dumplings: A delicious and nutritious option for pregnant women, vegetarian dumplings are usually made with a variety of veggies like cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. They can be steamed or fried, so you can enjoy them however you like.
10. Fruit salad: A refreshing and healthy option for pregnant women, fruit salad is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. This is a great option especially if you love citrus fruits.
11. Green tea: A cup of green tea is a perfect way to relax and re-energize. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which are beneficial for both you and your baby.
As always, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet during pregnancy.
They can offer tailored advice based on your individual needs and health history.
And if you have any questions or concerns about eating Chinese food while pregnant, they can help put your mind at ease.
Chinese food pregnancy first trimester?
Yes, Chinese food is safe to eat during your first trimester of pregnancy as long as you take a few precautions.
First, avoid any dishes that contain raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or fish.
These ingredients can harbor harmful bacteria that can put you and your baby at risk for food poisoning.
Second, be sure to order your food without monosodium glutamate (MSG).
This common ingredient is added to many Chinese dishes to enhance flavor, but it’s best to avoid it during pregnancy as it can cause headaches and hot flashes.
It can also make your morning sickness worse.
I found the MSG issue to be especially true during my first trimester of pregnancy.
I believe staying better hydrated would help so be sure to drink lots of water with your meal.
Finally, avoid any fried foods as they may be high in unhealthy fats and calories.
Again, you can enjoy your favorite foods even if higher in calories as long as you do so in moderation.
Take some home for lunch or dinner the next day.
Chinese food during pregnancy what to avoid?
As mentioned above, you’ll want to avoid any dishes that contain raw or undercooked meat, eggs, shellfish, or fish.
You’ll also want to avoid fried foods, as they may be high in unhealthy fats and calories.
Skipping the added MSG is best during pregnancy as it can cause headaches, hot flashes, and nausea.
You’ll want to eat the right-sized portions of foods to avoid consuming too many calories.
Can you eat Chinese spring rolls when pregnant?
Yes! Vegetable spring rolls are a great option if you’re looking for something light and healthy.
Most spring rolls are made with fresh veggies and wrapped in delicate rice paper, making them a perfect pregnancy-friendly snack.
Can you eat fried rice when pregnant?
Yes, you can eat fried rice when you are pregnant.
You can also enjoy steamed white or brown rice with your meal.
There are many choices in fried rice and most are made with fresh vegetables mixed in.
Craving Chinese food during pregnancy boy or girl?
There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that cravings for Chinese food during pregnancy are indicative of anything.
There are old wives’ tales that craving certain foods means you are having a boy, but no studies have found any conclusive evidence that it is true.
So I wouldn’t advise making any assumptions about whether you are having a boy or girl based on your cravings.
I think cravings for Asian food during pregnancy are more due to the variety of tastes, textures, and freshness of the dishes.
During my pregnancy, craving Chinese food was my first pregnancy symptom.
I’ve heard many other women say it was theirs too!
Can you eat food with MSG while pregnant?
MSG is best avoided during pregnancy as it can cause headaches and may make your symptoms of morning sickness worse.
I would get hot flashes and headaches after eating MSG during pregnancy.
Which would make me feel nauseous.
I always asked for no added MSG when ordering Chinese foods.
Can I eat Chinese buffet while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat at a Chinese buffet while pregnant, but be sure to take some precautions.
First, avoid any dishes that contain raw or undercooked meat, eggs, shellfish, or fish.
These ingredients can harbor harmful bacteria that can put you and your unborn baby at risk for food poisoning.
Second, be sure to order your food without MSG.
This common ingredient is added to many Chinese dishes to enhance flavor, but it’s best to avoid it during pregnancy as it can cause headaches.
Third, make sure foods are served kept at the right temp on the buffet. Hot foods should be kept hot and cold foods should be kept cold.
This is very important to avoid a foodborne illness such as Salmonella.
Finally, avoid any fried foods as they may be high in unhealthy fats and calories, or at least enjoy these foods in moderation.
When pregnant can I eat General Tso’s Chicken?
Yes, General Tso’s Chicken is safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it is cooked thoroughly.
Pregnant women should avoid any dishes that contain raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or fish.
Making your own Chinese food at home during pregnancy
You can also make your own Chinese food at home.
That puts you in complete control over the ingredients in your food.
You can also find many of your favorite Chinese dishes in the frozen foods section of your grocery store.
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.)
Pregnancy is an exciting time filled with lots of changes – including what you can and can’t eat.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, but there’s no need to give up your favorite foods.
With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious Chinese meal – no matter what stage of pregnancy you’re in.
- Choose foods made with fresh ingredients including vegetables
- All meats, poultry, pork, shellfish, and fish should be thoroughly cooked.
- Ask for no added MSG
- Eat a smaller portion of high-calorie, high-fat fried foods.
- Enjoy a cup of Chinese tea
- Drink plenty of fluids with your meal.
So go ahead and your favorite Chinese delicacies!