Until recently, I never realized how lucky my family has it and why it has been relatively easy to raise a vegan child. My family is a little unique and not just because we are vegan. I am a working mom and hubby stays home with the little vegan. To add even more of a twist, we (or should I say primarily hubby) also home school’s our little vegan.
Daddy deals with her home school groups, Tae Kwon Do, soccer, girl scouts and play dates. This means he also deals with all food related things like the awkward snack time where they serve string cheese or non vegan cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong, it is not awkward for him or the little vegan, because daddy has his bag of tricks, it usually is the server that feels bad. Over time though, in her social circle, our little vegan, Anzia has warmed over most and she definitely breaks every negative stereotype of a vegan, home schooled child, so much so that people around her want to learn more about veganism and try to make sure that she at least has something to eat.
A few weeks ago we had our first Mommy/Daughter Girl Scout outing. We filled out the paperwork which specifically asked about dietary issues, where it stated that any person with special dietary needs would be served last, leaving us to believe that they would feed us. Luckily for us daddy had dealt with similar situations so he packed us a lunch along with snacks. Thank goodness because the only option we would have had all day would have been carrots and celery.
This weekend we have another event, this one being an over night event where it specifically states that if people are unable to eat off the chosen menu they will have to provide their own food, which again is fine but we are going to be limited to food that we don’t need to refrigerate and that doesn’t need to be heated. This has been an eye opener due to the fact that we rarely have to deal with this type of thing. What about the little vegans that are in regular schools and less controlled social situations? How do they fare? Do they get resentful?
Please don’t take any of the above instances as complaints. We have chosen our lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for anything. I simply want to ask other vegans what some of the challenges are that they run into with their little vegans when they go off to school? Is there advice you can offer? I love hearing what vegans say!
*A happy addition to this story. It is now January 25, 2013 and we are planning on doing the same event this year, where our options last year were celery and carrots. Last year I had mentioned that I never mind bringing my own food, but if you are going to state that you can meet dietary needs, please try to do so. Yesterday, I received a letter from the menu planer, who this year is working with all parents with dietary needs and making sure everything is covered. They have gone so far that they will have separate pans for dairy free as well as gluten-free cooking. It may be a small step, but it is nice to know when our efforts create change.