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Thanksgiving Safety for You and Baby

Fruitcake and other alcoholic food items: Most desserts that use alcohol as an ingredient, such as fruitcake, are okay to eat because most of the alcohol burns off during cooking. However, if the dessert has been soaked in alcohol after baking, most of the alcohol will remain and you should avoid it.

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Cider: Make sure any hot or cold apple cider you drink has been pasteurized. Unpasteurized juices can contain E. coli bacteria. Almost all juice sold is pasteurized, and unpasteurized juice sold in containers is required to carry a warning label.

Leftovers: Be sure to refrigerate leftovers immediately, and use shallow pans and dishes so the food cools quickly. If kept in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F or less, leftovers can be safely eaten for the next two days; any longer may put you at risk for illness. Try freezing leftovers to make them last longer. And don't rely on smell or appearance to indicate food safety; bacteria and germs that lead to illness can invade and spoil a food long before it begins to smell bad.

Now that you've protected you and your little one from food-borne illnesses, here's a comfort tip: avoid gorging at the Thanksgiving table as you may have in years past. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you could end up with a nasty case of heartburn. Try nibbling and snacking throughout the day instead of diving in with the rest of the family during the big meal. Also, bring your walking shoes and take a short walk between dinner and dessert; this will aid your digestion and burn off some of the day's calories.

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