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 aged 6 months to 11 months…
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.
Three gorgeous greens, blended to a smooth and tasty veggie puree. Suitable from 6 months.
Fresh basil leaves add a slightly peppery edge to this sweet and simple puree. Suitable from 6 months.
A quick, nutritious finger-food meal. If you can stop yourself nibbling it first… Suitable from 6 months.
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.
A properly gooey veg-and-cheese combo. Makes enough for 6 portions. Suitable from 7 months.
A mild chuck-in-the-pan-and-simmer, baby-friendly vegetable curry. Suitable from 7 months.
A gently textured baby dish, with tomatoes and cheese adding flavour to the squash and rice. Suitable from 8 months.
Just the right size for small hands, these tasty fritters are great for encouraging self-feeding. Suitable from 8 months.
Couscous made with (low-salt) vegetable stock has a lovely subtle flavour that combines very tastily with chickpeas. Suitable from 8 months.
Finger-food par excellence, with a delicious dusting of paprika and herbs. Suitable from 8 months.
A protein-packed, cheesy-potato-topped winner. Makes enough for 6 portions (or some grown-ups tucking in, too). Suitable from 8 months.
Made with soya mince, mushrooms, carrots, onion, peppers, tomatoes, herbs – and a sprinkling of cheese. Suitable from 8 months.
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.
Five different veggies, gently spiced with curry paste, ginger, coconut and garlic. Suitable from 9 months.
A super-nutritious multi-veg sauce that goes brilliantly with baked spuds– or even piled on toast slices. Suitable from 9 months.
Lovely, grab-able grated-vegetable cakes. Suitable from 9 months.
A classic dish, with extra veggie heft. Makes enough for 8 portions. Suitable from 9 months.
A tasty 5-veg stew, with a cheesy breadcrumb topping. Suitable from 9 months.
Coriander, turmeric and cinnamon add a classic dahl flavour to sweet potato and red lentils. Suitable from 10 months.
A Mediterranean green, yellow and red veg fest, topped off with a pinch of organo. Suitable from 10 months.
This one’s delicious hot or cold – and slices well into baby-finger-size strips for self-feeding. Suitable from 10 months.
A tasty 2-veg bake, with layers of melted mozzarella and a sprinkling of Cheddar on top. Suitable from 10 months.
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.
Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots and sweetcorn, packed into pick-up-able crispy-coated chunks. Suitable from 11 months.
A little creme fraiche and lemon makes this simple iron-packed pasta dish taste creamy and special. Suitable from 11 months.
A lovely lentilly version of the Italian classic, with mustard and cayenne pepper perking up the cheese sauce. Suitable from 11 months.
Onion and carrots rolled in a cheesy breadcrumb coating. Makes 8 large sausages, so you freeze some for another day. Suitable from 11 months.
A super-easy, oven-baked dish, with mushrooms and tomatoes and a melted cheese topping. Suitable from 11 months.
Grilled peppers, cheese and sweetcorn, with a touch of chilli, deliciously squished between folded tortilla. Suitable from 11 months.