Vegetarian baby food

Best vegetarian recipe ideas for babies

Weaning babies can get all the energy and most of the nutrients they need on a vegetarian – or mainly vegetarian – diet, as long they're eating a well-balanced variety of foods, including eggs and cheese.

As your baby starts to eat more solid food and progresses on to 3 meals a day, though, it's worth knowing that because a vegetarian diet can be high in fibre, you child could feel 'full' before they have taken in enough calories and nutrients. The NHS advice is to offer plenty of high-calorie foods, such as hummus or full-fat yoghurt and to include lower-fibre carbs, such as white bread and rice, alongside wholemeal bread and wholegrain rice.

Here's our pick of the best vegetarian recipes for babies...

1. Butternut squash and carroty mash with thyme

A velvety combo of carrot, potato and squash, with a delicate touch of thyme. Works equally well with pumpkin or swede, instead of squash. Suitable from 6 months.

2. Courgette, pea and kale puree

Three gorgeous greens, blended to a smooth and tasty veggie puree. Suitable from 6 months.

3. Sweet potato and basil puree

Fresh basil leaves add a slightly peppery edge to this sweet and simple puree. Suitable from 6 months.

4. Tom Daley's boiled egg and avocado soldiers

A quick, nutritious finger-food meal. If you can stop yourself nibbling it first... Suitable from 6 months.

5. Sweetcorn and sweet potato pasta sauce

A lovely, cheesy 3-veg (there's cauliflower in there, too) sauce that's super-tasty with penne or farfalle pasta. Suitable from 6 months.

6. Cheesy broccoli and cauliflower puree

A properly gooey veg-and-cheese combo. Makes enough for 6 portions. Suitable from 7 months.

6. Aubergine and red pepper curry

A mild chuck-in-the-pan-and-simmer, baby-friendly vegetable curry. Suitable from 7 months.

8. Risotto with butternut squash

A gently textured baby dish, with tomatoes and cheese adding flavour to the squash and rice. Suitable from 8 months.

8. Cheesy sweetcorn fritters

Just the right size for small hands, these tasty fritters are great for encouraging self-feeding. Suitable from 8 months.

9. Chickpea and red pepper couscous

Couscous made with (low-salt) vegetable stock has a lovely subtle flavour that combines very tastily with chickpeas. Suitable from 8 months.

11. Baked sweet potato chunks

Finger-food par excellence, with a delicious dusting of paprika and herbs. Suitable from 8 months.

12. Vegetarian lentil cottage pie

A protein-packed, cheesy-potato-topped winner. Makes enough for 6 portions (or some grown-ups tucking in, too). Suitable from 8 months.

12. Meat-free spaghetti bolognese

Made with soya mince, mushrooms, carrots, onion, peppers, tomatoes, herbs – and a sprinkling of cheese. Suitable from 8 months.

13. Roasted vegetable kebabs

Chunks of fresh veg, marinated in lemon, pepper and oil and then oven-roasted: yum! Delicious cold the next day, too. Suitable from 9 months.

14. Mild vegetable korma

Five different veggies, gently spiced with curry paste, ginger, coconut and garlic. Suitable from 9 months.

15. Mini jacket potatoes with ratatouille

A super-nutritious multi-veg sauce that goes brilliantly with baked spuds– or even piled on toast slices. Suitable from 9 months.

15. Potato, carrot and courgette rosti

Lovely, grab-able grated-vegetable cakes. Suitable from 9 months.

16. Macaroni cheese with broccoli and cauliflower

A classic dish, with extra veggie heft. Makes enough for 8 portions. Suitable from 9 months.

17. Winter vegetable casserole

A tasty 5-veg stew, with a cheesy breadcrumb topping. Suitable from 9 months.

18. Baby dhal with pitta

Coriander, turmeric and cinnamon add a classic dahl flavour to sweet potato and red lentils. Suitable from 10 months.

19. Rigatoni with five-veg sauce

A Mediterranean green, yellow and red veg fest, topped off with a pinch of organo. Suitable from 10 months.

20. Tortilla (Spanish omelette)

This one's delicious hot or cold – and slices well into baby-finger-size strips for self-feeding. Suitable from 10 months.

21. Aubergine and tomato bake

A tasty 2-veg bake, with layers of melted mozzarella and a sprinkling of Cheddar on top. Suitable from 10 months.

22. Wholesome bean casserole

Kidney beans cooked with carrots, tomatoes, celery, onion and parsley. Lovely with a dollop of yoghurt or grated cheese on top. Suitable from 10 months.

23. Vegetarian nuggets

Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots and sweetcorn, packed into pick-up-able crispy-coated chunks. Suitable from 11 months.

24. Spinach and parmesan pasta

A little creme fraiche and lemon makes this simple iron-packed pasta dish taste creamy and special. Suitable from 11 months.

25. Vegetable lasagne with green lentils

A lovely lentilly version of the Italian classic, with mustard and cayenne pepper perking up the cheese sauce. Suitable from 11 months.

26. Vegetarian sausages

Onion and carrots rolled in a cheesy breadcrumb coating. Makes 8 large sausages, so you freeze some for another day. Suitable from 11 months.

27. Pepper, broccoli and cheese pasta bake

A super-easy, oven-baked dish, with mushrooms and tomatoes and a melted cheese topping. Suitable from 11 months.

28. Quesadilla fingers

Grilled peppers, cheese and sweetcorn, with a touch of chilli, deliciously squished between folded tortilla. Suitable from 11 months.

