One thing I'm really interested in is learning about how to bring this way of eating to the schools and for low income people. I am getting my teaching credential, and am so saddened to see many of the students living on processed food and candy. I want to work with special needs children, and feel that maybe I can help by researching diet and bringing more nutrition to the class (where candy is used as a reward ALL the time) Ok so maybe I won't be the fun teacher, but I want to help! Also, I am soo broke right now as student teaching takes up a large chunk of the day, and my mom, who said she would help me, is now sick and can't afford to help me at all, we've had to go to the food bank a few times. It's wonderful, and we have gotten beans and veggies and things like that but also a lot of processed foods and meat. I just wanted to bring awareness to this issue to this forum and hear opinions about what can be done to change these things. Obviously if you are so broke you need extra help, any food will help, and I'm so grateful, but I do wonder about access to great food for the very low income.
I know the budget can certainly be challenging....the best advice I can offer (and you've probably though of/done this already...) but get to a bulk store. We have Bulk Barn in Canada and I can literally feed myself and my bf for 2 weeks for 20 bucks. We stock up on dried everything and lots of herbs and spices to make things taste different and exciting....and as for fresh greens, they are really inexpensive right now. Your costs can remain low if you aren't buying the packaged, processed stuff. A good, hearty, clean & vegan diet is definitely attainable when you get more accustomed to what you like and to some different recipes!
I think a big misconception about eating wholesome foods is that it has to be super expensive. I buy bags of uncooked rice and beans, bags of lentils, vegetabele stock for soup, pasta, and some veggies, and I can make lunch for weeks on about $30. Good recipes are so important, as is cooking enough for leftovers, (especially where you are a busy working girl). Once you get used to cooking Vegan food, it becomes second nature. Also, you will be surprised at the amount of produce and whole grains you can buy when you aren't spending money on meat. Best of luck! P.S. I never send my son too school with super-sugary snacks- I like his teacher too much for that! :) One thing he loves are these Vegan animal crackers from Trader Joes. I take them up a level by melting some Vegan chocolate chips, dipping half the cracker in the melted chocolate, and then letting them cool in the fridge. He loves them and they look cool too.
Hi Kaetlin Its so tough for teachers to encourage good nutrition at schools. You run the risk of being perceived as undermining the parents. So good luck!! I don't know what the situatiion is with school lunches in the US (I guess thats where you are??) In Australia most children bring a sandwich that is typically made with white bread - stripped of most nutrients. If this is the case in America - simply encouraging the children to eat wholemeal bread instead would be a great start. Also (allergies permitting) you could have tasting sessions at school. My nephew's class brought home a letter about an indonesion fruit tasting day - to introduce them to some Indonesion produce. Perhaps something like that would work
good advice, thanks guys! I didn't mention that I am gluten intolerant as well as dairy, white sugar, and wheat. Dang those gluten free dairy free sugar free products are expensive!!!! I know I can eat beans and rice etc. but I do like to not feel deprived and be able to have a wide variety of things. Maybe I just need to change my mindset a little bit, and eat more fresh produce. Probably won't hurt the waist line either!
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