5 Pregnancy Recipes for the Second Trimester

September 18, 2023

Well done, Mama! You’ve got through the first trimester—which is usually the hardest for many women—and now you’re in the second phase of pregnancy. So many incredible things happen during this time, so it’s important to nourish your body with the right vitamins and minerals to support your baby’s development. 

What Happens To The Baby During The Second Trimester? 

During weeks 14 to 27 (or months four to six) of pregnancy, your baby starts moving around! It’s during this phase that they begin kicking. 

“Fifteen weeks into your pregnancy, or 13 weeks after conception, your baby is growing rapidly. Bone development continues and will soon become visible on ultrasound images. Your baby’s scalp hair pattern also is forming,” says Mayo Clinic. During your ultrasound, your technician may also be able to tell you the sex of your baby. 

Your baby’s skin also starts to thicken, and their eyes begin to move around. Also, they can hear at this stage! Don’t underestimate the power of speaking to your baby while they’re in utero, “…it’s an easy way for parents to bond with their baby-to-be. Speaking or reading to your baby while he or she’s in the womb (no amplification necessary) will guarantee that your baby will know your voice at birth,” explains What To Expect

By the time the second trimester ends, your baby will have lungs, fingerprints and footprints, hair, they suck their thumb, and a protective layer called vernix caseosa is formed over their skin. 

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Do I Need To Eat More In The Second Trimester?

With all of this happening in your womb, do you need to eat more to help your body keep up? Yes, but you don’t need to eat for two, as the American Pregnancy Association explains, “To accomplish all of these productive changes, your body needs approximately 300 extra calories per day during your 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy.” This can look like a cup of cereal with a cup of milk and some fruit, two scrambled eggs and a slice of toast, or grilled salmon with half a cup of brown rice and some broccoli. 

What Should I Eat In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy? 

For most women, nausea and morning sickness decrease after the first trimester ends. So, your pregnancy diet can expand to include more foods. 

You don’t need to go on a special diet, though—what’s important is to make sure that you include:


Chicken, pork, beef, eggs, and beans are all excellent sources of this essential building block. Protein supports the formation of your baby’s organs, muscles, and tissues.


Yogurt, milk, and pregnancy-safe cheese are all rich in calcium, a nutrient that’s responsible for baby’s bone development. If you’re trying to follow a vegan pregnancy, make sure to include fortified plant milks and other sources of vegan calcium, such as lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds.


Carbs are how our bodies get energy, and your body needs energy to not only help your baby grow but also to maintain your own health! Think potatoes, quinoa, rice, beans, and bread

Fruits and Vegetables 

There are so many healthy options in this category, from leafy greens, carrots, artichokes, and peppers to bananas, avocados, and berries. These veggies and fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals for you and your baby.  “Fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced can be part of your daily allowance—try to avoid anything with added salt or sugar,” advises the NHS

What Should I Avoid During My Second Trimester? 

Just like in your first trimester, you should continue to avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, drinking alcohol, raw and undercooked meats and raw eggs, high mercury seafood, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized milk

Healthline points out that sitting or standing for too long should also be avoided, “During pregnancy, staying in the same position for too long, seated or standing, can be problematic. It can cause all types of problems including swollen ankles and vein problems.” Get into the habit of taking frequent breaks to move around. 

Second Trimester Dinner Recipes 

These second trimester dinner ideas include the nutrients you and your growing baby need for this incredible stage of pregnancy: 

Seriously Kickin’ Chicken

The star of this dish is chicken thighs. Chicken is not only a fantastic addition to your second trimester meals because it’s high in protein, but also because of its choline content. Choline, part of the B complex of vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12), is important for a baby’s brain development, and it may also help prevent some common birth defects.

This recipe also calls for basmati rice, an excellent gluten-free form of carbs. 

Get the full recipe here

Easy Enchiladas with Turkey, Refried Beans, and Monterey Jack

If you’re tired of chicken as your dinner-time staple, you’ve got to give these turkey enchiladas a try! 

Turkey is rich in protein as well as zinc – a vitamin associated with a decrease in preterm birth. 

