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Vegetarian School Aggervation!!
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Vegetarian School Aggervation!!

Amidst all this packing and getting ready for our big move...This kids start school Monday.  I had to transfer them out of their old school (which was not too forgiving for the vegerarian family) to their new school (which is equally not so forgiving for the vegetarian family.)

I brought them to their new school yesterday so they could get a tour and learn where their classes were...but also because I was pre planning to have a meeting with the cafeteria staff about lunch options for my children.  My plan was that I could get them the vegan nuggets and at least have the school use their microwave to heat them up for the kids.  Now where my aggervation comes from is that there is a microwave in PLAIN VIEW of the children and close enough where the lunch lady just has to turn around for literally a minute and heat it up.  But the school said absolutely not!  They won't do it.  (My children are super picky, so I'm trying to make this work so they don't stray (or starve) like they did last year.)  

Now, I KNOW lunch ladies spoil some children and go above and beyond for said children (and their friends)  ESPECIALLY if those children are children of said lunch ladies....how do I know this?!  Because I was a part of the lunch lady cult right before I started college and my MOM was my lunch lady through all 4 years of high school...so I know the in's and out's of the lunch scene.  I know who get's "Perks" and who doesn't.  So there is no way they can tell me that they can't do something special for someone who has "special food needs".  God knows, they have Gluten-Free Foods now, they have a special "peanut free table" and to make it better~They have PEANUT FREE CLASSROOMS!!  For those not in the know, it's a classroom where they put all the kids with peanut allergies in, so that when it comes time for celebrations and snack time, there won't be any concern about anyone bringing in stuff with peanuts/nuts.

SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THERE IS NO WAY IN HECK THAT THEY CAN'T MICROWAVE VEGAN NUGGETS FOR MY CHILDREN??  

I'm not asking for a whole classroom dedicated to vegetarian/Vegan children....I'm not even asking them for their own special table at lunch time...all I'm just asking for a microwave...seems simple enough.

Our last school was terrible with the kids being vegetarian.  They only offered them salads or cheese sandwhiches.  So they'd end up buying either of the options and then not eating it at all, until it was brought to my attention by their teachers.  At this point, they also did nothing to help me in making it easier for them to eat lunch.  So I just told them to eat what was offered to them, and they'd just eat vegetarian when they came home.  (yes, I know~bad mommy).  

So now I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and I'm REALLY super mad!  I told my husband that our children can't be the ONLY children in this school district (or any for that matter) that are vegetarian and I'm going to do something about it!  I feel like I need to become an advocate on better options for the vegetarian/vegan families when it comes to school lunches.  Not only is it unfair to the kids, but it's unfair to the parents.  When do we get to just give our children money and buy lunch at school???  Why do we HAVE to pack them lunch everyday??  Yes, I know at least if we pack it, they know what is going into their bodies, but don't the kids also want to feel like the other kids and get to have the opportunity to buy their lunch also??)  I think it's bullcrap~and it has to change.  More people (INCLUDING THEIR CHILDREN) are becoming vegan/vegetarians and the one place they should feel accepted and secure is in school.  To me, schools are bullying our children to eat what they want them to, and not help when other food choices are made for them....so much for the no bully policy...They are making this harder then it should be.

