Food & Drink

Recipes by Trimester – Second Trimester (Weeks 13 – 27)

[Image - Jakub K]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

By the second trimester, your partner’s nausea has hopefully passed and the focus is on a healthy diet.

What can you impress her with over the next 14 weeks?

You’ve seen the miraculous changes from week 12 to week 20 on the scans and are watching your partner blossom as your child grows into a baby within her. The second trimester is often the most enjoyable for women – after the morning sickness and before the baby squishes the organs making heartburn a huge issue – so it can be a fantastic time to treat her to something nice to eat.

All recipes featured serve one, so simply double to eat together!

Important nutrients in the second trimester (daily recommended amount):

Iron (27mg) – Most women need about 50% more than usual during pregnancy due to an increase in blood volume and red blood cells, meaning her body needs to make extra haemoglobin. Throughout the pregnancy, babies take all the iron they need from mum and towards the end, will be storing enough to last through the first 6 months after birth.

Vitamin C (85mg) – During pregnancy, women’s immune systems drop dramatically. It cleverly enables the body to accept a foreign body (the baby) growing inside it without fighting it off, however it does mean that – all through pregnancy – your partner is really susceptible to picking up every virus going around and getting it more severely and for longer. Vitamin C is wonderful for fighting infection!

Calcium (1200mg) – Like all nutrients in pregnancy, your baby takes what it needs first, so getting enough calcium is just as important to ensure that mum keeps strong bones as well as baby developing some. Again, this is something that needs to be taken throughout the pregnancy.

Vitamin D (check with your doctor) – Not only does Vitamin D help in the absorption of calcium, so both your partner and your baby can have strong bones, but recent research suggests strong links between good levels of Vitamin D and reducing your partner’s risk of pre-eclampsia. It has also been shown to be important for allowing babies to develop healthy brains, with good mental and motor skills. Some may be taken from sunlight. Keep updated on the recommended amount, as it is being reviewed and is likely to be raised from between 5 – 15 micrograms to 100mcg.

Omega 3 – Fatty Acids (2 portions per week) – Omega 3 is really important for your baby’s brain development, particularly EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). EPA supports the heart, immune system and inflammatory response, while DHA supports the brain, eyes and central nervous system, so both are crucial to the baby’s cognitive, nervous and visual development. There is a link between Omega 3 deficiency and post-partum mental illness, such as Depression, so it’s important to avoid eating too much mercury alongside Omega 3 as it can be detrimental to the baby – check the recommended list of fish for pregnancy.

Salmon Burgers

A safer source of Omega 3, salmon provides the fatty acids the baby will need while the thyme and spinach give a good source of iron. The parmesan is high in calcium and served in a wholemeal roll, your partner can also get some fibre! These burgers are a delicious way to give your partner a meal that’s really high in the nutrients she needs to keep healthy and to help the baby develop!


1 boneless, skinless salmon fillet

Thyme (dried) to taste

1 tsp of coriander paste

1 tsp olive oil

1 portion of spinach

Parmesan to taste

Seeded wholemeal roll


Put the salmon in a food processor with the thyme and coriander paste, season with salt and/or pepper. Take out and shape into a burger. Heat the oil and fry for around 4 minutes on each side until crisp and cooked through. Wilt the spinach in butter, and serve on top of the burgers with a sprinkling of parmesan in the seeded roll.

Goat’s Cheese Potato Cakes

Goat’s cheese is a great source of Vitamin D, as well as calcium and is lower in calories and sodium than many cow’s milk cheeses like cheddar. It might also surprise you to know that the potato contains a good amount of iron. These are lovely served with a salad and perfect for those of you with a veggie partner! (If you’re being careful with money, Supermarket Deli counters often have differing amounts of cheeses for reduced prices.)


½ butternut squash, diced

1 large baking potato

2 spring onions

40g of pasturised goat’s cheese (not mould-ripened)

A little flour

4 tsp olive oil


Roast the butternut squash for 40 minutes in 3 tsps of olive oil. While roasting, boil the potato in a pan and when tender (about 15 minutes) mash roughly with a fork. Slice and add the spring onion, then fold into the mashed potato with the goat’s cheese. Mash the roasted butternut squash and add to the mix. Season and then divide into the size cakes you want, pat each side with flour and fry in hot oil. Serve with a salad and some juicy slices of beef tomato.

Sweet and Spiced Walnuts

A treat to keep energy up and get some of those important Omega-3s!


 2 cups of walnuts

¾ cup of white sugar

1/3 (1 third) cup of water

2 tsps of vanilla essence

1 tsp of cinnamon


Toast nuts in frying pan without oil. Heat sugar, water, vanilla and cinnamon to a boil in a deep saucepan. Add the nuts and stir for roughly 10 minutes (medium-high), until the water is evaporated and the nuts are evenly coated in the sticky mixture. Cool on foil covered baking tray until ready.

Get her to nibble on: Clementines (Vitamin C), yoghurt-dipped cranberries (fibre, Vitamin C), roasted pumpkin seeds (iron), raisins (iron), almonds (calcium)