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So my daughter has been vegan for almost three months now and she's doing really well or so I thought. Apparently she told my sister that she misses bacon. And my mom says she feels sorry for her because she can't have ice cream at birthday parties. I'm really trying my best to give her great substitutes, for instance today at school is swiss chalet day. The menu they were offered was a hamberger, chicken wrap, chicken salad or a grilled cheese. So I made her a vegan chicken curry stir-fry to bring to school so she didn't fell left out. my mom keeps saying "you know she might change her mind in the future about being vegan" It's just so frustrating I want this to work so bad. Oh also I forgot to mention that her teacher called me and said my daughter was crying at school because they learned how to make butter (why the heck are they teaching them that?)and they all at bread and butter and she felt left out. Later that same day they had a pizza party just for her class that I was not informed about and she cried again.Her teacher said "well this is a personal decision and things like this are going to happen" Which is true but I don't want my daughter feeling left out and feeling deprived all the time. I need some strength and support from vegan parents out there who might have dealt with the same kind of things.
Thanks kind lifers :)
How old is your daughter? My seven year old daughter is fully on board with being vegan but I've also told her that in situations where there isn't a vegan option she shouldn't feel guilty about eating a non vegan choice. A few times she's actually taken a bite of meat and thought it was disgusting and I was okay with her trying it. This is just my personal take on it. I would rather her do her be vegan the majority of the time rather than get frustrated and give it all up or feel left out. To be honest, I'd do the same myself. I won't eat meat and whenever it's up to me I don't eat dairy either, however, if there was absolutely no other choice, and I hadn't planned my own meals, I would eat a a piece of pizza and have absolutely no problem with it as it isn't a regular occurrence. This is just my opinion though.
you guys are great!!!
i dont have kids so maybe you dont want to hear from me....but i would be super curious to know from your little girl how she is feeling? what is making her cry? is she being made fun of? does she want the other food but doesnt want to upset you? its pretty impressive that she is struggling with this ya know? cause she could easily just eat whatever and not tell you....but sounds like it is important to her too....so then i would be curious about what is making her so sad...maybe a nice chat about her needs and such would help you...and i know hard but try to ignore mother....thay always have something to say....you are doing great!!!!
Hello Catgirl and Alicia thank you for your support and encouragement! I had a chat with my daughter Athena, (she 9yrs old) about what's making her cry at school. In a nutshell this is what she said: She wants to vegan but she sometimes misses bacon but that doesn't mean she's going to eat it (I asked her if she wanted to eat some and she said "no mom I'm vegan!" so cool , anyway, when they have special days at school such as pizza day, swiss chalet day, ect she feels left out, different and like an outsider. I'm sure a lot of vegan adults feel that way in many situations,I know I do so I get where she's coming from. The kids aren't picking on her for being vegan but I know she is having problems with them (kids can just be mean for no reason) .She's the kid who stands against the wall of the school at recess because the kids are bullies. Being vegan is just something else that sets her apart from the kids. She's such a sweet girl with a huge heart. I've talked to her teacher about it and she says Athena is really sensitive. I'm really not sure how to help her with this other than telling her that being different is okay and that she's making a difference in the world by the choices she's making. She has to hold her head up high and know the she's an important and special girl. I'm so proud of her for sticking with this, she's really is a cool kid , I wish the other kids at school could see that too.
Alicia, Athena says she's feeling good. I've noticed a big difference in her, she sleeps better, she's less moody and she's never constipated anymore which used to be a problem all the time.
Vegetgirl - My son is not vegan anymore, but he doesn't have any dairy and has never had red meat. And eats Vegan about 80% of the time.
I notice just now at 7yrs old, he is starting to mention being different. This is what made things easier for us...I told him... "when you see someone eating something you think you would like, let me know and we'll try to find an alternative"
When is pizza day, we send "our" pizza, when it is a birthday, he goes with a Vegan cupcake in tow. When he wanted to try "Jello" because other kids had it, I found vegan jello. I've found vegan marshmallows, made vegan sloppy joes, vegan "meat" loaf. The list goes on....
So far, we haven't had any problems. When he goes to friend's house, we pack food, etc.
But I always (once he was old enough) ASK him what he wants and it makes things a little easier for him I think, being his choice and having that control over what he is putting in his body...Also explaining about why they are teasing..