Perfect for soon-to-be mamas who are experiencing spicy cravings due to the enchilada sauce, this recipe will also give you the fiber your body needs for healthy digestion through pepitas and tomatoes

Get the full recipe here

Lemony Tarragon Butter Sauce Just For The Halibut

This recipe is high in vitamin C thanks to the asparagus and lemon. “Vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system. It also helps build strong bones and muscles,” says The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

You’ll also get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids from the halibut. Omega-3 DHA is essential for the brain and visual development of your baby.

Get the full recipe here

It’s The Lentil Things Salad

Thanks to the abundance of veggies in this salad, this recipe will give you the fiber you need! 

This dish is also high in magnesium due to the lentils and the carrots – healthy magnesium levels prevent constipation and leg cramps. 

Constipation is common during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, and can be due to fluctuations in hormone levels. 

One of the best ways to treat this is through dietary changes. 

Get the full recipe here

How to Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy

Dietary Remedies for Pregnancy Constipation Relief

Get the Guide

Constipation can be a real pain in the butt. But luckily for you, we’ve got a whole resource that can help provide constipation relief during pregnancy. Download this guide to find out which foods will help get things moving along!

A peek inside:

  • Which foods are best to avoid if you’re experiencing constipation 
  • Recommendations for activities to try and ingredients to buy
  • A list of foods rich in magnesium (a mineral that helps relieve constipation!)
  • The importance of staying hydrated

Savory Summer Pancakes with Herby Yogurt Sauce

If you’re craving something light for dinner, you’ve got to give these pancakes a try! 

Corn is a great source of fiber and magnesium, and you’ll get the calcium your body needs through milk and yogurt. If you don’t provide your body with enough calcium during pregnancy, your body will take it from your bones for your baby, which could lead to osteoporosis later in life. 

Get the full recipe here

Remember, Mama, while having a nutrient-dense second trimester meal plan is important, you’ve also got to pay attention to your hydration levels. Water helps your body absorb the vitamins and minerals you’re eating, and moves those nutrient-rich blood cells to your baby. 

How to Stay Hydrated During Pregnancy

Hydration Tips While Pregnant

Get the Guide

Staying hydrated isn’t just about drinking water, it’s about eating the right foods, too! This guide gives you a full list of all the hydrating foods and liquids you can add to your diet to fight constipation, increase maternal blood volume, and keep you hydrated!

A peek inside:

  • The most hydrating fruits: citrus, melons, berries
  • The best veggies and leafy greens for pregnancy hydration
  • Pregnancy-safe herbal teas
  • Plus a list of liquids to sip on all day long
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Kendra Aronson

Hi Mama, I’m Kendra!

Founder of Pregnant and Hungry, and a mama on a mission to provide other mamas with delicious, nutritious, and easy recipes for pregnancy and motherhood. If that’s what you’re craving, make sure to dig into the blog or learn more about the Pregnant and Hungry subscription.
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Our recipes are developed under the caring guidance of an RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) in addition to a Licensed Midwife in good standing with the California Medical Board who’s also a Certified Professional Midwife as granted by the North American Registry of Midwives and a professional Lactation Consultant as certified by the IBCLC (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners). While we refer to trusted sources from peer-reviewed medical journals to information from highly regarded worldwide health institutions, this website is not intended to replace medical advice. Consult your personal midwife, doctor, or nutritionist with health questions related to your pregnancy and postpartum journey.

I'm so happy you're here, Mama!


Before getting pregnant with my daughter, I spent a ton of time scouring the internet for easy, pregnancy-safe recipes and nutrition advice tailored to my taste preferences, unique dietary needs, and anticipated ailments—only to realize that no such resource existed. I knew I wasn’t the only one who could benefit from this information, so I set out to create this site from scratch for all of us mamas-to-be!

Today, Pregnant and Hungry is not only the sole searchable collection of pregnancy-friendly recipes on the internet, but our website is packed full of helpful resources and free information for any mama who finds herself asking the same questions I was: what do I need to know about nutrition and pregnancy, and where can I find the answers and recipes?

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