Burritos are tasty, but is it safe to eat them when you’re expecting? I’ve got you covered, mama! Let’s walk through everything you need to know about eating burritos during pregnancy.
First, what exactly are burritos? They’re a delicious combination of a flour tortilla wrapped around yummy fillings like beans, rice, meat, veggies, and more. Mmm now I’m craving one too! 😋
The good news is – burritos can totally be pregnancy-approved with the right ingredients. In fact, they offer some nice benefits for you and baby! Here are some of the perks:
Protein for Growing Baby – The beans, lean meat, cheese, and Greek yogurt in burritos supply protein which helps baby develop properly. Pregnant ladies need about 75 grams of protein per day, and a burrito can provide 15-20 grams! (1)
The UK’s National Health Service advises that burritos can form part of a balanced pregnancy diet but suggests watching portion sizes, as the calorie and fat content can quickly add up with large burritos. Limit high-fat ingredients like sour cream and cheese when possible. NHS recommends no more than 1 portion of starchy food like burritos at each meal.
Fiber for Healthy Digestion – With all those beans, veggies, and whole grains, burritos can give you 5-10 grams of pregnancy superhero fiber. This will keep you regular and prevent hemorrhoids. Woohoo for fiber! You need 25-35 grams daily when expecting. (2)
Healthline notes that whole grain tortillas can provide needed fiber during pregnancy, which helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Look for whole wheat or corn tortillas with at least 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. Pair with fiber-rich beans, brown rice, veggies, and avocado in burrito fillings.
Iron to Prevent Anemia – Anemia is no fun, but ingredients like beans, fortified tortillas, and meat supply iron to keep your blood strong. Score 3-4 milligrams of the 27 mg pregnant women need per burrito. (3)
Folate to Reduce Birth Defects – Last but not least, nutrients like folate from beans, cheese, and whole grains help lower the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Get 150-300 micrograms of the 600 mcg you need when preggers. (4)
But wait, before you go hog wild on burritos, there are some things to keep in mind:
Foodborne Illness – Improperly cooked ingredients could cause food poisoning from bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella. Stick to well-cooked fillings from restaurants you trust. (5)
According to the CDC, improper cooking and handling of foods like meat, eggs, and produce used in burritos can lead to foodborne illnesses from Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and other bacteria. These illnesses may increase risks for miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. Confirm restaurants properly store, handle, and cook ingredients.
High Fat Content – Cheese, sour cream, and fatty meat can mean excess calories and cholesterol. Limit this stuff to avoid weight gain and gestational diabetes. (6)
The American Pregnancy Association recommends choosing low-fat and low-sodium ingredients when constructing burritos to limit saturated fat and sodium intake. Go easy on salty chips, bacon, regular sour cream, cheese, and fatty meats like ground beef or sausage. Instead, opt for leaner proteins like grilled chicken or fish. (12)
Spicy Ingredients – Hot salsa and peppers may trigger major heartburn, which is common during pregnancy. Avoid if you have tummy troubles. (7)
Sodium Overload – Processed tortillas, cheese, salsa etc. can make burritos crazy salty. This can lead to fluid retention and blood pressure issues. (8)
Yikes, pregnancy is full of so many rules! But don’t worry, you can have your burrito and eat it safely too. 😉 Here are my tips:
- Use whole grain or corn tortillas for extra nutrition
- Choose lean proteins like chicken, seafood, eggs or beans
- Load up with pregnancy power veggies – spinach, kale and avocado are great!
- Add a little heart-healthy avocado, nuts or olive oil for baby’s brain
- Opt for low-fat cheese and Greek yogurt as your dairy
- Avoid risky deli meats, hot dogs and raw meat
- Ask for low-sodium versions of sauces and seasonings
- Go easy on spicy salsas and peppers if you have heartburn
Following these tips, you can definitely keep enjoying burritos during pregnancy! Let the burrito cravings commence! But as always, ask your doctor with any specific questions or concerns.
Now that we’ve covered a ton of info, let’s recap some common questions about burritos and pregnancy:
Yep, burritos can be a win when pregnant, thanks to nutrients like protein, fiber, iron and folate.
Skip the risky raw meat, unpasteurized cheese, deli meats and too much fat, salt or spice.
You sure can! Just choose restaurants you trust with good food handling practices. Ask questions if you have concerns.
No set rules here, just eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. 1-2 times per week is very reasonable.
Veggie burritos, burritos with black beans or grilled chicken, and whole grain burritos with veggies, brown rice, avocado and Greek yogurt sauce. ! 😋
Alright mama, you’ve got this! With some smart choices, you can totally include burritos as part of a healthy pregnancy diet. They offer good nutrition for you and baby. I hope this gave you all the info you need to make the best choice for your burrito cravings. Now go eat something delicious! You deserve it!