Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Jul 2017 ; Partial revision Jul 2019


General diet - vegetarian and seafood

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

Aim

To provide a nutritionally adequate diet for people who do not eat any animal flesh foods.

Characteristics

A diet strictly eliminating foods and beverages containing any meat, poultry, and products derived from animals e.g. gelatine. Allows milk, cheese, eggs, fish and seafood.

Indications

  • Vegetarians.

Nutritional adequacy

May not be nutritionally adequate unless fortified foods (e.g. cereals) are used to provide adequate iron and zinc. High-protein plant foods should be available at each meal.

Precautions

Care should be taken to read all product ingredients to look for ingredients of meat or poultry origin, e.g. gelatine. For products fortified with Vitamin D, the source should be identified. Food items which are compliant to a vegetarian and seafood diet but which include a ‘may contain’ allergen statement, are allowed to be provided on the diet.

Paediatrics

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

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes All others including those containing milk, cheese, eggs, fish or shellfish Any dishes containing meat, poultry or their derivatives including animal fats.
Sauces, gravies All others Stocks, sauces and gravies made with meat or poultry products e.g. gelatine
Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice All others Dishes prepared with animal fats or products e.g. gelatine or rennet
Vegetables All others Vegetables prepared with meat or poultry or their derivatives e.g. gelatine or animal rennet
Soups All other soups Soups prepared with meat or poultry or their derivatives
Sandwiches Sandwiches made using allowed ingredients Sandwiches prepared with meat or poultry or their derivatives
Salads, dressings Salads and dressings using allowed ingredients Salads or salad dressings containing meat or poultry or their derivatives
Breads, cereals All breads and cereals -
Spreads All others e.g. jam, nut butters, yeast spread, margarine, butter, honey, hummus, tahini, fish and shellfish pastes Spreads prepared with meat or poultry or their derivatives e.g. Meat spreads, pâté
Hot breakfast choices All others e.g. eggs, baked beans in tomato sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, spaghetti in tomato or cheese sauce, creamed corn, sardines, smoked salmon

Meat and poultry products e.g. bacon, sausages etc.

Baked beans in ham sauce

Congee made with meat or poultry

Fruit All fruit – fresh, canned or dried Jellied fruit (if made with gelatine)
Yoghurt All yoghurts without gelatine Yoghurts containing gelatine
Desserts All others, including jellied fruit prepared with agar or vegetable gums Desserts containing gelatine or animal rennet
Milk and cheese

All milks and milk alternatives

All cheeses containing non-animal rennet

All cheeses containing animal-derived rennet.
Beverages Milk, juices, carbonated drinks, cordial, tea, coffee, chocolate drink powders Beef based beverages (e.g. Bonox®)
Biscuits All others Biscuits and crackers made with meat or poultry ingredients or derivatives (e.g. animal fats, chicken flavouring)
Miscellaneous

Nuts and seeds

Cream (made without gelatine)

Pepper, salt

Sugar, sweeteners

Chocolate, lollies

Colours from animal origin (e.g. E120)

References

  1. Dietitians Association of Australia. Nutrition manual. 9th ed. Canberra: DAA; 2014.
  2. Melina, V., Craig, W., and Levin, S for the American Dietetic Association. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: vegetarian diets. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2016:116:12:1970-1980.
  3. Marsh K, Zeuschner C, Saunders A, Reid M. Meeting nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet. Aust Fam Phys 2009;38(8):600-2

Change log

July 2019

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