VEGAN DIET FOR BABIES II: FULL RECIPES & MEALS PLANS FOR 7-9 MONTHS OLD

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Continued from: Raising a Vegan Baby: A Complete Guide On Vegan Infant Diet, Health And Nutrition

and: Vegan Diet For Babies I: General Guide on What, When, And How Much

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What should 7-9 month old infants eat and drink?

By 7-9 months of age, a baby should be eating a range of mashed foods and some finger foods, and be offered three meals a day, as well as having breastmilk or infant formula feeds.

A 7-9 month old baby might have an eating pattern something like the one shown below.

Example Vegan Baby Menu Plan for 7-9 month olds


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On waking:

Breastmilk or first infant formula Breakfast Cereal or other breakfast

Finger food

Sleep

Lunch 

Savory meal

Savory finger food

Breastmilk or first infant formula

Sleep

Savory meal

Savory finger food

Breastmilk or first infant formula

Before bed     

Breastmilk or first infant formula

How much food does a vegan baby of 7-9 month old need to complement milk feeds?

To complement the energy that a vegan baby will get from breastmilk or about 600ml of infant formula, it is estimated that a 7-9 month old baby will need approximately 250kcals each day from food. However, this figure is an average and babies will have variable appetites and energy needs and should be encouraged to eat to appetite. Babies of this age will also need about 5.9g protein, 225mg calcium,

4.8mg iron and 1.4mg zinc from food each day to complement the nutrients in breastmilk or infant formula (as well as the fat and carbohydrate and a range of other vitamins and minerals that their foods will provide). We have used these average figures to calculate the amount of food and types of food that will meet a baby’s needs at this age.

Breastfed babies

Breastfed vegan babies will still be fed responsively by their mums, and as food intake increases, breastmilk intake will decline. It is important to offer increasing amounts of food at meals to ensure babies get all the nutrients they need, as well as the opportunity to get used to a wide range of tastes and textures, and the enjoyment of eating with others. There is no need to know how much milk a breastfed baby has – mums will follow their baby’s cues, and of course a breastfeed may also be about comfort and nurturing as well as about a feed.

Formula-fed vegan babies


Formula-fed babies will probably have about 600ml of milk a day in a bottle or cup at 7-9 months, and how these drinks are spaced between meals will depend on the family schedule. Babies at this age often still have a milk drink on waking, and before naps and bedtime. If babies fill up on milk before meals, they may be less interested in trying new foods, so giving milk drinks after meals is recommended.

Vitamin D

It is recommended that all breastfed babies should receive a supplement of 8.5-10 micrograms of vitamin D a day from birth, or in some areas from 1 month of age. Families should always follow the advice of the health professional who advises their family. See page 9 for more on vitamins for babies.

What consistency should the food be?

Babies at this age should be able to manage mashed food with some soft lumps in it.

Why do babies of this age need finger foods?


It is important that babies learn to feed themselves, and most will be very keen to take an active part in mealtimes. Babies need to learn to bite off small, soft lumps of food, manage them in the mouth and swallow them. Also, picking up foods helps a child to develop manual coordination and dexterity, and learning about textures is an important part of development.

Finger foods for 7-9 month old vegan babies

Finger foods for 7-9 month olds should be soft, so that babies can start to bite pieces of food in their mouth. Cut soft foods into manageable-sized pieces, making sure there are no stringy bits, skin or pips.

Soft finger foods suitable at this age include the following:

Soft fruit such as melon, mango, kiwi, banana, peach, or canned fruits in juice (drained)

Cooked vegetables such as carrot, parsnip, green beans, mange-tout or red pepper

Cooked starchy foods such as potato, sweet potato or pasta pieces.

Portion sizes

It is important not to worry about portion sizes at this age. There will be mess, there will be days when babies eat a lot less than others, and some foods may be rejected completely the first time they are offered.

The golden rules for Vegan Baby Meal Planning

  • Offer simple and unprocessed foods.
  • Let baby get involved in the eating experience.
  • Avoid ultra-processed foods.

Offering a variety of the example meals and finger foods shown on pages 41-54 will, alongside breastmilk or infant formula and any supplements recommended, provide an average 7-9 month old baby with the energy and nutrients they need for growth and activity. (The plates and bowls used in this resource are shown in actual size on page 134.)

 Never force babies to eat, and accept that learning to eat is part of overall development. We don’t force babies to crawl at a certain age, and babies will vary in the speed at which they accept new foods and food textures. It is not a race.

Encouraging drinking from a cup

Infants should be encouraged to drink from an open cup and can be offered sips of water from a small baby cup or an open-handled cup at mealtimes.

