Can I Eat Dairylea Cheese When Pregnant? Is It Safe?

Photo of author

Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

Published on

BabyFacts logo

Want to snack on Dairylea cheese? Here we discuss the popular cheese brand and what benefits or risks it has for pregnant women.

The whole Dairylea range is safe for pregnant women because the company’s products are pasteurized. Since Dairylea products contain milk and cheese, they are rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

However, sodium content is also high so don’t go overboard! 

Read on to learn all about Dairylea varieties, commonly used ingredients, and the pros and cons of Dairylea products during pregnancy.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Dairylea Cheese?

Dairylea is a safe cheese product to eat during pregnancy. All their cheeses are pasteurized, and the company says its products are a great choice for pregnant mothers. 

Dairylea cheese slices look a little like Kraft cheese slices because Mondelez, which owns Dairylea, was once Kraft Foods, Inc. Apart from original and light cheese varieties, the brand also offers Dunkers, Lunchables, and Strip Cheese (source: Dairylea). 

Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients in Dairylea products.

Dairylea cheese products all contain milk (skim), cheese, inulin, emulsifying salts, calcium phosphate, and acidity regulators. 

Based on our research, none of these ingredients are harmful to expecting moms.

dairylea cheese triangles on a plate

Some mothers might wonder about the Lunchables line, since these products also include ham, chicken, and tomato-based sauce (used in the pizza variety).

According to their website, the ham in the Ham n’ Cheese variety is cooked (source: Dairylea Lunchables Ham n’ Cheese). So is the chicken in Chicken n’ Cheese (source: Dairylea Lunchables Chicken n’ Cheese).

The Lunchable Streetfood Pizza variety web page does not provide any information as to whether the tomato-based sauce is pasteurized, cooked, or uncooked (source: Dairylea Lunchables Streetfood Pizza). We recommend skipping this variety to be on the safe side. 

Since Dairylea products are made with cheese and milk, they contain significant amounts of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Here’s a bit of information about each of these nutrients:

  • Protein is especially important during pregnancy because it is needed in biological, functional, and structural tasks. In pregnancy, it helps achieve maternal homeostasis, prepares the mother for lactation, and is crucial in the growth and development of the unborn baby.
  • Cheese like Dairylea is a good source of calcium. Low calcium levels can cause muscle cramps, tremors, preeclampsia, hypertensive disorders, and delayed growth of the baby.
  • Vitamin D helps calcium do its job. Low vitamin D contributes to neonatal rickets, preeclampsia, and pre-term birth. The developing baby is also dependent on the mother’s vitamin D, so it’s important to get enough (source: NIH).

The only downside to Dairylea products is that some of them are pretty high in salt. High-salt diets are not recommended for pregnant women. Consuming too much salt can increase your risk of renal and cardiovascular diseases. High sodium can also negatively affect your baby (source: NIH). 

Due to the high sodium content, we recommend eating Dairylea products in moderate amounts. 

Is Dairylea Pasteurized?

According to their website, Dairylea cheeses are pasteurized, which makes them suitable for pregnant women (source: Dairylea). 

According to the FDA, soft cheeses are allowed for pregnant women, as long as the milk used is pasteurized. Any food that contains pasteurized milk is also approved (source: FDA). 

Just be mindful of the sodium content, and you can enjoy this great snacking option!