Can I have cream cheese Rangoons while pregnant?

Quick Answer

It is generally considered safe to eat cream cheese Rangoons in moderation during pregnancy. Cream cheese and fried wonton wrappers are not off-limits foods when expecting. However, practice portion control and be mindful of excess calories, fat, and sodium. Check with your doctor about any special dietary needs or restrictions.

In Depth Answer

Cream cheese Rangoons are a popular appetizer found on many Chinese restaurant menus. Also known as crab Rangoons, they consist of a cream cheese filling wrapped in a wonton wrapper and then fried. The creamy filling typically contains a blend of cream cheese, crab meat or imitation crab, scallions, garlic, and seasoning. The crispy wonton wrappers provide a nice contrast to the richness of the filling. While certainly indulgent, cream cheese Rangoons are not entirely off limits for pregnant women when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here is a more detailed look at whether it is safe to eat them during pregnancy:

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is considered safe to consume during pregnancy. There are no specific risks associated with eating pasteurized cream cheese when pregnant. Cream cheese provides protein and calcium, which are both important nutrients for expecting mothers and developing babies. However, cream cheese is high in calories and fat. Consuming large amounts could lead to excessive weight gain. As long as you control your portions and balance it out with healthier foods, there is no need to completely avoid cream cheese. The American Pregnancy Association recommends pregnant women limit high fat dairy products like cream cheese to no more than 2 servings per day.

Fried Wonton Wrappers

The crispy wonton wrappers used to make cream cheese Rangoons are also considered pregnancy-safe. There are no specific ingredients or risks associated with consuming fried wonton wrappers in moderation. However, as a fried food, they are higher in fat, calories, and sodium than some other options. Consuming large amounts of fatty, salty foods like fried wontons can contribute to issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and fluid retention, which are unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. Fried foods are also linked to increased inflammation in the body. So be mindful of your portion size if eating cream cheese Rangoons made with fried wonton wrappers while pregnant. Baked or air-fried wonton wrappers can be a healthier alternative.

Imitation Crab Meat

Many cream cheese Rangoon recipes call for imitation crab meat, also known as surimi. This seafood-flavored product is made from white fish that is pulverized and shaped into chunks that resemble real crab meat. Imitation crab contains additives like salt, sugar, starch, egg white, and artificial flavoring to mimic the taste and texture of real crab. While not as nutritious as real crab, imitation crab meat is considered safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it is fully cooked. There are no major health risks linked to consuming small amounts of surimi while pregnant. However, imitation crab is high in sodium, so portion control is advised to limit excess salt intake.

Food Safety

When eating any prepared food like cream cheese Rangoons while pregnant, proper food safety and hygiene is important. There is an increased risk of foodborne illness during pregnancy that can negatively impact the health of the mother and developing fetus. Only eat Rangoons and other foods from reputable restaurants with high food safety standards. Check that items are fully cooked. Avoid street food carts with questionable practices. Always reheat leftovers thoroughly to safe temperatures. At home, follow food safety guidelines when handling and cooking foods. Practicing good food hygiene can help minimize risks.


Here is the nutritional profile of a typical serving of 3 cream cheese Rangoons (75g) made with regular fried wonton wrappers:

  • Calories: 270
  • Total Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 7g

As you can see, a single serving provides a good amount of calories, fat, and sodium. Consuming multiple orders can quickly cause you to exceed recommended daily limits of these nutrients. While not necessarily harmful, eating too many excess calories can contribute to unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy. High sodium intake can exacerbate common pregnancy symptoms like swelling. Too much saturated fat may negatively impact cholesterol levels.

The key is moderation. By limiting your portion size and avoiding eating cream cheese Rangoons too frequently, they can be integrated into an overall balanced pregnancy diet. Balance them out by also eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats at other meals and snacks throughout the day.


Many pregnant women experience heartburn and acid reflux. Spicy, fatty foods like cream cheese Rangoons can exacerbate these unpleasant pregnancy side effects. If you already struggle with heartburn, eat Rangoons cautiously and in small amounts. Avoid lying down immediately after eating them to minimize reflux. Drink plenty of fluids to dilute stomach acid. Discuss persistent heartburn with your obstetrician; they may recommend safe antacids or acid reducers.

Gestational Diabetes

Women with gestational diabetes need to be extra mindful of foods high in refined carbs and sugar. The wonton wrapper itself contains mostly refined flour. Skip the Rangoons if you have GD and replace with healthier appetizers like raw veggies and hummus. If blood sugar levels are well controlled, an occasional small serving may be fine, but discuss with your doctor. Prioritize complex carbs like whole grains and limit sweets.

Weight Gain

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy raises risks like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, and postpartum weight retention. Too many extra calories from foods like cream cheese Rangoons can contribute to unhealthy weight gain. However, if your gain is on track, enjoying Rangoons moderately as part of an overall balanced diet is unlikely to be an issue. Focus on getting regular exercise, limiting portion sizes of indulgent foods, and emphasizing nutritious whole foods.