The only drinks that are recommended for 7-9 month olds are breastmilk or an appropriate infant formula, and water.

Example meals for vegan babies of 7-9 months old

This section contains some example meals that give an idea of the types of foods and amounts of foods that can help meet the nutritional needs of vegan 7-9 month olds.

All of the recipes included in this section are also suitable for vegetarians and for those on dairy-free and/ or egg-free diets. We have also indicated which recipes are gluten-free.

Vegan breakfasts for 7-9 month old babies

(scroll down for full recipes)

  • Apple porridge made with soya milk alternative. Finger food: Banana
  • Baby rice made with soya milk alternative, with banana. Finger food: Kiwi
  • Pear and prune compôte made with soya yoghurt. Finger food: Canned peach slices
  • Weet bisk with soya milk alternative and sultanas. Finger food: Poached pear

Vegan savory meals for 7-9 month old babies

(scroll down for full recipes)

  • African sweet potato stew. Finger food: Sliced avocado
  • Avocado and peas with mashed potato. Finger food: Cooked baby carrots
  • Chick pea and spinach dahl with mashed sweet potato. Finger food: Cooked red pepper
  • Chick pea, leek and carrot stew. Finger food: Cooked broccoli florets
  • Kidney bean, apple and root vegetable stew. Finger food: Cooked macaroni or pasta shapes
  • Pink risotto. Finger food: Fried tofu cubes
  • Potato, mint and soya yoghurt mash with butternut squash. Finger food: Sweetcorn
  • Rice, red lentil and cauliflower purée. Finger food: Cooked green beans

Vegan desserts for 7-9 month old babies

(scroll down for full recipes)

  • Mango fool
  • Nectarine and apple compôte with soya cream
  • Rice pudding made with soya milk alternative, with dried apricot purée Semolina made with soya milk alternative, with date purée

Vegan BREAKFAST Recipes for Babies

Apple porridge made with soya milk alternative

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 120g.

Ingredients

  • 40g porridge oats
  • 400ml unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk

Alternative

  • 120g grated apple (1/2 large apple, cored and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Method

Place all the ingredients in a non-stick saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring all the time, until the porridge is cooked. Allow to cool before serving.

Finger food: Banana.

Serve the banana in fingers, to make it easier for the baby to hold.

Baby rice made with soya milk alternative, with banana

vegan meal plan for babies

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This recipe makes 4 portions of about 110g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 350ml unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk
  • alternative, warm or cold
  • 40g baby rice
  • 1 small banana

Method 

If using warm milk, heat the milk. Mix the milk with the rice and stir well.

Peel and mash the banana.

If using warm milk, check the temperature before serving. Add a dessertspoon of banana to each bowl before serving.

Finger food: Kiwi.

Peel and slice the kiwi fruit and cut it into fingers.

Pear and prune compôte made with soya yoghurt

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 ripe or soft-poached pear

60g prunes canned in juice, drained

200g unsweetened soya milk yoghurt

Method

Peel, core and finely chop the pear if ripe and soft. If firm, poach it in a little water until soft and then chop finely.

Finely chop the canned prunes.

Combine the chopped fruit and spoon it over the yoghurt.

Finger food: Canned peach slices.

Use peach slices canned in juice, drained.

Weet bisk with soya milk alternative and sultanas

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g.

Ingredients

  • 4 weet bisks
  • 350ml unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk

Alternative

60g sultanas

Method

Crumble the weet bisks and add the soya milk alternative.

Chop the sultanas and mix them into the cereal mixture.

Finger food: Poached pear.

Serve soft fingers of poached pear that are easy to hold.

SAVORY VEGAN BABY MEALS 

African sweet potato stew 

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g frozen green beans, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 1 small (210g) can kidney beans canned in water, drained (drained weight 130g)

Method

Heat the oil in a pan, over a medium heat.

Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or until tender.

Add the sweet potato, green beans, tomato purée and water and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Stir in the peanut butter and kidney beans. Mash until smooth, with soft lumps.

Allow to cool before serving.

Finger food: Sliced avocado

Avocado and peas with mashed potato

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 95g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk alternative
  • 90g frozen peas
  • 1 large ripe avocado, stoned and peeled
  • 1/4 tablespoon mint, finely chopped (optional)

Method

Boil the potato until tender, and then drain and mash it with the soya milk alternative.

Boil the peas in water until tender, and then drain and allow to cool.

Mash the peas with the avocado and mint.

