My oldest is starting kindergarten in a few weeks.... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-16-2012, 10:03 PM
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{this is my first post on this forum--excited to be here!}

 

Any suggestions for how to handle the constant bombardment of meat and dairy products my daughter will be faced with? I have been vegan for almost a year and she has been completely off meat and dairy since January 1st. She understands the health issues and we've talked a little about compassion but I'm not sure how to practically go about this. What about birthday parties, etc? I have asked a couple of friends and one said she sends a bag of vegan treats for the teacher to give to her child when there is a birthday party. Another said she tells her son to bring home the offending treat to trade for a vegan treat, or possibly some money. Does anyone have advice or can point me to a similar discussion?

 

Thanks!

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#2 Old 07-17-2012, 01:01 AM
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Definitely sit down with the teacher before school starts and discuss the situation. There are plenty of kids with special dietary needs due to allergies, diabetes, religious reasons, etc., so it's something the teacher should be able to deal with. I agree with sending snacks so your kid doesn't feel left out. If there's going to be a party with a cake - send her to class with a vegan cupcake. Make her DELICIOUS lunches that the other kids will crave.

 

My kids were pretty committed at the age. Just make sure you continue to discuss your reasons for being a vegan as she grows - before she gets older and the peer pressure to conform asserts it's influence. That's where I failed.

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#3 Old 07-17-2012, 06:58 AM
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I'd definitely let the teacher know. I specifically remember one day in Kindergarten at lunch my teacher demanded that I eat the crust of my sandwich, even though my mom knew I hated the crust and didn't care if I didn't eat it. I know that doesn't really relate because it was my OWN lunch, but I'm just saying that in grade school they tend to be a little weird with meal times. 

Just send her with some vegan snacks and let the teacher know, and I think it will all be fine. :D

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#4 Old 07-17-2012, 09:17 AM
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There will be some frustrating experiences in your future but overall it's not that big of a deal.

The keys are to:
- have a conversation with the teacher and the principal about your kiddo's diet
- put your "special requests" in writing
- provide vegan snacks/treats ahead of time as much as possible
- teach your kiddo how to ask for what she needs
- try not to worry about minor mistakes
- remind teachers every now and then
- instill compassion for animals in your child
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#5 Old 07-17-2012, 08:58 PM
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My son was born and raised vegetarian. He's a homeschooler / free schooler, so not in a "real" school BUT before he was 7 years old, he was in day care/preschool type places and we only ran into a bit of trouble concerning food.

 

I always made it a point to tell his staff/teachers Cedar's diet requirements. For example, no meat during the all-school BBQ,  no cows milk (he used to only do soy) or at times when the whole class cooked (once they made stew) most of the time we had zero problems.

 

One staff/teacher however, told us that unless Cedar had an "official allergy" to meat or milk, they would not be responsible for helping him avoid it. That was lame. I actually got his pediatrician to write a note that said, "Meat and fish are not approved parts of Cedar's diet plan" but more official sounding. Then that staff had to help out. 

 

When Cedar was really young, I just made sure to tell him a lot - we don't eat meat or drink cows milk. Kids are actually pretty good, even young kids I've found, at telling people what they are and aren't eating, if you work on it at home with them. 

 

But it is very important to get the staff/teachers on board, and follow up at conferences to remind them (they have a lot of kids to track). I agree about sending a little treat too if you know everyone else is getting ice cream or cake with dairy in it. 

 

And I also agree with Patty J - keep talking about why you eat how you do. When Cedar was little food was sooooooooooo easy - even with him being a vegetarian / soy milk only kid. Now that he's 11, and I can't always speak up for him (he's "too old" for that) it's gotten harder to deal with him being around people who eat meat. It's good to discuss it ongoing. 


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#6 Old 07-17-2012, 08:58 PM
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PS Welcome to the boards! :) 


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