Vegan Food Guide

Written by Vesanto Melina, Registered Dietician

This is a food guide for adult vegans. Select a variety from the following food groups each day.

Breads & Cereals

4 servings daily (or more); whole grain products are recommended.

Samples of one serving:

  • Bread, 1 slice
  • Bagel, 1/2
  • Bannock, 2 oz (60 g)
  • Cereal, ready-to-eat, 3/4 cup (175 ml)
  • Cereal, cooked, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
  • Chapatti or roti, 1
  • Crackers, 4 to 6
  • Hamburger or hot dog bun, 1/2
  • Muffin, 1 small or 1/2 large
  • Pancake or waffle, 1
  • Pita bread, 1/2
  • Popcorn, 1 1/2 cups (375 ml)
  • Rice, 1/2 cup cooked (125 ml)
  • Roll, 1 small
  • Rye cracker, 2
  • Spaghetti, macaroni or other pasta, 1/2 cup cooked (125 ml)
  • Tortilla, 1

Vegetables & Fruits

5 servings daily (or more). Include 1-2 servings of dark green vegetables daily and at least one other vegetable.

Samples of 1 serving:

  • Vegetable or fruit, fresh, frozen or canned, 1/2 cup (125 ml)
  • Vegetable or fruit juice, 1/2 cup (125 ml) – must be fresh with some fibre
  • Medium sized vegetable or fruit eg. carrot, tomato, apple, banana, orange or peach, 1
  • Small fruit eg. apricot or plum, 2

Iron & Protein Foods

3 or 4 OR 4 servings daily. Eat these plant sources of iron at the same meal with a vitamin C source (a vegetable or fruit) to increase iron absorption.

Samples of 1 serving:

  • Cooked legumes (beans, pulses) 1 cup (250 ml)
  • Firm tofu 1/2 cup (125 ml)
  • Nuts or seeds 1/2 cup (125 ml)
  • Nut or seed butter 1/3 cup (80 ml)
  • Soya milk 2 cups (500 ml)

Calcium Foods

6 servings daily. Each serving provides approximately 100 mg of calcium. Please note that the serving sizes for some foods are small when counted as calcium servings.

Some foods can be counted as Fruit and Vegetable servings as wellas Calcium Foods servings (for example dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli).

Some foods can be counted as Iron and Protein Foods as well as Calcium Foods (for example moderately firm and firm tofu which is made with calcium, legumes, nuts and seeds especially almonds and sesame seeds)).

Soy milk does not serve as a calcium source unless fortified.

Samples of 1 serving:

  • Firm tofu made with calcium, 1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • Legumes, cooked, 1 cup (250 ml)
  • Unhulled sesame seeds or butter, 1 Tbsp (15 ml)
  • Sesame tahini, 2 Tbsp (30 ml)
  • Almonds, 1 1/2 oz (45 g)
  • Seaweeds, (hijiki, kelp, wakame) dried, (5-7 g)
  • Dark green vegetables (beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, collards, kale, mustard greens, okra, turnip greens), 1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked

Also Include:

FOR VITAMIN B12: 1 tsp (2 g) nutritional yeast (Red Star brand) or supplement.

FOR VITAMIN D: Vitamin D fortified margarine, 6 tsp, or supplement or sunlight.

FOR ADDITIONAL ENERGY: Energy rich foods may be added such as nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, and oils. Intake of breads, cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables may also be increased. Wheat grass is an excellent energy tonic added to your juice or smoothie.

SAMPLE MENU #1

Breakfast:

  • Orange juice, 1/2 cup
  • Oatmeal, 1/2 cup
  • Raisins, 2 Tbsp
  • Soy milk, 1 cup
  • Toast (1) with tahini, 2 Tbsp
  • Grain beverage

Lunch:

  • Humus, 1 cup
  • Pita bread, 1
  • Green salad (lettuce, kale, cut fine, alfalfa sprouts, 1 1/4 cup
  • Salad dressing, 1 Tbsp
  • Nutritional yeast, 1 tsp
  • Herb tea
  • Banana

Snacks:

  • Bran muffin, 1, with margarine, 1 Tbsp
  • Almonds, 45 g

SAMPLE MENU #2

Breakfast:

  • Apple juice, 1/2 cup
  • Granola, 1/2 cup
  • Nut milk (made with 1/4 cup nuts, ground)
  • Grain beverage

Lunch:

  • Lentil or pea soup, 1 cup (made with wakame or hijiki seaweed, optional)
  • Crackers, 2 to 4, with miso and tahini
  • Carrot and cabbage coleslaw, 1 cup
  • Nutritional yeast, 1 tsp
  • Fig bars, 2
  • Herb tea

Supper:

  • Burritos or tacos:
  • Corn tortillas, 2
  • Pinto bean chili, 1 cup
  • Tomato, 1/4 medium
  • Romaine lettuce, 1/4 cup
  • Salsa, optional
  • Apricots, 2
  • Herb tea

Snacks:

  • Bread, 2 slices with 2 tsp flax oil and 4 Tbsp almond butter. (This could be part of breakfast).
  • Blender drink of orange juice, banana and tofu.

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