Feeding Guides

Babies and toddlers should eat a certain amount of food from the four main food groups each day. For our veggie babies, these food groups are:

Vegetables and Fruit
Milk and Milk Alternatives
Legumes, Nuts, Seeds and Eggs (Meat Alternatives)

Servings and serving sizes vary by age, and are outlined in our feeding guides.

How much your baby or toddler eats will vary day by day. One day she might eat her plate clean, and the next she might try only a bite. Remember that eating is a learning process, and your child’s appetite and taste buds are constantly changing.

Try not to stress out if your baby refuses to eat certain meals or foods — it’s normal! Babies and toddlers are fickle, and it certainly can be frustrating if your lovingly cooked meals end up on the floor. A healthy baby won’t starve herself — take your cues from your veggie baby, and don’t force her to eat if she isn’t interested.

And don’t worry if your baby eats as though he is starving. It’s important to remember that a healthy baby will eat until he’s full; you can’t over feed your new eater.

As long as your child is eating a well-balanced selection of whole foods — whole grains, fruits and veggies, and legumes and pulses — you can be sure she’s getting all the nutrients she needs to thrive.

Always talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have serious concerns, such as if your child is experiencing consistent weight loss, seems unwell, or outright refuses to eat any solid foods.

Understanding Serving Sizes

Not surprisingly, a toddler’s energy requirements (and as a result, food servings) aren’t very large. Generally speaking, a child between the ages of 1 and 3 will need to eat about 1/4 to 1/2 of an adult’s standard serving (i.e. not restaurant-sized servings that are often enough for two adults to share).

Read here to learn more about calorie requirements for your baby.

Once your baby hits the one-year mark, she starts to grow more slowly and simply doesn’t need as much food, pound for pound, as she did in her first year.

An average meal for a toddler might look like:

1/4 to 1/2 slice of toast
1 ounce grated cheese
1/4 cup cooked, mashed beans
2-3 tablespoons of cooked carrot
2-3 tablespoons of applesauce

If you don’t have time to measure out each portion, or can’t picture what a 1/4 cup looks like, keep this handy guide in mind when serving up your baby’s meal.

A standard muffin is the size of a tennis ball
One ounce of cheese is a pair of dice
One ounce of meat is your ring and little finger
Two tablespoons of peanut butter is a ping-pong ball
One quarter cup fruit, vegetables, yogurt, etc is the size of a medium egg

Below are guidelines and sample meal plans for babies and toddlers 0-3 years old.

Feeding Guide: 0-6 months

Breast feed or formula feed only. Click here to learn why it’s best to wait until 6 months to start your baby on solid food.

Breast Feeding

Human milk contains very low levels of Vitamin D, so be sure to give your baby a Vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (or 400 IU) daily to prevent a deficiency. A Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a disease that is characterized by soft, improperly mineralized bones. You can also expose your child to 30 minutes of sunlight per week if wearing only a diaper, or 2 hours per week if fully clothed (but no hat). Try to stretch out your sun exposure over the course of the week as it can take as little as 10 minutes for skin to burn when the UV index is high, and up to 45 minutes when the UV index is on the lower end.

Formula Feeding

Baby formula is fortified with Vitamin D, so deficiencies in this area are not a concern. If formula feeding, do some research on the best kind of formula for your baby. There are lots of dairy-free baby formulas that meet vegetarian standards, but currently none that are vegan as they all contain Vitamin D3 from fish or lanolin in sheep’s wool. Dairy-free formulas are also appropriate for formula-fed babies that have a dairy allergy. If you are feeding your baby a dairy-based formula and she’s fussy or colicky, you might want to consider switching to a soy-based formula.

