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Can my child eat vegetarian food?

  1. Your child can eat vegetarian well. Just make sure to replace the meat properly so that your child gets enough protein, iron, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12.

Replace meat

  1. Choose egg, tempeh, tofu or legumes such as kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils every day. Nuts are also good meat substitutes, but be aware of the risk of choking. Only give nut butters and peanut butter to children up to the age of 4 (without sugar and salt). And be careful with children up to and including 8 years old. Eat them at the table and stick with them. Or, if in doubt, only give ground nuts, peanut butter and nut butter.


  1. Does your child eat not meat, but fish? Then make sure you feed fish once a week.


  1. Vegetables also contain iron. So give your child plenty of vegetables every day. In the Wheel of Five for you you can see how much your child needs. Vegetables contain vegetable iron. The body absorbs this less easily. Vitamin C helps to get iron from food. Therefore, give your child fruit with every meal, so that the body of your child absorbs the iron better.

Ready-to-use meat substitutes

  1. You can also take a ready-to-eat meat substitute from time to time, such as vegetarian strips or balls. Before you buy these, check the label to see if they are a good meat substitute. In any case, a good vegetarian choice contains protein, iron and vitamin B1 or vitamin B12. Look further on the label to see how much salt it contains. The kidneys of children up to the age of 4 are not yet able to process this properly. Too much salt is also unhealthy for older children. What are good meat substitutes?

No animal products at all

  1. Do you want to give your child no animal products at all, including milk, cheese and eggs? Then give your child a vitamin B12 supplement and ask a dietitian for advice. It is very important that your child is not deficient in nutrients, because your child is still growing.

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