Got a craving for some Cheddar on crackers or a mozzarella salad? Tucking into cheese when you’re expecting can sometimes be a little more complicated because of the risk of listeria, a bacteria that’s present in certain types of cheese, which can be dangerous during pregnancy in case it causes food poisoning. Luckily, there are still plenty that are safe to eat and we’ve picked out the best…
A hard, orange cheese, Double Gloucester is a great alternative to Cheddar and grating it into cheese sauces or macaroni cheese adds a bit of colour. You could also mix some into this Cauliflower Cheese recipe.
The crumbly, creamy tanginess of a good Cheddar can make all of life’s little problems disappear, especially when it’s grated liberally over bread and toasted.
Made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk, feta originated from Greece and is used regularly in Mediterranean cooking. It’s a rich source of vitamin B12, which you need in pregnancy to aid the growth and development of your baby. For a healthy, tasty lunch, try this Feta, Mint, Lentil And Pistachio Omelette recipe.
Despite being a blue cheese, Stilton is actually safe to eat in pregnancy because it’s a hard cheese, which doesn't contain as much water as soft cheeses, so bacteria (such as listeria) are less likely to grow in them. However, steer clear of soft blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Roquefort unless cooked thoroughly.
This classic Indian cheese is often served in curry to add texture, or alongside spinach. It’s mild flavour and slightly chewy texture means it goes well in spicy dishes. Try adding it to this Full-Of-Sunshine Thai Curry Recipe.
This Dutch cheese is mild and creamy so ideal for a quick cheese on toast snack. Mini Edam cheeses such as Babybel make great snacks to keep you going through the day (for you as well as your kids!)
Harder cheeses tend to carry the lowest risk of listeria, so a very hard cheese such as Parmesan (or pecorino) is fine to eat in pregnancy. Try grating slithers into a salad or sprinkling finely grated Parmesan over pasta dishes like this Pappardelle al Ragu.
Garlic and herb roulade
Although it’s a soft cheese, garlic and herb roulade cheese is safe to eat in pregnancy so long as it’s made with pasteurised milk. Perfect for spreading on a baguette or mixing into a cheese sauce for added flavour.
Goat’s cheese without rind
While goat’s cheese with a rind (Chevre) is not safe, you can also buy varieties that are rindless, and these are safe in pregnancy. Try this Rosemary-Roasted Butternut, Courgette, Amaranth And Barley Couscous Salad recipe with goat’s cheese.
So long as mozzarella is made from pasteurised milk, it’s fine to eat in pregnancy. Add to pizzas, slice it over the top of lasagne or pasta dishes or serve cold with tomatoes and basil. We love it in this Mediterranean Vegetable And Mozzarella Bake.
With it’s firm, springy texture, halloumi can be grilled or fried while still retaining its shape. Ideal for adding to salads such as this Halloumi, Asparagus & Pomegranate Quinoa Salad.
Cheese spreads such as Philadelphia are safe to eat in pregnancy as they’re made with pasteurised milk. As well as adding to sandwiches, it’s great on toast and topped with tomatoes for a tasty breakfast.
While camembert is normally not safe to eat in pregnancy as it’s a soft, rind cheese, bake it in the oven until it’s piping hot all the way through and you kill off the listeria bacteria that can be dangerous. Get some fresh, crusty bread and dig in.
Classically seen as a “slimmer’s food” because of the low-fat content, cottage cheese is good for adding to jacket potatoes, topping on oatcakes or adding to spicy chicken wraps. It’s a great food in pregnancy as it’s high in protein, which you need to aid your baby’s growth.
A soft, spreadable cheese that originates from Italy, mascarpone is safe in pregnancy so long as the milk it’s made from is pasteurised. It has a very mild flavour so can be used in both savoury and sweet flavours for adding creaminess. Try stirring some into this Rigatoni and Courgette pasta dish.
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