Nourishing Foods for the Second Trimester

Nourishing Foods for the Second Trimester

Photo Credit: @foolproofliving

You’ve now made it through your first trimester. Symptoms may be starting to resolve, energy levels are picking up, and you feel a sense of relief when you see that sweet baby forming on your ultrasound. As you progress through your second trimester, now is a good time to take advantage of those feel-good days and strive to maximize healthy eating patterns that may have been minimized by nausea or food aversions felt during your first trimester.

Now is the time to increase your energy to continue to support your baby’s growth. Focus on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet and intake additional calories from nutrient-dense foods. Here's what to add to your weekly meal prep.

perelel pregnant belly and prenatal health and nutrition

Eat the Rainbow

Opt for a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables at most meals to make sure you’re getting your antioxidants to protect against tissue damage, and to receive a host of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, which is associated with improved fetal and infant growth up to six months of age.1 Fruits and vegetables contain a range of nutrients including fiber, which is important for stabilizing blood sugar. In addition, a high fiber diet may have a positive impact on your baby’s birth weight according to research.2

Add-In Protein

In addition to increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, include protein-rich foods at all meals and snacks to support the increased protein synthesis that’s occurring during the second trimester.3 Due to the higher requirement for dietary protein in the second half of pregnancy, including eggs, meat and poultry, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds, and legumes in your diet. 

Avoid Processed Foods and Sugar

What to skip? As food cravings may begin to develop, limit the over-consumption of processed foods, and foods and drinks high in sugar and saturated fat. These are associated with increased fasting glucose levels noted in the second trimester screening for gestational diabetes and are high in calories but low in vitamins and minerals necessary for your baby’s development.4

Utilize this feel-good time during the second trimester to institute healthy habits in your home by focusing on high-quality, nutrient-rich foods and know that it’s okay to give in to food cravings in moderation.

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Continue to feel good in your pregnancy with prenatal exercises to support your health and prepare your body for birth—add these exercises for the second trimester to your weekly routine.

Nutrition Journal.
:: NRP :: Nutrition Research and Practice.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | oxford academic.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.