Vegetarian feeding guide

Vegetarian feeding guide

Moving on to solids is a big step for any baby. A vegetarian diet can meet the needs of a growing child but it does require a conscious effort.

The following is a guide to assist you in delivering the right combination of food to your baby:



Up until 4-6 months

Breast milk or infant formula is all that baby needs.

Around 4-6 months

Baby may now be ready for solids. Remember breast milk or formula is still the most important food. Please consult your health professional for advice.

From 4 months

(After the milk feed)

  • Rice-based, iron-enriched infant cereal mixed smooth with boiled, cooled water, or breast milk or formula.
  • Cooked and pureed apple, pear, apricot, peach, nectarine. Raw, ripe mashed banana, mango. (Tinned fruit may be used.)
  • Cooked and pureed pumpkin, potato, kumara, carrot, marrow, courgette (zucchini). Raw, mashed avocado.
  • Remove skins and seeds from fruits and vegetables.

After 6 months

Add to foods introduced earlier –

  • Infant muesli, wheat-based infant cereal, porridge made from oatmeal or rolled oats.
  • Cooked egg yolk.
  • Home-made vegetables soups or stock, mixed with vegetables.
  • Yam, cauliflower, broccoli, taro, swede, puha, bok choy, green beans, parsnip, beetroot (cooked).
  • Melon, plum (skins and seeds removed). Raw persimmon (scooped out soft pulp or peeled wedges if firmer).
  • Dried fruit – prunes or apricots, cooked to soften, then pureed.
  • Serve with other fruit or infant cereals.
  • Toast fingers, rusks.

Around 8-9 months

Baby is interested in an extended range of foods and varied texture. Some of these foods will still need to be modified by mashing and/or finely chopping.

Include first and second stage foods plus –

  • Tofu, legumes such as lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas, cooked, and mashed or sieved.
  • Silverbeet, spinach, peas, cabbage, tomatoes, creamed corn, celery, brussels sprouts, mushrooms (cooked).
  • Vegetables suitable from 4-6 months on (e.g. potato, kumara, pumpkin) can now be offered baked in wedges instead of mashed.
  • Onions, leeks and turnips can also be used in soups and casseroles.
  • Orange, mandarin, kiwifruit, feijoa, pineapple, berries.
  • For finger foods offer small amounts of prunes, apricots, raisins, sultanas, soaked in hot water for ½ hour
  • Pasta, white rice
  • Spaghetti, mashed baked beans.
  • Yoghurt, custard (made with egg yolk or custard powder), cottage cheese, grated cheese.
  • Vegemite/marmite.
  • Smooth peanut butter.*

Leave until after 12 months

Cow’s milk as a main drink, adult breakfast cereals, honey, egg white.

After 12 months, baby can join in family meals and eat a wide variety of foods.

Milk remains important for calcium. 1 to 3 year olds should include at least 2 to 3 servings of milk and/or milk products each day. A serving is 1 cup (250ml) of milk, or 150g tub of yoghurt, or 2 to 3 slices (40g) of cheese.

Karicare Toddler milks can be used as an alternative to cow’s milk. Karicare Toddler milks contain additional iron, Vitamin C and inulin, a type of dietary fibre.

Karicare Gold Toddler 3 is enriched with omega DHA.

For teething, offer

A piece of fruit or vegetable wedge wrapped in muslin, e.g. a peeled apple quarter, stick of carrot. After 6 months rusks or dry toast can be used.

If allergies run in the family delay the following foods until 12 months:

Cow’s milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, tofu, wheat, fish, peanut butter*

*If there is a strong family history of peanut allergy, delay until after 3 years


About Eleanor Harris

Hi, there. It's my blog about nutritional solutions. I post the most helpful content in this topic ❤️ I got master degree 4 years ago at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Now i work for Danone as Nutrition Executive

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