Post # 1
Any parents who follow a non-standard diet/life-style, what do your kids eat at daycare or school?
Do you have them just eat whatever the standard meal is and then feed them your way at home? Do you send their lunch? Do you request a special diet be provided for them?
How do you balance what you feel is best for your kid’s nutrition versus not being singled-out from his peers for being “the kid who has to eat special food”?
Post # 3
Honestly there are so many kids with dietary issues these days that sending your kid to school with a “special” lunch is nothing. I am vegetarian and now my daughter is as well. Granted she’s 15! But she always brought her lunch to school until in junior high she decided she wanted to buy her food but was soon back to bringing her lunch because she realized that food from home was good food!
In the end you can only control what they eat so far, give them some freedom and they will try other stuff and should. They will come back to what they were taught. I did!
Post # 5
My daughter brings her lunch to school every day, and an extra snack for daycare in the afternoon in case they’re having a snack she prefers not to eat.
We’re mostly vegetarian, so it’s not a terribly strict diet, but we eat a lot of “weird” foods (according to her friends and teachers…). We’re not ethical vegetarians, more out of convenience and preference. There are no issues at school, other than people occasionally telling her that her lunch is strange or asking to try it, because the majority of the other kids bring processed foods for lunch (which we don’t eat). We *do* have trouble at friends’ houses, but my daughter just eats whatever she’s given even if we wouldn’t eat it at home or out.
Post # 6
We don’t have children, but are making/have made serious lifestyle changes when it comes to food. Either way, when I saw this, I thought of this website. This lady has addressed this with her own children.
Post # 7
I think a lot of times people wouldnt even know there is “special” food in the lunch box unless the kids talked about it.
We eat a paleo-esque lifestyle and our kids will as well. (TTC now)
But even when we have dinners/parties/bring food to potlucks people do not recognize something is different or missing.
So your kid doesnt have a PB & J sandwich, our kids will have PB and celery instead.
I was a vegetarian in highschool and college (not anymore) and no one knew I was vegetarian if I didnt tell them. For almost 4 years I had the same thing (I brought it): plain yogurt, apple, animal crackers. This was healthier that many kids bagel and cream cheese they bought (which was also vegetarian by the way, just they were not vegetarians.
Post # 8
For us anyway, daycare and school were two different issues.
At the daycare my kids attended, we couldn’t bring in outside food unless it was an allergy issue. I think they had that rule in order to keep all the parents from bringing in different foods every day. They always had multiple choices on the menu and we were given the menu ahead of time. So, if your child doesn’t eat meat for example, there was another protein option. Our area has a lot of different ethnic groups so the schools around here do a pretty good job IMO trying to accomodate different tastes. Honestly, my kids ate better at day care then they did at home! They would see all their friends eating vegetables and ate them too! Then when I tried to make them the same way at home, they would complain because it didn’t taste like the ones at daycare!
Now that they are in elementary school, like a PP said, so many kids bring so many different things for lunch, that I don’t think my kids see anyone as having a “special” lunch. Several kids have peanut allergies, several kids eat gluten-free, etc. My one daughter’s friend is just really really picky!
If my kids want hot lunch at their school, like the daycare, they have several different options and the menu points out ‘meatless choices” and “gluten free options”. They also have special “ethnic days” and my kids love those because they try things I normally don’t make at home.
Post # 9
It depends on your daycare and how they react to unusual diets/meals. I think if the teachers didn’t really react to it or made a big deal of it, then the other kids are fine too.
I worked at one where the meals were provided (but it was all processed/canned/boring) and there were a couple kids that brought their own food. I think when the teachers don’t really react to it, the kids usually come around as well and no one really commented or thought to comment. At another one I worked at, they did not provide meals and all the kids brought different lunches. The population was fairly diverse, so you definitely saw a hodge-podge of items. I think none of the kids there were really bothered by other kids’ meals, except if it was particularly offensive (e.g. super stinky).
Post # 10
Some daycares may not let you bring in food, but some may. I think if you are in an area where it’s not “weird” to eat that way, you’ll be ok. when my daughter went to daycare, I took her lunch. I follow 100 days of real food (the blog above) because I just couldn’t feed her some stuff they served. I have a fear of cans and their BPA, which made me strange, whatevs.
I also follow Weelicious on Facebook and they have a ton of ideas!