Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011 ; Partial revision Jul 2019

General diet - vegetarian including milk and eggs

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 animal flesh foods.


A diet strictly eliminating foods and beverages containing any meat, poultry, fish, and gelatine foods and products.


Lacto-ovo vegetarians.

Nutritional adequacy

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


Care should be taken to read all product ingredients to look for ingredients of animal origin, eg gelatine. Food items which are compliant to a vegetarian including milk and eggs 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 vegetarians based on beans, peas, tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), lentils, nuts, milk, cheese and eggs

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

Any dishes containing meat, poultry or fish

Sauces, graviesSauces without meat fats or juices; butter acceptableStocks and gravies made with meat or animal products
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll prepared without lard, but including vegetables in white sauce with cheeseVegetables prepared with lard
VegetablesAllVegetables prepared with lard
SoupsVegetable soups made without animal-based stocksSoups prepared with meat, poultry or fish

Peanut butter, cheese, egg, salad

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

Sandwiches with meat, poultry or fish
Salads, dressings

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

All dressings (including mayonnaise)

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

Breads, cereals

All breads, cereals, pasta and noodles

SpreadsJam, peanut butter, Vegemite™, margarine, butter, honeyMeat and fish spreads
Hot breakfast choicesEggs, baked beans in tomato sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, spaghetti in tomato or cheese sauce, creamed corn

Meat (eg bacon)

Baked beans in ham sauce

FruitAll fruits, fresh or cannedJellied fruit (if made with gelatine)
YoghurtAll yoghurts without gelatineYoghurts containing gelatine

Fresh and canned fruit

Jellied fruit prepared with agar or vegetable gums

Custard, ice-cream

Desserts containing gelatine or rennet
Milk and cheese

All, including soy milk and cheese

BeveragesMilk, juices, soft drinks, cordial, tea, coffee-

Nuts and seeds




  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. Australian Vegetarian Society.

Change log

July 2019

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