Finger food: Cooked baby carrots

Chick pea and spinach dahl with mashed sweet potato

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 small (210g) can chick peas canned in water, drained (drained weight 130g)
  • 150g fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

Method

In a frying pan, heat the oil and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and turmeric, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the drained chick peas and spinach, and cook until the spinach has wilted. Or, if using frozen spinach, cook until it is defrosted and cooked through.

Mash the mixture with a fork to make a smooth mixture, with soft lumps.

Boil the sweet potato until tender and then mash it.

Serve the cooled chick pea dahl with the mashed sweet potato.

Finger food: Cooked red pepper

Chick pea, leek and carrot stew

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  •  1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 150ml water
  • 1 small can (210g) chick peas canned in water, drained (drained weight 130g)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the leek and cook until soft.

Add the carrots and water.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Add the chick peas and tomato purée to the vegetables and their juices and mash until smooth, with soft lumps.

Allow to cool before serving.

Finger food: Cooked broccoli florets

Kidney bean, apple and root vegetable stew

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/8 swede, peeled and diced
  • 200ml water
  • 1/2 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 small (210g) can kidney beans in water, (drained weight 130g)

Method 

Put the parsnip and swede in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil.

Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the apple and kidney beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

Mash with the cooking liquid until mostly smooth, with some soft lumps.

Finger food: Cooked macaroni or pasta shapes

Pink risotto

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50g basmati rice
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 150g (2 or 3) cooked beetroot (vacuum-packed, not in vinegar), finely diced
  • 1/2 small (220g) can chopped tomatoes

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft.

Add the rice and stir until well coated.

Pour the boiling water over the rice, cover and cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the diced beetroot, reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 12 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.

Add the chopped tomatoes and mash until smooth, with soft lumps. Allow to cool before serving.

Finger food: Fried tofu cubes.

Tofu can be hard for a baby to hold. To make firmer cubes, remove excess liquid by placing the tofu block under a plate and waiting for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the tofu into cubes and gently fry in vegetable oil on all sides until lightly browned. Allow to cool before serving.

Potato, mint and soya yoghurt mash with butternut squash

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 50g unsweetened soya yoghurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

Method

Boil the potato in water until tender.

Drain the potato and then mash it with the yoghurt and mint.

Boil the sweet potato until soft and then mash it. Allow to cool, and then serve with the potato and yogurt mixture.

Finger food: Sweetcorn.

Use sweetcorn canned in water, drained.

Rice, red lentil and cauliflower purée 

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cooking apple, cored, peeled and diced
  • 40g red lentils
  • 200ml water
  • 6 cauliflower florets
  • 60g white rice, cooked in boiling water until tender

Method

Place the carrot, sweet potato and apple in a saucepan with the lentils and water and bring to the boil.

Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Mash until smooth, with soft lumps, and allow to cool before serving.

Serve with the cooked white rice.

Finger food: Cooked green beans

Vegan Baby Diet Desserts

Mango fool

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 75g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large mango, peeled, stoned and diced
  • 200g unsweetened soya yoghurt

Method

Roughly mash the mango.

Mix the mango with the yoghurt.

Nectarine and apple compôte with soya cream

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 60g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 large nectarine, peeled, stoned and diced

1 small apple, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons water

4 dessertspoons unsweetened soya cream

Method

Place the nectarine, apple and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down, put a lid on the saucepan, and simmer until the apple is soft.

Mash the fruit.

Allow to cool before serving. Add a dessertspoon of cream to each portion.

Rice pudding made with soya milk alternative, with dried apricot purée

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 60g. Gluten-free.

Ingredients

250ml unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk alternative

40g pudding rice

10-15 soft dried apricots, finely chopped

Method

  1. Place the milk and rice in a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the milk has been absorbed and the rice is soft. This may take about 15 minutes.
  1. Soak the chopped dried apricots in boiling water for 10 minutes and then push through a sieve to make a purée.
  2. Serve the rice pudding with a spoonful of purée on the top. Allow to cool before serving.

Semolina made with soya milk alternative, with date purée

vegan meal plan for babies

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 50g.

Ingredients

  • 20g semolina
  • 300ml unsweetened calcium-fortified soya milk alternative
  • 10 dried dates or figs, finely chopped

Method

  1. Place the semolina and milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until soft, stirring regularly.
  2. Soak the chopped dried fruit in boiling water until soft. Drain the fruit and push it through a sieve to make a purée.
  3. Mix the semolina and dried fruit purée together.

Allow to cool before serving.

Continue to the next Chapter! VEGAN DIET FOR BABIES II: FULL RECIPES & MEALS PLANS FOR 10-12 MONTHS OLDS

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