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  1. Veganara
    Veganara
    Vote no 2. This is a great blog, and I agree with you on every point. I can really understand your frustrations, although I don't have kids! It's crazy that they make so many other allowances for the other kids' diets (even PEANUT-FREE CLASSROOMS, as you say!) but won't accommodate vegan children. Vegan families must keep pushing for their rights, otherwise they are being discriminated against, which is clearly all-wrong. I will share this article of yours, as I am sure a lot of vegetarians and vegans I know with kids would wholeheartedly agree with what you say. .
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    1. dianabart
      dianabart
      I totally agree with you there! I just posted a blog about this, "School Lunch Programs Actually Bullying Vegan/ Vegitarian Children.'" I think you'll like it! :-)
      Log in to reply.
    2. dianabart
      dianabart
      I totally agree with you there! I just posted a blog on this subject, "School Lunch Programs Actually Bullying Vegan/ Vegetarian Children." -I think you'll like it! :-)
      Log in to reply.
  2. Veganara
    Veganara
    PS You might be interested in my latest blog A Cheesy Subject! if you like it , please vote.
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  3. Kate Noel
    Kate Noel
    Voted! Great blog, Pentamom! My daughter is vegetarian and starting pre-school this fall. I was worried about snacks and lunch for her but I was relieved to see them ask on their questionnaire if my child was vegetarian. I totally agree with you, though. If special exceptions can be made for gluten free and nut-free(which her pre-school is, also) then vegetarian/vegan children should have options, too. It would benefit omni kids, as well. Warming up nuggets for your children is not asking a lot and you're right, it's as if the veggie kids are being bullied into eating the way the school wants them to. Anyway, keep fighting for your kids and others, too. I'm sure you guys aren't the only ones! Check out my latest post, Vegan Spirituality, if you get a chance!
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  4. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    I agree, it is not too much to ask for. Some people are just not too happy about others being vegetarian and some even treat vegetarianism as an abnormality. I can't tell you why it is so, but I can tell tell you that this will change. We can change it. And you are doing the right thing by not giving in (doing whatever you can!) I hope for a day when we'll have Vegetarian-only classrooms too :)
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    1. pentamom
      pentamom
      I hope for the vegetarian only classrooms also, but first I'd just LOVE a microwave! LOL!!!
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  5. dianabart
    dianabart
    It's as if you heard me speak to my children this morning with these sentences. "So I just told them to eat what was offered to them, and they'd just eat vegetarian when they came home. (yes, I know~bad mommy). So now I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and I'm REALLY super mad! " This seems to be a topic of the week, I will have to blog on it.. Your whole last paragraph is ALL truth! Voted and shared!
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    1. pentamom
      pentamom
      Thank You so much! This past school year was a mess. I had converted the house to vegetarian in May~so I'm still relatively new with the subject (but have not eaten meat since.) The kids were having such a hard time. I felt bad, especially when I found out that they weren't eating at all. Just buying food and letting it sit. Then they would come home and tell me they ate salad. The teacher actually brought it to my attention that they weren't eating. So I let them give in. I hated giving in, but I had to. The kids really weren't interested in being vegetarian and I made them do it. When I first joined TFV, I had all meat eaters and I was the only vegetarian/vegan. Since then~all it took was a PETA video, and now all of a sudden I have 2 Pecatarians, 1 vegetarian and 2 younger kids that will eat whatever you feed them. (we'll call them meat eaters.) LOL! My hubby has no desire to com aboard the train. But this time they made the choice themselves, and they haven't eaten meat all summer. (Go Team!) My dad will test them (asking them if they want something~and their first question is~"Is it made out of meat?" I especially love hearing my 6 year old say that! LOL!! Good Luck to you! I'm going to be making strides with this topic~I can feel it! :-)
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      1. dianabart
        dianabart
        I just posted a blog today on this topic.. "School Lunch Programs actually bullying Vegan/ Vegetarian Children." Check it out.. I think you'll like it. :-)
        Log in to reply.
  6. pentamom
    pentamom
    Thank You Everyone!! I'm glad that I'm not the only one going through this. I think I will try to contact the food company first (go above the manager of the cafeteria), and speak to them. If I get nowhere with them~then I smell a petition! Hopefully I can get a lot of signatures! LOL!
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  7. Carolyn
    Carolyn
    Pentamom vote #5! Check some of the article for vegan or vegetarian lunch box ideas. I hope that you can find something that your children will eat that can be packed in a lunch or work something out with the lunchroom ladies!
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  8. SnakeWitch
    I voted too because although it must be much harder on kids, we all know what it feels like to go, say, to a family reunion only to find that they have nothing more than a simple green salad and boiled potatoes to offer us to eat - oh, and those raw veggies in the fridge, if we feel like cutting them up ourselves. Now, I try to imagine how I would've felt as a child, especially since I was one who was extremely introverted and shy, to have to manage this sort of situation. Yikes! How does a child challenge tough cafeteria staff??? And why can't these people just make a simple lentil soup or a spaghetti without meatballs once in a while? On a more positive note, and to make us all laugh a bit at our lives and situations, look for my latest post. Hope you enjoy!
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  9. HealthyMom
    HealthyMom
    I pack a lunch for my oldest son every single day without question. I am also sending snacks to school as the school is doing (according to them) a service by offering snacks for everyone in the school to ensure children are receiving (as a minimum) 60% of their dietary intake through calories from school should they not be receiving meals at home due to family finances. I applaud you for taking a stand and an interest in taking the issue further. I am working on a platform I hope to take to the national level to educate families on healthier food options at a lower cost while also integrating physical activity to decrease overweight and obese children while simultaneously reducing the health affects of that excess weight on the body. From one advocating parent to another - run with that force!
    Log in to reply.
    1. SnakeWitch
      Ha! I just put a note on your article to talk to this writer about the issues in schools! Maybe you two can come up with great ideas to help reduce - if not stop - school cafeteria insanity and crazy unhealthy snacks. Cheers!
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