M.Ed., RD, LDN, CLC
Andie is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Lactation Consultant, and Certified Personal Trainer who thinks of nutrition counseling as equal parts science and sensitivity. She specializes in lactation, sports nutrition, exercise fitness, and weight loss programs.
We like to say: “Under One, Just for Fun” because when babies first begin to eat, it’s more about exposing them to different tastes and textures, rather than to provide calories.
In the beginning, aim for 1 to 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 times per day. By 9 months old, your baby should be ready for 3 full meals and even 1-2 planned snacks daily, and, by the first birthday, expect your baby to be eating 3 balanced meals with 2-3 snacks each day.
With appropriate planning, a vegetarian diet can meet your baby’s nutrient needs. When cutting out animal products, there are certain nutrient requirements that are more difficult to meet. Falling short of these nutrients could interfere with optimal growth and development.
The below meal, snack, and recipe ideas will help you include protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamin A, D, and vitamin B12 in your baby’s meals. These are nutrients that could be lacking in a vegetarian diet. Also, make sure you chose textures appropriate for your baby’s age and stage.
Vegetarian food sources of these nutrients include:
Protein: eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters, beans, legumes, tofu, seitan, tempeh, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Flax oil and ground flax seeds, walnuts, canola oil, soy, algae.
Iodine: Iodized salt and sea vegetables such as nori.
Iron: Lentils, kidney beans, black beans, dark leafy greens, raisins, and fortified grains.
Calcium: whole milk dairy products (milk [not for baby under 1 year], cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese), dark leafy greens, tofu, baked beans, almonds, sesame seeds, and figs. Fortified plant-based milks like coconut, soymilk and almond milk are also good sources.
Zinc: Fortified grains, veggie burgers, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, peanuts, tempeh, tofu, tahini.
Vitamin A: carrots, spinach, pumpkins, dark green vegetables.
Vitamin D: Sunlight and fortified dairy alternatives.
Vitamin B12: Soy products (miso), fermented soybeans, brewer’s yeast, wheat grass, fortified foods.
Our meal plans offer recipe and meal suggestions for your child. They are not designed to replace your doctor’s recommendations, nor do they take into account special nutritional needs, including allergies and intolerances. The meal plans suggest serving sizes that may or may not be appropriate for your child. Please consult your doctor to determine what is best for your child.
Recipes & Meal Plans | Mama
Recipes & Meal Plans | Little Ones
Recipes & Meal Plans | 7+ Months
Supplementing | Nutrition
Starting Solids | Little Ones
Our Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler is chock-full of yummy, easy-to-prepare meals your whole family will love.