When babies are standing on their own two feet and ready to head off into the world, their nutrient needs start to change. As they begin to rely less on breast milk or formula and more on family foods, they can have a wonderful time exploring textures and flavors, and feeding themselves. These early years are also a time of nutritional vulnerability, with growth spurts, food jags, and ever-changing food preferences.

The key to success is to plan well, relax, be flexible, and have fun. The following guide will help you plan a menu that will ensure your little one gets everything they need to grow up healthy and happy! One thing is for sure: no animal proteins are needed to make sure your children grow up with the right nutrition. So long as you make conscious choices to make sure your children achieve a balanced and full array of nutrients like those listed below, it is indeed very possible to feed babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, and beyond a healthy vegan diet.

Vegan Food Guide for Toddlers (1- to 3-year-old Children)

Include a wide variety of foods. Offer water from a cup between meals.

Milks and Formula

  • Total 20 to 24 ounces (600 to 700 milliliters; five servings of breast milk, commercial infant formula, full-fat fortified soy milk, or a combination of these.

Breads and Cereals

4 or more toddler-size servings; 1 toddler-size serving =

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) cooked cereal, grain, or pasta
  • 1/2 slice bread or a similar-sized piece of tortilla, pita bread, or roll
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) ready-to-eat cereal

Vegetables

2 or more toddler-size servings; 1 toddler-size serving =

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) salad or other raw vegetable pieces
  • 1/3 cup (85 milliliters) vegetable juice

Fruits

2 or more toddler-size servings; 1 toddler-size serving =

  • 1/2 to 1 fresh fruit
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) cooked fruit
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fruit juice (limit to 1/2 cup total per day)

Beans and Alternatives

2 or more toddler-size servings; 1 toddler-size serving =

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) cooked beans, peas, or lentils
  • 2 ounces (60 grams) tofu or tempeh
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce (15 to 30 grams) meat substitute
  • 2 ounces (30 milliliters) soy yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 milliliters) peanut butter

Nuts and Seeds

1 or more toddler-size serving; 1 toddler-size serving =

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 milliliters) nut or seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) nuts or seeds

Feeding a vegan toddler doesn’t have to be challenging if you follow simple guidelines like these. For more on feeding vegan babies and kids, check out some other great guides on One Green Planet, including How to Feed an Infant a Vegan Diet here . There’s more about what healthy vegan kids eat here. One Green Planet also has listed out 10 great vegan recipes your kids will love here. Be sure to check them all out!

If you have a toddler that you feed a vegan diet, what are your go-to foods and recipes? Be sure to share with us in the comments, so we can all share in the good news that a new crop of vegan-fed kids is rising up all over the country (and the world)!

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