High Blood Pressure

Like processed carbs and sweets, foods high in sodium, like cream cheese Rangoons, may need to be limited if you have high blood pressure or preeclampsia during pregnancy. Too much sodium can cause fluid retention and spikes in blood pressure. Stick to the recommended daily limit of 2,300mg of sodium. Choose lower sodium options when dining out.

Food Aversions

Pregnant women commonly develop strong food aversions and cravings, especially in the first trimester. If cream cheese Rangoons are unappetizing or make you feel sick, listen to your body and avoid them. The strong smells and flavors can be overwhelming when dealing with morning sickness nausea. Eat what sounds good and does not trigger aversion symptoms.

Vegetarian or Vegan

The cream cheese filling makes most Rangoons off limits for vegans. But some restaurants offer veggie versions made with tofu instead of cheese. Vegans need adequate protein, iron, vitamin B12, and omega-3s for a healthy pregnancy. If avoiding animal products altogether, consult a dietitian to help craft a balanced plant-based pregnancy diet. Vegetarians who eat dairy can likely indulge in classic cream cheese Rangoons in moderation.

Food Allergies

Those with food allergies like shellfish allergies need to avoid cream cheese Rangoons made with real crab. Opt for versions with imitation crab or make your own substitute at home. People with egg allergies should also use caution since wonton wrappers often contain egg. Many restaurants fry Rangoons in soybean oil, so those with soy allergies need to check. Always inform staff of any food allergies to prevent reactions. Carry emergency medications like epinephrine auto-injectors in case of accidental exposure.

Listeria Risk

Listeria is a type of harmful bacteria that can contaminate certain foods and cause life-threatening infection in pregnant women. Deli meats, unpasteurized products, and refrigerated smoked seafood are among the highest risks. Properly handled pasteurized cream cheese and surimi are low risk for listeria. Still, pregnant women are advised to heat hot dogs, lunch meats, and smoked seafood before eating them to reduce the small chance of contamination.

Mercury Exposure

Large, long-lived predatory fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish contain high levels of mercury. Too much mercury from seafood can impact fetal neurological development. Luckily, the white fish typically used to make imitation crab is low mercury. As long as you avoid the riskiest fish, moderate amounts of lower mercury seafood like pollock in Rangoons is considered safe during pregnancy. Albacore tuna should be limited to no more than 6oz weekly due to mercury concerns.

Speak With Your Doctor

As with any diet or lifestyle considerations during pregnancy, it is always wise to consult your obstetrician with any specific questions or concerns about cream cheese Rangoons or other foods. They can give personalized advice tailored to your unique health status and risk factors. Pregnant women with specific medical conditions like gestational diabetes, food allergies, or hypertension may need to modify their diet and limit certain foods. But for most healthy women, enjoying cream cheese Rangoons in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet is considered safe. Just focus on smart portion sizes, nutrition, and food safety practices.

Best Practices When Eating Cream Cheese Rangoons While Pregnant

Here are some healthy tips to keep in mind when eating cream cheese Rangoons during pregnancy:

  • Practice portion control – 1-2 Rangoons is a reasonable serving
  • Balance with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats
  • Avoid excessive sodium, sugar, fat, and calories that can contribute to excess weight gain
  • Make sure Rangoons are fully cooked and served piping hot
  • Only order from restaurants with high food safety standards
  • Steer clear if you have gestational diabetes or food allergies
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Take slow bites and avoid lying down right after eating to minimize heartburn
  • Discuss any concerns with your prenatal care provider

Healthier Ways to Enjoy Cream Cheese Rangoons

If you want to occasionally satisfy your craving for cream cheese Rangoons during pregnancy but are concerned about nutrition or food safety, here are some healthier tips:

  • Choose baked or air-fried versions instead of deep-fried
  • Use reduced-fat cream cheese in the filling
  • Opt for whole wheat wonton wrappers instead of white refined flour
  • Fill with real crab meat or try substitutes like shredded chicken
  • Enjoy as an appetizer with a healthy main course instead of as an entree
  • Make them at home so you control the ingredients and freshness

The Bottom Line

Craving cream cheese Rangoons is common during pregnancy. In moderation, as part of a nutritious diet, they can be incorporated safely for most healthy pregnant women. Limit portion sizes and avoid excessive intake of fat, calories, and sodium. Steer clear if you have gestational diabetes or related medical conditions. Take precautions against foodborne illness and allergic reactions. Consider healthier baking and frying methods and fillings. Check with your doctor about any concerns. If consumed sensibly, cream cheese Rangoons can be a fine occasional treat during pregnancy. Just focus on balance, variety, and control portions of indulgent foods.

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