Read more. ..
  • Best baby purees
  • Best dairy-free recipes for babies
  • How to make your roast friendly for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free or dairy-free diets

Vegetarian feeding guide for babies and toddlers

Vegetarian feeding guide for babies and toddlers | Pregnancy Birth and Baby beginning of content

7-minute read


If your baby develops a rash, facial swelling or trouble breathing after eating a new food, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Key facts

  • Up until around 6 months of age, breastmilk or infant formula is all your baby needs.
  • Most babies are ready to start solids at around 6 months old.
  • Vegetarian diets may be low in certain nutrients, so speak to your doctor, child health nurse or a dietitian about ways to ensure your baby gets enough nutrition.
  • If your baby will start solids on a vegetarian diet, it’s important that you pay extra attention to ensure they get balanced nutrition.

Does a vegetarian diet pose any risks to my baby?

If your baby will start solids on a vegetarian diet, it’s important that you take extra care to ensure they get adequate nutrition.

Vegetarian diets may be low in protein, iron, zinc, calcium, omega-3 fats and some vitamins such as vitamin B12.

Speak to your doctor, child health nurse or a dietitian about ways to ensure your baby gets enough of these nutrients.

What should I feed my baby at 6 months old?

At around 6 months of age, your baby needs more nutrition than just breastmilk or formula can provide. At this age, they are able to sit up and hold their head without support and they have the necessary tongue control to manage their first solid foods, which should be soft and free of lumps. But remember that breastmilk or formula is still the most important food, so provide milk before offering solids.

At this stage, babies need some extra iron in their diet, so first foods should be rich in iron, such as iron-enriched infant cereal (mixed smooth with boiled, cooled water, breastmilk or formula) and cooked and pureed tofu and legumes.

What should I feed my baby at 6 to 12 months old?

Introduce your baby to a wide range of foods covering all 5 food groups: vegetables and fruits; grain (cereal) foods; protein foods, for example, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds and eggs; and milk, cheese, yoghurt or alternatives.

It doesn’t matter in which order you introduce new foods, as long as they are prepared in a manner suitable for the baby’s age and developmental stage, and include some iron-rich foods.

Here are some ideas for foods to offer your baby from all 5 food groups:

Vegetables, legumes and pulses, such as:

  • cooked and pureed vegetables (for example, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini)
  • home-made vegetable soups or stock mixed with vegetables
  • smooth peanut butter

Fruits, such as:

  • cooked and pureed fruit (for example, apple, pear, apricot, peach or nectarine)
  • raw, ripe mashed banana or mango
  • raw, mashed avocado
  • melon or plums, with skins and seeds removed
  • dried fruit, such as prunes or apricots, cooked to soften, then pureed

Eggs, fish and meat alternatives

  • cooked tofu
  • cooked fish, bones removed
  • egg that is thoroughly cooked (white is set and yolk begins to thicken)

Dairy products and alternatives, such as:

  • milk
  • yoghurt
  • custard
  • cottage cheese or grated cheese

Grains and cereals, such as:

  • iron-enriched baby cereals
  • toast fingers or rusks

For young babies, remove the skins and seeds from fruits and vegetables.

What texture food should I feed my baby?

Your baby will become more interested in a wider range of foods and textures as they grow:

  • At 7 to 8 months, babies start to chew thicker food with some soft lumps.
  • At 8 to 9 months, they can feed themselves soft ‘finger food’.
  • At 12 months, they can eat much the same food as the rest of the family eats.

What foods shouldn’t I give my baby?

Before your baby is a year old, you should not give them honey, products containing uncooked or runny egg, adult breakfast cereals, or cow’s milk as their main drink.

You don’t need to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food.

Don’t feed babies and young children hard or sticky foods that can cause choking, such as whole nuts, whole grapes, popcorn or lollies.

What should I feed my baby after 12 months of age?

After 12 months of age, your child can join in family meals and eat a wide variety of nutritious foods.

Milk remains important for calcium. Toddlers should have 1 to 1 ½ serves of dairy per day. A serving of dairy is one cup (250mL) of milk, a 200g tub of yoghurt or 2 slices (40g) of cheese.

Starting solids and allergies

Avoiding common allergy foods, such as eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, will not reduce your baby’s risk of developing allergies. It may even increase the likelihood of an allergy developing.

All babies should be given common allergy foods before they are 12 months old. This is the case even if they have severe eczema, another food allergy or if they have a close relative with a food allergy.

If you are concerned about food allergies, speak to your doctor or child health nurse about introducing those foods into your child's diet.

If your baby’s lip, eyes or face swell or if they develop welts on their body after you have introduced a new food, it could be an allergic reaction. Stop feeding the baby and seek medical advice straight away.

If your baby develops a rash, facial swelling or trouble breathing after eating a new food, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) (How to introduce solid foods to babies for allergy prevention), Department of Health (Eat for health – infant feeding guidelines), Department of Health (Australian guide to healthy eating), Department of Health (Serve sizes), Department of Health (Recommended number of serves for children, adolescents and toddlers), Dietitians Australia (What is a vegetarian diet), Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (Guide to foods – baby’s first year), WA Health (Baby’s first foods – Healthy eating from around 6 months)

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2022

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Related pages

  • Fruit and vegetables for children
  • Healthy eating for your child
  • Introducing solid food
  • Milk, cheese and yoghurt

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Baby’s first foods – Healthy eating from around 6 months

Starting solid food is exciting! It’s not just about eating healthy food – your baby is learning how to eat and to enjoy food, and to experience new tastes and textures. These early days will shape her attitudes to food and eating.