I dont even know where to start with this one!!! My 4 year old son just started Pre-K 4 about a month ago. The nursery he went to before his new school fed the kids pretty much a vegan diet. No milk, no eggs, no meat. We were lucky as hell to have found them (especially in the town we live in, red neck, deer hunting, fried chicken town). They fed them this diet before we gave up all that crap. Well, with his new school we have been going through HELL getting him to understand that we are special unique people that do not partake in the same eating habbits as his friends. We bought him the bento lunch box to make his lunch time fun and exciting. I pack his lunch with all the stuff he has eaten in the past and has enjoyed. His teacher understands that we dont eat meat and do not allow our son to drink dairy products. Well today as she is putting him into my van, she informs me that he didnt bring his lunch box to the lunch room and before she knew it he had gotten a lunch tray and already eaten the CHICKEN NUGGETS that were on the tray!!! He also said to her i didnt feel like eating what my mommy sent with me (he didnt even know hwat i sent with him). My stomach DROPPED. I understand he sees what all the other kids are eating and he prob. wonders why he can eat like them. So i guess if you are still reading this I need some kind of help, advice, ANSWERS on what to do. I am in tears typing this b/c i am lost and have no clue what else to do or say to him. I feel like i am failing him and i am not saying the right things or I doing something wrong. Please if there is anyone out there that has ANY kind of advice PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE i need it more than u know.
unfortunately i dont have any advice regarding what to tell your son- other than you are doing for him what you feel as best, which is your job as a parent, so dont beat yourself up!!!
i also just wanted to add that i worked in day care for a long time, and we paid very very special attention to what the kids ate- especially the ones with special diets. we had a child whose parents did not want her to eat meat, and i remember one day i happened to glance over as she was reaching out for the chicken nuggets (what is it with chicken nuggets?!? lol) on the next child's tray. i seriously LEAPED across the room to pull it from her hand- lol. thats how it SHOULD be. you are entrusting the staff to take care of your child they way that you would. thats what you pay them for!!! sure, as a teacher i can tell you sometimes it may be a pain in the ass, but thats the reality. we had a child once who had such a bad allergy to dairy that she couldnt TOUCH it, im not exaggerating. sure, thats a pain at lunch table. but oh well. that's my job.
I don't have kids, so I'm not really sure, but maybe take him to a petting zoo/local farm? Then explain what a chicken nugget is...Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution did a really gross demo for kids of what actually goes into chicken nuggets and maybe that'll work... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHZtxsThyD4&feature=related
@ Krysten thanks a lot, that really made me feel a little better. One thing i have been a little nervous about is talking to the teacher, i dont want her to be like OMG her is a crazy obsessive mother. and i felt like i shouldnt say anything to her b/c i felt it was my job only to worry about being vegan and it shouldnt be a worry of the teachers, but i guess sometimes it takes words from others to kinda knock u upside the head for things to make sense. And yes, i do pay a pretty penny for him to go to this school, so i guess i should stick up for what i feel is best for my son!!! Thanks for your words.........
@Bradley, I was thinking about the farm/zoo thing this morning. I talked with him a little bit about the chicken nugget as well. I explained (once again) that in order for people to eat nuggets we have to take the life of an animal and its not fair to them. I have seen that perticular segment of jamies (gross) thank you for sharing it so i could see it again!!! Anything helps...........
its not that you are crazy vegan mom, you are mom who is concerned about her childs health! even if he ate meat.....processed chicken nuggets? uh-uh.
regarding your child....i don't have any but it seems to me it would be par for the course to fail to convince a four year old of much! don't kids not even develop the ability to think logically until about age 7? so i would think its normal that there will have to be a lot of control on your part and a lot of slips on his part until he is old enough to logically get (or NOT get!) why you guys eat this way.....i don't think its about you doing something wrong, its about....he's four years old - its a work in progress!
Not sure how helpful this will be - but I grew up in a household that NEVER had junk food. Nothing, so soft drinks, chips, biscuits, etc. I was always grumbling about this, hated having nothign 'fun' to snack on, and when my friends came over there was nothing entertaining to eat! Going to parties, or friends houses seemed so amazing because I could eat junk! BUT, when I turned about 17/18 and began to understand anything about health (actually understanding, not just knowing that eating Maccas every day is bad...), I became so grateful I had been brought up in a healthy environment (Omni family, but as healthy as they know how).
My point being - naturally your little four year old is going to think that chicken nuggets are the bees knees for a certain time, even if its just because he hasn't had them before. But there will most certainly be a time when he looks back and goes "wow, I'm so grateful that my mum had the sense to bring me up healthily". :)
Thanks so much for all the words of encouragement. I guess i just freaked yesterday and it really has been a tough battle since he has started the new school. I guess i just expected it not to be such a big deal seeing as at his last "school" he ate pretty much vegan and it wasnt a big deal. I didnt think something as simple as lunch would be a little stressful. I will say though, yesterday has confirmed that this is the right lifestyle for him and my family b/c last night he was complaining of an upset stomach and he already has the peurple racoon eyes. He has not had any of that since we switch to vegan. He woke up this morning all sinusy from the milk i assume. Anyways thanks again guys. Its really nice having people to come to for support.
i agree with the others, educate him on animals. and maybe give him gardein and other fake meats, so that he can feel like he's not so different. they make tons of good fake chicken products and such. might be worth it as he's so young and can have a tough time with understanding and balancing the pressures from school friends.
Its ok... :) I promise. Kids are kids! They want to fit in, but they want to experience different things as well! As sometimes those different things are unfortunately, chicken nuggets. Don't beat yourself up. I used to be an assistant preschool teacher at Stanford Uni., and most teachers understand special dietary needs. It is YOUR family, of course they are going to help you out. That's probably why the teacher told you he ate chicken nuggets. A teacher is there to help you. Not scold you or think your family is weird. Whether its morally based, based on religion, or just your beliefs in your house, they need to uphold and understand that. :)
The crazy thing is i have a calender of food they will eat that month I get up every morning to make his lunch. i know tues day is burger day and so i send a veggie burger, wed. is pizza day so i make pizza with soy cheese, thursday is chicken nugget day, i put "crispy strips", when they have hot dogs or corn dogs i make sure to put veggie ones in there. I realize he is only four and there will be slip ups here and there, i just wish there was a way of explaining to a four year old that its ok to be different but i guess where we live its not that easy to live a "different" kind of life. I know things will get easier as he grows (i hope). =) Once again thanks so much for the upbringing words. I really needed the support!!