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Sample meal plans for feeding your vegetarian baby




Need some meal ideas for your vegetarian baby? Use these sample vegetarian meal plans for babies 6-9 months old and 9-12 months old to help you feed your baby.


Can vegetarian eating meet my baby’s nutrition needs? 

Vegetarian eating that includes breastmilk or infant formula, plant-based foods, milk products and eggs, can meet your baby’s nutrition needs for growth and development. If you choose vegan eating for your baby that excludes all animal products, speak with a dietitian to make sure your baby gets all the nutrients she needs. 


How much should my vegetarian baby eat?

Every baby is different. The amount that your baby eats can change from day to day. Your baby may also eat more or less than other babies. Use the sample meals below as general guidelines only. Trust your baby to let you know when she is hungry or full.


Sample Vegetarian Meals for Baby: 6-9 months old   

Meal Times

6-9 months

Early morning

Breastmilk or infant formula Vitamin D drops if breastfed

Breakfast

Breastmilk or infant formula Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula or water Mashed fruit like banana or pears mixed with full fat plain yogurt

Snack

Breastmilk or infant formula

Lunch

Breastmilk or infant formula Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula or water Mashed vegetables like sweet potato, squash or carrots Pieces of silken (soft) tofu or well-cooked chopped egg

Snack

Breastmilk or infant formula

Dinner

Breastmilk or infant formula Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula or water Cooked vegetables like mashed carrots, pieces of soft cooked green beans or broccoli Canned or cooked legumes like beans, lentils or peas Fruit like unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or pureed melon mixed with full fat plain yogurt

Bedtime snack

Breastmilk or infant formula


Key points when starting to feed your vegetarian baby 

  • Start by offering food 2-3 times a day and work towards 3-5 times a day.
  • Start with a small amount such as 1 tsp. If your baby shows you that she wants more food, give her more.  Click here for more information about feeding cues.
  • Start with iron-rich foods like cooked legumes (beans, peas, lentils), cooked tofu, well-cooked chopped eggs and iron fortified infant cereals. Serve iron-rich foods with foods rich in vitamin C like mango, kiwi, melons, sweet potato, tomato and broccoli. Then introduce vegetables, fruit and other cereals and grains, full fat cheese and yogurt.
  • Wait to try meat substitutes such as veggie “meats” until your baby has tried the individual ingredients in these products.  Limit veggie “meats” and other packaged and processed foods.  They are often high in sodium.
  • Start with soft foods that have been pureed, mashed, minced or ground. 
  • Lumpy foods and finger foods can also be given at six months.


Sample Vegetarian Meals for Baby: 9-12 months old 

Mealtimes

Sample Meals

Early morning

Breastmilk, infant formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk Vitamin D drops

Breakfast

Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula, 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk or water Full fat plain cow or soy yogurt, grated cow or soy cheese or unsalted cottage cheese Pieces of firm tofu or well-cooked chopped egg Soft fruit like chopped banana, avocado, peach, seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, plum or kiwi Water in a regular cup Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk

Morning Snack

Strips of whole-grain toast or roti Grated apple or chopped strawberries Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk

Lunch

Infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula, 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk or water Canned or cooked lentils, textured vegetable protein (TVP) or veggie “ground beef” Cooked whole wheat pasta, rice or chopped pieces of Matzo ball Chopped soft-cooked asparagus, minced collard greens or turnip greens Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk

Afternoon Snack

Almond or sesame butter (tahini) thinly spread on pieces of unsalted whole grain crackers or toast Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk

Dinner

Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula, 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk or water Canned or cooked legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans or black beans Cut up vegetables like soft-cooked green beans, okra, peeled eggplant, broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin or carrots Soft fruit like chopped banana, ripe pears, ripe peach, apricot or mango Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk

Bedtime Snack

Small pieces of whole grain toast, bread or unsweetened dry O-shaped cereal Breastmilk, formula or 3.25% homogenized whole cow’s milk


Key points when feeding your baby from 9-12 months old 

  • Offer your baby 3 meals and 1-2 snacks as needed.
  • By 12 months most babies can eat most foods (diced and soft) that are prepared for family meals.  Your baby can enjoy the same herbs, spices and flavours of family meals.  
  • Once your baby is eating a variety of iron-rich foods every day, you can offer 3.25% homogenized whole milk in a regular cup. Continue to breastfeed on demand.
  • Soy, rice, almond, hemp, coconut and other non-dairy beverages are not recommended for children under 2 years of age because they are too low in protein and fat.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s eating, call EatRight Ontario to speak with a Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-5102 or send an email. 


You may also be interested in: 

What you need to know to raise a healthy vegetarian child Introducing solid food to your baby Iron Needs of Babies and Children, Canadian Pediatric Society Feeding your baby from six months to one year, Nutrition Resource Centre

Last Update – October 9, 2016

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If you have questions about what you've read here, or other questions about food, nutrition or healthy eating, click to email our Registered Dietitians or call 1-877-510-5102.