Before your child begins school
If your child is starting at a new school, nursery or childminder, discuss their dietary needs in advance – and in detail. Some teachers, caterers, and caregivers might not be sure which foods are vegan and which aren’t. You may find it helpful to provide them with a written description of what your child does and doesn't eat. Remember packed lunches allow greater control over the food provided.
Sometimes it can be hard to find non-leather kids shoes that don't use animal derived glue. Luckily vegan options from places like Asda George, Grendene's KIDS brands, Holster Global Australia and Gola have kids sections, so you can buy smart or casual children's shoes online. Barring that, Next's non-leather shoes all use synthetic glue, as well as other retailers. Check out our article on vegan shoes for more information or contact the retailers if you're stuck.
Arrange vegan options for your child
Professionals with children under their supervision have a duty of care – and when this involves food, the meals provided should be both nutritious and appropriate. Vegan-friendly options are suitable for almost all children and food doesn’t have to be out of the ordinary. Think baked potato with beans and salad; or spaghetti with hidden veggie tomato sauce; or veggie sausages with mashed potato and peas... all vegan meals that most children enjoy. The bonus is that by encouraging your school to provide vegan food, you're paving the way for the next generation of vegan children. If you encounter challenges with vegan-friendly catering, please contact our Legal Rights Officer for advice on how to overcome them. You can also read our blog on 'how to advocate for vegan meals in your school' for more information.
Empower your child
Children respond to criticism from their peers in different ways. Some may not like constantly having to defend their food and lifestyle choices, while others may rise to the occasion and enjoy being that little bit different. Parents can help by offering as much support, information and advice as possible to their children; preparing them for challenges that may come their way.
Meet up with other vegans
There's nothing like having friends who share your interests. Children enjoy the chance to meet vegans their own age - and meeting up with like-minded adults is great for parents too. What better way to find out where to buy vegan school shoes or swap great birthday cake ideas? There are many vegan-friendly children's groups too. Try asking around local vegan-friendly networks, in wholefood shops, local magazines, and local online social networks.