Can pregnant women eat chicken feet?

Whether pregnant women can consume chicken feet is a common question among many women in the stage of pregnancy. Chicken feet are primarily skin and connective tissue, so some might assume it lacks nutritional value. So, what’s the truth? Let’s explore this food item in the Pregnancy section of The Pregnancy Care!

Can pregnant women eat chicken feet?
Can pregnant women eat chicken feet?

Nutritional content of chicken feet

Traditionally, chicken feet have been considered less appetizing and often discarded when preparing chicken dishes. However, they contain a significant amount of nutrients and offer various health benefits.

Chicken feet consist mainly of connected tissues, skin, tendons, cartilage, and bones. A serving of 70 grams (2 pieces) of chicken feet contains:

– Calories: 150

– Protein: 14 grams

– Fat: 10 grams

– Carbohydrates: 0.14 grams

– Calcium for pregnant women: 5%

– Phosphorus: 5%

– Vitamin A: 2%

– Folate (vitamin B9): 15%

Approximately 70% of the total protein in chicken feet is collagen. This structural protein aids in providing shape, strength, and resilience to the skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments. Additionally, chicken feet are a good source of folate (vitamin B9), supporting DNA synthesis and preventing abnormal complications during childbirth for expectant mothers.

Can pregnant women eat chicken feet?

Given the nutritional composition as mentioned, can pregnant women consume chicken feet? Does eating chicken feet potentially cause babies to be born with crossed legs, as per popular belief?

The answer is that pregnant women eating chicken feet doesn’t adversely affect health if they adhere to hygienic dietary practices and food safety. Moreover, the folk beliefs regarding a baby’s shape at birth due to consuming chicken feet lack scientific basis.

What are the benefits of pregnant women eating chicken feet?

Chicken feet primarily consist of skin and tendons. Despite not containing meat, they offer numerous health benefits due to their abundant collagen content. The benefits for expectant mothers consuming chicken feet include:

Improvement in skin health

Collagen is known as a ‘miracle ingredient’ for women’s skin. Multiple studies have demonstrated that collagen aids in enhancing elasticity, moisture retention, quick healing of skin injuries, and effectively prevents skin aging. Animal studies suggest that collagen may reduce wrinkle formation caused by UVB rays from sunlight.

Additionally, when pregnant women eat chicken feet, it provides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate. Hyaluronic acid is considered a ‘fountain of youth,’ helping prevent signs of aging.

Joint pain reduction

Several studies indicate that collagen and Chondroitin sulfate compounds present in chicken feet may stimulate tissue regeneration and alleviate symptoms of bone and joint inflammation. Postpartum mothers experiencing hip joint pain benefit from consuming chicken feet, effectively reducing discomfort.

Osteoporosis prevention

Collagen may enhance bone formation and density in post-menopausal women. The collagen content in chicken feet stimulates bone-building cells, maintaining a robust bone structure and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Alleviation of morning sickness symptoms

Many expectant mothers suffer from morning sickness and loss of appetite but have a penchant for chicken feet. This preference arises because chicken feet, lacking meat, are not as likely to induce nausea. Additionally, chicken feet can be prepared in various appetizing dishes, thus effectively reducing morning sickness symptoms.

Blood circulation support

Nutrients found in chicken feet, such as collagen, vitamins, and minerals, soften blood vessels. Consequently, they improve blood circulation, minimize the risk of arterial plaque formation, and aid in preventing issues related to blood vessels and cardiovascular health.

Tips for safe and nutritious consumption of chicken feet during pregnancy

Is it safe for pregnant women to eat chicken feet? The answer is yes, however, mothers should note several points:

– Purchase clean chicken feet: Chicken feet are commonly available in markets, grocery stores, supermarkets, slaughterhouses, and restaurants. It’s advisable to buy chicken feet from reputable sources, preferably those with certification. Additionally, carefully inspect the quality of the chicken feet when purchasing. Dirty-looking feet or skin resembling blistered surfaces indicate poor hygiene.

– Clean preparation: Chicken feet have direct contact with soil and dirt. After purchase, it’s crucial to thoroughly wash them multiple times and rinse with saltwater for cleanliness. Improperly processed chicken feet can pose risks related to digestive issues, infections, and contamination.

– Beware of choking hazards: Chicken feet contain small bones and tendons, so it’s essential for mothers to eat slowly and cautiously to avoid bone choking hazards.

– Consider cooking methods: There are various ways to prepare chicken feet such as steaming with onions, grilling, marinating with lemongrass and tamarind, or deep-frying for crispiness. A recommendation for expectant mothers when consuming chicken feet is to limit methods that involve excessive oil or heavy seasoning. Fried foods contain trans fatty acids (TFA), an unhealthy and detrimental type of unsaturated fat that impacts cardiovascular health. For pregnant women, oil-laden fried dishes might cause indigestion, heat sensations, and constipation.

– Simple cooking methods like steaming with onions or marinating chicken feet with lemongrass and tamarind do not require excessive oil or seasoning. Mothers should ensure the feet are thoroughly cooked to guarantee safety.

What should pregnant women consider when eating chicken feet?

Although chicken feet offer benefits for pregnant women, they primarily contain cholesterol and high amounts of fat. Consuming excessive amounts can lead to health issues, especially concerning weight.

Therefore, pregnant women should consume chicken feet in moderate and reasonable amounts. If necessary, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before consumption.

Chicken feet, rich in nutrients, especially collagen, are suitable for pregnant women. However, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to eat them in moderate amounts and ensure safe food preparation. Hopefully, the information provided by The Pregnancy Care has helped mothers confidently answer the question: Can pregnant women eat chicken feet? Wishing all mothers a healthy pregnancy!


Is it safe to eat chicken feet?

Yes, it is generally safe to eat chicken feet. Chicken feet are consumed in many cultures and cuisines worldwide. However, proper cleaning and cooking are essential to ensure food safety and minimize the risk of contamination.

Can you eat chicken legs when pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to eat chicken legs or other parts of the chicken when pregnant, as long as they are thoroughly cooked. Chicken is a good source of protein and various nutrients beneficial during pregnancy. However, it’s crucial to ensure the chicken is cooked to the recommended internal temperature to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

Is chicken feet good for babies?

Chicken feet can provide nutrients like collagen, protein, and minerals that can be beneficial. However, for babies, the texture and potential choking hazards might not make them an ideal choice for early consumption. As babies start to eat solid foods, it’s essential to introduce appropriate and easily digestible foods according to their developmental stage. Consult with a pediatrician for guidance on introducing new foods to babies.

Which part of the chicken is good during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, various parts of the chicken can be consumed, including breast, thighs, legs, and wings, as long as they are cooked thoroughly to eliminate any harmful bacteria. Chicken breast, for instance, is a lean protein source and contains essential nutrients like iron and vitamins. However, it’s essential to avoid consuming undercooked or raw poultry during pregnancy to prevent foodborne illnesses.


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