PSL season is almost upon us. Here’s what you need to know.
As the mercury starts to drop and the days begin to get shorter many people find themselves reaching for their fall favorites. But just how many pumpkin and fall-flavored treats are actually safe to enjoy while pregnant? We’ve broken down a list of some of the most popular fall foods and drinks to give you an idea (and let you know how you can safely enjoy them).
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Nothing says welcome fall quite like the first pumpkin spice latte (aka PSL) of the season. While pumpkin-flavored beverages are a favorite for many, some of the hot drinks can come with a really high caffeine count.
For example, at one popular coffee company, you can expect to down roughly 75 milligrams of caffeine when you order a size tall PSL. For reference, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends limiting caffeine intake to under 200 milligrams per day in pregnancy. Considering many people get caffeine from multiple places in their diet (like soda, chocolate, and certain pain relievers) it’s best to limit the amount you consume in beverage form as much as possible. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to nix your PSL this season, you’ll just need to be mindful of what else you’re eating on the days you indulge.
You may already know that beer is off the menu when you’re pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely forgo getting that particular taste of fall. Instead of reaching for your favorite bottle of pumpkin-flavored suds, try a mocktail instead.
We love this Apple Cider Mocktail, which is easy to throw together with just a bit of peach juice, apple cider, rosemary, and cinnamon. It’s delicious enough that you may even find yourself reaching for it long after the leaves have fallen or at your next holiday soiree.
Almost every farm stand you pass over the next few months will be boasting about having the freshest apple cider you’ve ever tasted thanks to the upcoming fall apple harvest. Unfortunately, the velvety sweet treat isn’t always pregnancy safe.
Many farm stands and orchards that make their own apple cider do so without the benefit of pasteurization. Pasteurization is the process by which beverages are sterilized and made safe for consumption. Unpasteurized drinks may contain bacteria that can be harmful to pregnant people and their babies.
If you’re stopping for a quick drink double check that the apple cider has undergone pasteurization. If it has, it’s fit to sip. However, if it hasn’t, you may want to keep on driving until you hit your local grocery store where you’re more likely to find pasteurized apple cider.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Just like farm stand apple cider, certain homespun ice cream stands use unpasteurized ingredients to make their sweet treats. Unlike juice (where it’s often the cold pressed beverage that hasn’t undergone sterilization), some places will use pasteurized raw eggs to whip up their ice cream.
Double check the ingredients when stopping for novelty flavors like pumpkin ice cream this fall and skip anything that’s made with raw or questionable ingredients to play it safe.
You may be surprised to see something as wholesome as soup on here, but certain soups come with a very high sodium content that could be a major no-no while pregnant. If you’re looking for a cozy alternative to these seasonal favorites, opt for homemade varieties where you can control how much salt is added to the mix.
Making your own soups and broths has plenty of other benefits as well, like ensuring that you’re able to use fresh ingredients that will help contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Consider swapping some less nutritious veggies for those that pack a bigger (and more beneficial) punch like broccoli, kale, and other dark greens. If you’re looking to enjoy some of the more nutty tastes of the season, consider opting for a fall favorite like this Butternut Squash Soup recipe.
As with most things in pregnancy: when in doubt ask your doctor. If you’re unsure if something you’re about to eat or drink is safe to consume while pregnant your answer may only be a phone call away.