Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011 ; Partial revision Jul 2019

General diet - vegan

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a nutritionally adequate diet for people who do not eat any food of animal origin.


A diet strictly eliminating foods and beverages containing any meat, poultry, fish, milk, egg, or products derived from them.



Nutritional adequacy

Not nutritionally adequate unless fortified foods (eg cereals and soy beverages) and / or supplements are used to provide adequate vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc. High-protein plant foods must be available at each meal.


Care should be taken to read all product ingredients to look for ingredients of animal origin, e.g. casein, whey, dairy solids, gelatine, honey, albumin, globulin and egg mayonnaise. Food items which are compliant to a vegan diet but which include a ‘may contain’ allergen statement, are allowed to be provided on the diet.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes

Dishes specially prepared for vegans based on beans, peas, tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), lentils, nuts

(At least one Band 1 choice per day, providing at least 15g protein per serve; others Band 2)

Any dishes containing meat, poultry, fish, milk or eggs

Any dishes cooked with wine made with egg white as a fining ingredient

Sauces, graviesVegetable-based sauces without dairy or meat fatsStocks and gravies made with meat, butter, milk, or stock powders made with animal products
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll prepared without milk, butter or milk containing margarineVegetables prepared with milk, cheese, animal fat, or butter
VegetablesVegetables prepared without milk, butter or milk-containing margarineVegetables prepared with milk, cheese, animal fat, or butter
SoupsVegetable soups made without animal-based stocks, milk, butter or milk-containing margarineSoups prepared with meat, eggs, poultry, milk, butter or milk-containing margarine

Peanut butter, soy cheese, hummus, felafel, baked beans (+/- salad)

(All Band 1, providing at least 10g protein per serve)

All others
Salads, dressings

Beans (chickpeas, soybeans kidney beans etc), pasta, potato, rice, plus other vegetables

(Band 2, providing at least 10g protein per serve)

Egg-based mayonnaise

All others

Breads, cereals

Milk-free breads

Rice and corn cakes

Rice, oats, corn or wheat flour

Pasta and noodles made without egg

Plain corn-based, rice-based or wheat-based cereals

Bread containing milk


Breakfast cereals with milk or honey (e.g. muesli)

SpreadsMilk-free margarine, jam, peanut butter, Vegemite™Honey, cheese, meat spreads, butter, milk-containing margarine
Hot breakfast choicesBaked beans in tomato sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, spaghetti in tomato sauce

Eggs, meat

Baked beans in ham or cheese sauce

FruitAll fruits, fresh and canned-
YoghurtSoy yoghurt (gelatine free)Dairy-based yoghurt

Fresh and canned fruit

Soy custard

Jellied fruit prepared with agar or vegetable gums

Desserts containing dairy, eggs, gelatine, cochineal or rennet (e.g. custards, ice-cream, regular jelly, junket)
Milk and cheese

Soy or rice milk fortified with calcium and vitamin B12

Soy cheese (free of gelatine or animal rennet)

Cow’s milk and cheese

Soy cheese containing casein

BeveragesFortified soy or rice milk, juices, soft drinks, cordial, tea, coffeeCow’s milk, Aktavite®, Ovaltine®, Milo®, Bonox®
BiscuitsBiscuits made with only vegetable fats and oils and no milkRegular commercial biscuits

Nuts and seeds

Egg replacer



  1. Dietitians Association of Australia. Nutrition manual. 8th ed. Canberra: DAA; 2009.
  2. Craig WJ, Mangels AR, American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc 2009;109:1266-82.
  3. Marsh K, Zeuschner C, Saunders A, Reid M. Meeting nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet. Aust Fam Phys 2009;38(8):600-2.
  4. Vegan Society NSW.

Change log

July 2019

Section updatedChange
Precautions Added Food items which are compliant with a vegan diet but which include a ‘may contain’ allergen statement, are allowed to be provided on the diet
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