The second trimester is the best period of your pregnancy. During this period, your morning sickness would have subsided, your energy levels are up again, and the baby bump is yet to show up and create discomfort. The diet point of view during the second trimester is the most important part of pregnancy. The baby grows the most during this period, and all the baby’s organs are formed during this trimester. A healthy second-trimester pregnancy diet will assure that the baby is growing healthy, and you are also not deficient of the essential nutrients. So here we have a list of what to eat and avoid during the 2nd-trimester diet and how you should plan the same.

Pregnancy requires extra care for the women since she is now nurturing two bodies instead of one, and thus the diet for the whole course of pregnancy should be taken seriously to have a healthy baby. The 2nd-trimester diet should also be taken care of to maintain a healthy pregnancy. So let us look at what to eat during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Nutritional Sources for Second Trimester Diet:

The various nutritional sources that should be included in the second-trimester pregnancy diet include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and lots and lots of water. The nutritional requirement should be divided into three equal portions, and each meal should contain each portion of the nutrition to keep up your energy level throughout the day and also fulfil the nutritional requirement.

Diet Chart for Second Trimester Diet:

The diet plan for the second trimester should contain a combination of the following:

  • Each day you should consume at least five portions of green leafy vegetables and fruits to meet the daily requirement of iron and folic acid.
  • Every meal should contain carbohydrates (Wholegrain bread, starchy foods, cereals etc.)
  • Consume dairy products at least 2-3 portions to meet the daily calcium requirement.
  • Foods high in proteins such as eggs, beans, fish, etc. should be consumed twice daily.
  • Oily fish which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids should not be consumed more than twice a week.
  • Switch to healthy snacks such as sandwiches and yoghurts to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Diet Plan for 2nd Trimester Diet:

It is important that you prepare and follow a meal plan during the second trimester of pregnancy so that your baby gets all the nutritional requirements needed for healthy growth and development. While making the diet chart, you should include fruits and vegetables that are available throughout the year, and if some fruit or vegetable is not available during a particular season, then you should replace it with the fruit or vegetable available in that season and of the same nutritional value. The following is a sample diet chart for the second trimester. This is how your ideal diet chart should be:

  • Breakfast: 2 servings of food grains, one serving of fruits, 1 oz of meat/bean and one glass of milk. Example: 2 whole grains toasted bread with 1tsp margarine and scrambled egg, 1 cup of cantaloupe and one glass of milk.
  • Lunch: 2 servings of grain, 1 cup of leafy vegetable, 1 cup of pulses, two servings of meat/beans, 1 cup of dairy. Example: 2 chapatis, 1 cup of palak paneer, 1 cup of dal, 1 cup of baby carrots, cucumber, and one glass of buttermilk.
  • Snack: The snack should include one serving of grain and 1 cup of milk. Example: A bowl of cornflakes with milk.
  • Dinner: 2 servings of vegetables and grains and 3 oz of meat/beans. Example: 1 cup brown rice with 3 oz. of chicken grilled, 1 cup of spinach on garlic with 1tsp of salad dressing.

20 Best Foods to Eat During The Second Trimester of Pregnancy:

These are the 20 foods you can include in your second-trimester diet for being healthy-

1. Milk for Second Trimester Diet:

Milk is a very healthy diet as it contains a good amount of proteins and calcium that is important for the growth and development of the baby and also the calcium helps to strengthen the bones of the growing baby. You can drink milk as it is or you can make other healthy drinks by combining nutritious ingredients to it.

2. Canned Sardines:

Canned sardines are highly rich in calcium as well as in omega-three fatty acids and magnesium. You should include this in your second-trimester diet chart Indian diet plan as the omega-three fatty acids are essential for the development of your baby’s brain. You can include this as a part of your salad or make other delicious things out of it.

3. Variety of  Vegetables:

Veggies are an important part of the second-trimester pregnancy diet. Vegetables are full of nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, etc. and also contain fibres and minerals which are very important for the right development of the fetus and your healthy pregnancy. All this helps the baby to grow fully and develop the necessary organs at the right time, thereby reducing the chances of birth defects.

4. Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds:

A handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds daily for your diet are a rich source of iron and magnesium which help in the good growth of the baby. Just eat them as snacks, or add it to yoghurt and salad to gain the rich nutrients you need during pregnancy.

5. Plain Yoghurt:

Yoghurt is highly rich in calcium, which is essential to keep your bones strong as well as aid in fully developing the bones of your baby in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. You can add other nutritious ingredients like blackberries, which are rich in magnesium to add to the nutritional value of yoghurt and continue this healthy diet throughout your pregnancy.

6. Dry Fruits in Second Trimester Diet:

Dry fruits are one of the important foods to eat during pregnancy second trimester as they are highly nutritious in value. Best Dry fruits like apricots, almonds, dates, figs, etc. are a good source of calcium and iron that should be included in your daily diet. You can add these dry fruits to other foods to enhance their nutritional value.

7. Eat Brown Rice During Second Trimester:

Brown rice is a rich source of calcium, iron and vitamin D which is very important for the growth and development of bones and also the iron is required for the manufacturing of red blood cells so that there is no oxygen deficiency. In combination with mushrooms, this can prove as a very good nutritious diet. It also contains a good amount of fibre, which will help you to prevent constipation during pregnancy.

Read: Pregnancy Third Trimester Diet

8. Dark Chocolate:

Dark chocolate is one of the best foods to eat while pregnant during 2nd trimester as it contains a good amount of the bromine, which is very helpful in relaxing your muscles and dilate blood vessels. It can help by reducing stress during pregnancy and also keep blood pressure under control, which aids in keeping you healthy throughout your pregnancy.

9. Baked Potato With Beans:

Baked potato with beans is an iron-rich, fibre-rich meal which will help you maintain a healthy routine during pregnancy and also save your baby from any sort of infection or birth defect. This is the best dish you can include in your daily meals for a healthy diet.

10. Fish:

Fish is extremely rich in low-fat protein, which is very healthy for the development of your baby and your healthy pregnancy. Choose the right variety of fish and have it boiled rather than fried to maintain a healthy diet as fried foods can worsen your nausea or dizziness, which is common during pregnancy.

11. Eggs:

Eggs are highly rich in protein which are important for the maintenance of the body, and they are essential for the baby’s growth and ensure that the baby is born without defects. You can use eggs to make delicious dishes to satisfy your cravings during the pregnancy time and also use it during breakfast.

12. Spinach and Lettuce:

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce are highly rich in iron and folic acid. The high amount of iron will help you fight with the anaemic conditions which maximum women face during pregnancy. You can use spinach and lettuce as your daily salad or put a handful of it in scrambled eggs or other foods.

13. Whole Wheat Bread:

Healthy food during pregnancy 2nd-trimester diet is whole wheat bread that is rich in fibres, vitamin B and folic acid. Any whole grain bread for breakfast will be a good choice to fulfil your fibre requirements of the body.

14. Fruits for Pregnant Second Trimester:

Fruits contain essential minerals and nutrients that help to fight the infections mother or baby can get during the pregnancy. Essential nutrients like citric acid help in the prevention of birth defects and other vitamins that can help the baby to save from various deficiency diseases at the time of birth, thereby increasing the immunity of the baby!

15. Bran Cereals:

Bran cereals are one of the best sources of fibres. Fibres are very good for solving the problem of constipation during pregnancy as they help in bowel movement. Fibres also maintain blood glucose levels in our body and hence protect the expectant mother from gestational diabetes too. You should have a good amount of fibres and roughage for a healthy baby.

16. Nuts:

Nuts such as peanuts and almonds make a good snack. They are a good source of iron, calcium, and proteins and tasty. Nuts can satisfy the mid meals hunger pangs during pregnancy.

17. Tofu and Tempeh:

Tofu and Tempeh are Soy Milk products which are extremely rich in proteins. During pregnancy second trimester, a good amount of proteins is required for the healthy development of the baby and consuming tofu and tempeh in one of the meals can sufficiently cover the daily requirements of the proteins.

18. Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds:

Flaxseeds and Chia Seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This fatty acid is essential for building the immune system, as well as the central nervous system. Besides these seeds are extremely fibrous, and they can aid in an easy bowel movement and relieve from constipation, which is a common complaint during pregnancy.

19. Fish Liver Oil:

Fish liver oil is again a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin D. It aids in building the bones and teeth of the baby as well as developing the immunity system.

20. UV Exposed Mushrooms:

UV exposed mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D. During pregnancy a minimum of 15mcg of Vitamin D is required each day for the healthy development of bones and teeth of the baby and consuming UV exposed mushrooms can very well meet this requirement.

Foods to Avoid During Second Trimester Pregnancy Diet:

The following is the list of second-trimester foods to avoid:

  • The Raw eggs.
  • Raw meat.
  • Raw fish.
  • Fish with a high content of mercury in them Example: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and even tilefish.
  • Dairy products made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Soft cheese, blue cheese.
  • Ready to eat seafood and meat.
  • Alcoholic drinks – They possess a danger of causing miscarriage, stillbirth or even fetal alcohol spectrum disorder that causes physical, mental and behavioural disabilities.
  • An excessive amount of caffeine – Consumption of 150 to 300mg of caffeine is a safe quantity. One cup coffee contains 95 to 165mg of caffeine while a cup of black tea contains 45mg of caffeine.

Read: Pregnancy Diet for Overweight Women

Supplements You Need During The Second Trimester:

The following are the three essential supplements that one needs to take during the pregnancy second trimester:

  • Calcium: During the second trimester, the baby develops the maximum of his bones. This requires a lot of calcium. If your diet lacks calcium, then your baby will not suffer, but you will. This is because the baby will use up all the calcium stored up in your body, and you will develop a deficiency which post-delivery can cause osteoporosis. So taking a calcium supplement will ensure that you do not develop calcium deficiency post-delivery.
  • Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are an essential supplement for the healthy development of baby’s brain. Fish oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Iron: Most of the pregnant women develop anaemia, and this is because of iron deficiency. During pregnancy the blood volume doubles and hence it requires more iron. As the growth of the baby’s tissues increases, the haemoglobin and the red blood cells levels start to deplete in the mother, and they start feeling lethargic and short of breath. Taking an iron supplement will ensure that you do not develop the deficiency of the same.

Second Trimester Diet Tips:

The following are some of the tips that will ensure that you have a happy and healthy pregnancy:

  • Cook your meals at home to ensure that you have a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Fresh foods should always be preferred against frozen foods.
  • While buying frozen foods choose foods that are low in fats and sodium.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming to removed unwanted effects of fruits and vegetables.

A healthy diet chart for pregnant lady in the second trimester will help you have the least problems during your pregnancy and also help your baby to be healthy and keep you strong through the whole course of pregnancy. Sit with your doctor and work up the 2nd-trimester pregnancy diet chart for you to have a healthy pregnancy. The second trimester is the most comfortable as well as the most crucial phase of your pregnancy as most of the baby’s organs are developed in this period. So try eating healthy for a healthy and robust baby.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Q1: What is The Weight Gain Measures in Pregnancy 2nd Trimester Diet?

Ans: During pregnancy, a woman with an average weight should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This comes to roughly 1 to 2 pounds per week during each week of the second trimester. Gaining more weight can create complications such as high BP, larger baby and C section delivery.

Q2: What is Food Craving During Second Trimester Diet?

Ans: During pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, women generally develop cravings for a particular type of food. It is still unclear why women develop cravings or aversions for certain types of food, but doctors believe that hormones might play a vital role in this. Women generally tend to crave for one of the following food items:

  • Chocolates
  • Spicy foods
  • Sweets
  • Fruits

Q3: Is There Any Food Allergies Effect in The Second Trimester Diet?

Ans: It is a misconception that what you eat will affect your baby, and your baby can develop allergies due to it. There is no connection between food allergies and the food consumed during pregnancy.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.