Also because it makes mine feel better to avoid dairy products, I have that going for me.. in our discussions, we use that to help him make a choise... "YES, you could eat that, but how will it make you feel?"
I know yours is just starting, but over time I feel mine has grown a thicker skin then others his age. He was teased at camp for the first time last summer, the kids were really mean, and at church classes too of all places. But he has stood up for himself, even to the camp instructors which were worse then the kids.
And this actually makes me feel good. If he will stand up now for what is good in his body, then hopefully as a teen when faced with worse situations, he will have that strong foundation.
Of course now we have a teeth thing that I posted about. but other then that, we have been in a pretty good health place with him.
Good luck. feel free to ask anything
Um, why are they learning to make butter? I don't have kids so I can't give you specific advice, but I did used to teach. The food the majority of kids ate day in and day out was shocking. I would say stay strong, because, even if you leave the ethical side out of it, you know you are helping your daughter to be healthy. She can still enoy vegan ice cream, she can have vegan pizza, you obviously try to help with replacements like that. Leaving eating animals aside, I find it sad that our culture chooses to not eat healthfully. Hey kids, let's have some bread (which was probably white) and butter - really nutritious - and then, the same day!, have some pizza, made with white flour and loads of cheese. It's not just animal products that are the problem, it's all the nutritionally void processed stuff that most people don't see a problem with. I sort of see veganism as a pseudo-religion in a way - for the most part people wouldn't make others feel quite so different if they dressed differently or ate differently or refrained from doing certain things because of their religion - why should your food choices create such a reaction? And what if your daughter had an extreme dairy allergy? I'm sure they would provide something else for her or at least inform you of a pizza party then.
I would say to just keep talking to your daughter and try to keep in mind that, yes, it is about ethics, but it's also about health, and you shouldn't be made to feel bad that you want your child to be a healthy, compassionate person.
I am a mum of a 6 year old and 3 year old twins. I made the decision for me to give up meat and dairy and my 6 year old has decided for school lunches that she is vegetarian, althou she eats meat at home. I cook mostly vegan but some meat/fish for the kids and my partner. I feel that my kids will be in a better position to make an informed decision about their own diets as they get older.
I'd have loved it if they would have come with me on this journey now, but I don't think now is their time.
I hope things work out for your daughter, school can be a hard time for kids if they feel that they do not fit in. I am thankful that at my kids school there seems to be a high percentage of vegetarian families.
I know this is late, but I'm a teacher and taking off time to raise my son. My husband and I have talked for a while about how to make it easy for our son at school, because we know there will be a few challenges. For classroom parties, maybe you can take a little time off work to volunteer in the classroom. Your daughter might feel better if you're there. You can also offer to bring vegan cupcakes or cookies for the class.
You may also be able to give your teacher snacks to keep in the classroom in case there's a celebration you don't know about.
I'd ask your teacher to keep you informed if they are going to be doing any food related activities. If you'd known about the butter, you could have sent her with Earth Balance so she could at least have some bread with everyone. Don't feel bad about making this request. I had to do things like that for kids with food allergies or health issues ALL the time. It's part of the job. You could give her your e-mail so she can send you a quick e-mail through her school e-mail address when a food related activity or party is coming up.
If her teacher is concerned, she should be willing to help make things easier for your daughter.
If something unexpectedly pops up (and it will), I'd let your daughter know that she can always choose to have something, and that you won't be disappointed with her. The older she gets and as she learns more about the great benefits of veganism, the easier it will be for her to feel okay in these situations with her peers.
I hope that helps.
i feel for you and your daughter! i've been where you daughter was. i grew up without red40 and without chocolate (yumm carob!..) in my diet. my mom started the school year off by giving my teacher emergency treats for impromptu celebrations at school. this completely sufficed and i never felt left out! hope this helps
I am vegan and the husband and kid are vegetarian. My daughter is 4 and is totally on board with the vegetarianism because, she never knew any different. She doesn't have dairy or eggs at home now, neither does my husband as I no longer buy it but I don't sweat it if she has a piece of cake at a birthday party or a pizza at school once in a while. The vegetarianism is very accepted around here so that's usually cool and she takes packed vegan lunches into school but as "religious" I am about my vegan life, I am as "unreligious" about it when it comes to her. I know my husband eats crisps when he is at work or the odd candy bar and he is a grown up and it's totally his choice, however, he is at the same time absolutely happy to only have vegan meals and snacks at home.