Vegan Preschool. I cannot tell you how hopeful those two words make me. The thought of a school like the Scandinavian School of Jersey City would have been a pipe dream a decade or two ago. If you were lucky enough to be being raised in a vegan household when it was time for preschool you'd be forced to be "That Kid" who always "brown-bagged it". You would always be singled out as different and weird.
But now, the 92 children who attend this preschool eat vegan meals and snacks each day. They are learning that food does not have to contain cruelty. Not to their fellow classmates who eat differently than they do (at home) or to animals who would otherwise have to be killed to make their meals. How exciting is that?
To top it all off, sometimes they even get to help prepare their meals. Who doesn't love making bread and doing kitchen math? Fun right? And it really puts to bed the notion that kids won't eat their veggies so NEED cheese & "nuggets" to temp them to nourish themselves. If such fair can be called nourishment.
This sought-after school in an increasingly hip city is unusually committed to the goal of getting children to eat their vegetables. The Scandi School, as it is called, is one of the few vegan preschools in the country.
The school didn’t start out with such a specific diet. But when two children being raised vegan enrolled four years ago, school director Maria Germerud-Sharp didn’t want them to feel left out at meals, so she banned what they couldn’t have.
“One of the core values of the school is building community,” she said. “We all eat together.”
Ms. Germerud-Sharp, a former au pair from Sweden, started the school five years ago when she couldn’t find one she liked for her own daughter. Many of its parents have international backgrounds and embrace its devotion to unstructured play, creativity and the outdoors.
Some resisted the vegan menu when it was announced but then converted as their children got used to it. “I complained about the kids not eating,” said Chiara Opiparo, whose sons ages 2 and 4 attend. “That’s when I started tasting the food myself, and it was so amazing.”
The organic menu—with a bare minimum of sugar and salt—includes homemade root vegetable gratin, butternut squash risotto and broccoli salad. The chef on site bakes fresh bread every day. Karen Jacobson-Sive, a self-described foodie whose son attended, was attracted by the “cool factor.”
“They make their own almond milk,” she said. “It shows a level of dedication to the kids’ well being that I would assume would be seen in other parts of the way the school runs.”
Wall Street Journal
Honestly folks, we think this is just the tip of the iceberg. We predict that soon you'll be seeing a vegan preschool in your area, and your area, and your area (and all kinds of other vegan schools/organizations will be popping up too). Because let's face it, there are a lot more vegan families these days. Three times as many as a decade ago. So it only stands to reason that vegans, raising little vegans, are going to insist their kids dietary requirements be met just like everyone else does.
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Via... The Wall Street Journal
Photo Credit... Agaton Strom