What to Feed your Vegetarian Child

Nectarines | Source

Vegetarian diet and your child

A vegetarian diet can be perfectly healthy for babies and young children, as long as they get enough protein and iron.

Milk, eggs and other dairy products are a good source of protein, as are grains, pulses and nut pastes.

Getting the right level of iron can be more problematic with children, not just because their iron sources - such as green leafy vegetables, pulses and seeds - are less easily absorbed, but also because many children, vegetarian or not, go through food fads.

If a vegetarian child doesn't eat sufficient fruit, then vitamin C won't be available to aid iron absorption. To try to conserve as much Vitamin C as you can when preparing food for your baby or toddler, follow these mealtime tips:

  1. Don't overcook vegetables.
  2. Steam vegetables where possible.
  3. Use the cooking liquid from boiled vegetables in baby purees.
  4. Serve raw tomatoes; or skin, deseed, puree and stir into mixed baby purees.
  5. Serve fresh fruit juice mixed at least half-and-half with cooled boiled water for babies over nine months.
  6. Offer fruit for dessert or a snack.

How to get your kids to like vegetables

  • For more adventurous eaters, flavour saucy pasta with a clove of garlic and a little pesto.
  • Encourage children to cook with you and to get to know the names of the ingredients.
  • Helping to dish up a mini portion for their teddy or brother or sister can lure a fussy eater to the table.
  • Most children will go through a faddy stage - some may go off green vegetables and many will refuse all vegetables! Don't despair, it won't last forever.
  • Encourage your child to try new foods, but never insist they eat it all or you'll put them off for life.
  • Offer some vegetables you know your child will try with a spoonful of an unfamiliar vegetable.
  • Make eating vegetables fun, by pretending broccoli spears are trees, or that runner beans will make your child run fast!
  • If your child doesn't like the texture of soft cooked vegetables, offer her vegetables which stay crunchy when cooked, like corn on the cob, or raw vegetables.
  • Many children don't like vegetables but will eat fruit. Encourage them to try a wider variety of fruit and then build on that.
  • Add vegetables to slow-cooked chicken or lamb casseroles then lift out the meat and puree the sauce to disguise the vegetables.

The House That Jack Built

  • 1 large slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 strip of red capsicum
  • 1/2 stick celery
  • a small amount of mustard and cress
  • 1 slice of mushroom
  • few broccoli florets
  • 1 green bean, halved
  • 1 frozen pea
  • a small amount of tomato sauce


  1. Cut cheese slice into a house shape and place on a small plate. Peel and thinly slice the carrot and arrange slices, overlapping one another, to create a roof.
  2. Cut 2 red capsicum windows and a door. cut tiny strips of celery to make frames for windowpanes and a piece for the chimney. Add to plate, with cress for grass and mushroom for path.
  3. Cook broccoli, bean and pea in a saucepan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and arrange on plate.
  4. Squirt a little tomato sauce onto the plate for chimney smoke.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: Serves 1 little person
5 stars from 1 rating of The House That Jack Built Recipe

More by this Author

Share your thoughts on vegetarian diet for children

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article