Can You Eat Coleslaw While Pregnant?

It’s no doubt that expecting a little one comes with so many changes in your body, even including switches in your eating habits.

One moment you might be craving a chocolate treat and the next, it’s a refreshing bowl of coleslaw. But is it really safe to munch on it while expecting? Let’s break it down

What is coleslaw?

Coleslaw is usually called “slaw”. It comes from the Dutch term “koolsla” which means “cabbage salad”. You might find at family barbecues, picnics, or even as a topping on your favourite sandwich.

Here’s what you might find in a classic cole slaw:

  • Cabbage: Main hero of the dish. And it’s typically green or red cabbage that’s been chopped up into thin shreds.
  • Carrots: They provide a sweet flavor to the dish!
  • Dressing: There are usually two main kinds of dressings you’ll find in coleslaw. A creamy dressing usually made from mayonnaise and a vinaigrette dressing made from oil, vinegar and some seasonings.

Aside the basic recipe, there are some variations that adds ingredients like apple slices, pineapple chunks or dressings that can impact the flavor and texture.

Can pregnant women eat coleslaw?

Yes, pregnant women can eat coleslaw, given that it’s freshly prepared and stored correctly. You should be very mindful of foods you eat during this precious time.

Why? Because Cole slaw, just like other cold-prepared meals can sometimes trigger food poisoning. And the risk is even higher during pregnancy because your immune is slightly weaker than usual due to the hormonal changes.

Another thing you should be cautious of, is Listeria. This is a bacteria that causes infection in pregnant women. They can sometimes be present in cold and ready-to-eat foods like deli salads which includes coleslaw.

While these are cautions, don’t let it scare you away from coleslaw because when you properly prepare it, you can safely eat it and even make it a healthy part of your diet.

It’s rich in Vitamin D and have low calories which can help you meet your daily vegetable need.

Can I eat kfc coleslaw while pregnant?

According to an article by ANewYorkFoodie, “KFC coleslaw is high on the list of foods that can make pregnant women ill”.

Although this meal in general is considered safe to eat if properly prepared, eating it from a fast food joint and restaurants like KFC may pose some risks.

There’s a chance that the coleslaw may not be fresh or it was improperly stored, increasing your risk of foodborne illness or a possible listeria infection.

In fact, it is best to be cautious when considering eating KFC coleslaw, or any other ready-made vegetable salad while pregnant.

I would always recommend that you make yours at home where you have full control over the ingredients, cleanliness and storage conditions. This way, you significantly lower the potential risks for any infection.

How about tesco coleslaw? Can I eat when pregnant?

Tesco coleslaw may be a safer option because it’s made with store bought mayonnaise. However, for your baby’s safety and yours, keep off pre-prepared and cold foods, especially ready made ones.

Like initially discussed, your immune system is weaker during pregnancy, and this makes it more susceptible to potential health issues.

So as a general guideline, make your coleslaw at home, using store-bought mayonnaise and not raw eggs. This is undoubtedly a more secure option, and simply the best.

Is homemade coleslaw ok for pregnancy?

Of course, that’s the best option to enjoy coleslaw with less risk. Here are the tips to know:

  • Make sure you thoroughly have all your veggies cleaned properly.
  • Always use pasteurized mayonnaise, which is safer than mayonnaise made with raw eggs that can carry Salmonella.
  • All ingredients, if not freshly bought, should be stored properly. If they are out of the fridge for more than two hours, better not eat it.

Always use pregnancy-safe ingredients in your home made dishes including coleslaw.

Some coleslaw alternatives for pregnant women

These options are easy-to-make and safer during pregnancy. They are also cramped with lots of nutrients that are great for you and the baby.

But always remember to wash the veggies ad fruits thoroughly to remove any potential bacteria.

  • Vegetable slaws or salads
  • Fruit salads
  • Dips and spreads (hummus, guacamole and salsa)

Is cabbage salad good for pregnancy?

Yes, cabbage salad is good for pregnancy. Cabbage is high in fiber, irons and important nutrients like K vitamin, calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium making it a very healthier vegetable for both mom and baby.

But you should also cook it properly. While eating it raw could be healthier, it may pose risk of food-borne diseases. So, it’s safer to eat it cooked during pregnancy.

The best way to do is to steam, stir-fry or lightly cook till it’s tender. Be sure not to overcook.


Can you eat packet coleslaw when pregnant?

Pregnant women are advised not to eat pre-packaged coleslaw because they have high risk of Listeria which can be very harmful to both yourself and the baby.

What are the disadvantages of eating coleslaw during pregnancy?

Usually eating store bought ones can increase your risks for food poisoning which can cause pregnancy complications.

Is it healthy to eat coleslaw?

Yes, it is healthy to eat coleslaw as far as it is made with fresh ingredients that includes pasteurized eggs.


In conclusion, you can go ahead and enjoy coleslaw while pregnant but you also need to heed to the precautions.

I would recommend if you’re craving coleslaw during pregnancy, then you should make it at home because you can be assured of using clean and properly stored ingredients as well as pasteurized mayonnaise.

Pre-packaged ones may carry some bacteria so anytime you need to eat them, you should be careful.

You should always talk to your doctor or dietician to make sure you’re always on a healthier diet to keep both you and you little one safe.


Georgina Austin

Georgina Austin

Georgina is a certified midwife, a seasoned writer and a mother of twins - Noel and Noelle. She brings to this blog eleven years of experience in maternity support, coupled with her personal motherhood adventures to give you factual information on women's health.

Aside writing on pregnancy and breastfeeding, she writes on sexual health concerns, birth control guides, egg donation, sibling dynamics, and balancing the demands of multiple children.