Some dairy-free formulas include:

  • Baby’s Only Organic Soy Formula (Vitamin D is obtained from lanolin) – this is also the only soy formula made without corn syrup
  • Nestle Good Start Supreme Soy DHA & ARA (Vitamin D is obtained from lanolin)
  • Parent’s Choice Soy Infant formula (Vitamin D is obtained from lanolin)
  • Enfamil ProSobee and Enfagrow Toddler Transitions Soy (Vitamin D is obtained from lanolin, DHA is from micro algae and ARA is from fungi)
  • Bright Beginnings Soy Pediatric Drink (Vitamin D is made from animal cholesterol)
  • Ross Labs Similac Isomil (Vitamin D is obtained from lanolin)

Please do not make your own vegan or vegetarian infant formula, as this could lead to nutrient deficiencies and serious health issues.

Feeding Guide: 6-9 Months

 6-9 months
Offer 1-3 meals per day, plus breast milk or formula
Food Group Number of servings Examples
Vegetables and Fruit Start with small amounts (1-2 tablespoons). Gradually increase from 4 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons. Cooked, pureed vegetables, such as sweet potato, carrots or peas

Soft mashed fruit, such as banana or kiwi

Hard cooked fruit, pureed, such as apple or pear

Grain Products Start with small amounts. Gradually increase from 4 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons. Iron-fortified infant cereal


At 8-9 months, offer small, cooked pasta and noodles, rice, crackers, “oat ring” cereals

Milk and Alternatives Breast milk or formula only Feed according to hunger cues
Legumes, nuts, seeds and Eggs (Meat Alternatives) Start with small amounts. Gradually increase from 4 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons. Mashed tofu

Cooked and pureed legumes, such as lentils

Nut butters, such as almond or peanut

Hard boiled mashed egg, with water, breast milk or formula added to thin consistency

Feeding Guide: 9-12 Months

Ages 9-12 months
Offer 2-3 meals per day, and 1-2 snacks, along with breast milk or formula
Food Group Number of servings Examples
Vegetables and Fruit 1/2 cup to 1 cup Your baby is ready to start picking up food on his own and feeding himself. Make sure that the foods you feed him are very soft and cut into small 1cm by 1cm cubes to reduce the risk of choking. Your baby might also still want to eat pureed food, and that’s okay! Offer him a little bit of both.

Very soft, cooked pieces of vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots or squash

Soft fruit, such as banana or kiwi

Grain Products 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup Infant cereal or homemade oatmeal

Toast, pasta or rice

Tortillas, roti

Dairy and Alternatives 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup + breast milk or formula If planning to introduce cow’s milk into your child’s diet, wait until they are 12 months old.

Add plant-based milks (soy, almond, etc.) into your child’s oatmeal or infant cereal for added taste.

1/2 cup yogurt

1/3 cup cottage cheese

1 oz grated cheese

Legumes, nuts, seeds and Eggs (Meat Alternatives) 6-8 tablespoons or 1 tablespoon of peanut or nut butters Lentils

Mashed tofu

Mashed or pureed black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas

1 whole egg

1 tablespoon peanut or nut butter

Feeding Guide: 12-36 Months 

Ages 12-36 months (1-3 years)
Offer 3 meals per day, plus up to two snacks. If breastfeeding, continue as usual.
Food Group Number of servings Examples
Vegetables and Fruit 4-5 servings of 3-4 tablespoons each Offer one dark green and one orange vegetable per day.

1/2 to 1 medium-sized vegetable or fresh fruit

3-4 tablespoons of fresh, cooked or mashed fruit

3-4 tablespoons of cooked vegetables

1/4-1/2 cup raw vegetables

Grain Products Offer 5-6 servings per day. 1/2 to 1 slice of bread

1/2 cup to 1 cup of whole grain cereal

1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, grain, pasta, or rice

Milk and Alternatives 3 servings 1 cup of fortified plant milk (soy milk is recommended as it is highest in protein and energy)

1 cup of cow’s milk

1-2 ounces of cheese

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/3 to 3/4 cups of yogurt

Legumes, nuts, seeds and Eggs (Meat Alternatives) 2 or more 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked beans, tofu, tempeh or textured vegetable protein

1 ounce of meat analogue

1 whole egg

1 to 2 Tbsp nut butters or seed butters

Include at least 1 serving of nuts, seeds, a full-fat soy product