Vegan Food Help for Nurseries and Schools

Vegan Eatwell Guide- The Vegan Society

 

Vegan ingredients/ shopping list (pg 1)

Colourful infographic with pictures, to print and display

!General guidance for adults

Viva have a similar poster too

The Vegan Passport book/ app page- The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society also have a parent's legal advisor. 

Go Vegan World also have template letters for legal issues.

School Plates- Pro Veg

'School Meal Recipe Book' PDF download:

Ingredient swap information (pg 10- 11)

Recipes with costs and quantities in kg (pg 14- 59), allergens (pg 60- 61)

  • Free catering training and consultation

Resources- Primary Veducation

'Vegan School Food Standards' PDF download:

Printable list (2 pages) of vegan ingredients in categories (pg 8- 9)

Real Nursery Menus (pg 10- 14) and school menus (pg 15- 18)

Further vegan inclusivity advice for schools and early years

  • Free vegan inclusivity teacher training and consultancy, plus book

Vegan Inclusive Education

Real school menus with costs and quantities from 1- 200 people.

Further vegan inclusivity advice.

  • Vegan inclusivity advice for educators, and parent's campaign

Meatless Farm

This campaign is run by a food brand, partnered with Omari McQUeen and ReThink Food.  You can request product samples.

My Vegan Child

Cooking substitute ingredients information (pg 10- 11)

Further vegan inclusivity advice

Vegan friendly catering advice leaflets

Vegan Catering Made Easy leaflet- The Vegan Society and campaign 

Vegan Catering Guide- Veganuary

Adding Vegan Options- Animal Aid

Eco Schools

Improved vegan options is an aim of the 'healthy living' topic of the Eco Schools award.

Early Years

Catering for special dietary requirements- Action for Children

Eating Well... under 5s- First Steps Nutrition Trust, with recipes

What is a vegan?

What do vegans eat?

Vegans do eat food from plants:

We are herbivore animals.  Here are some examples:

Raw ingredients:   Any beans and pulses (lentils), peas, nuts, seeds, sweetcorn, all vegetables and fruit, grains, seaweed, mushrooms, yeast, algae, flour.

Processed ingredients:   Tofu (my child loves tofu, it can be cooked in many ways, comes in many varieties, and quickly absorbs whatever flavour you add while cooking), dried soya or pea mince or chunks, beancurd, tempeh, noodles, sauerkraut, oil, nut and seed butters, vegan pasta, noodles.

Ready made foods:   Hummus, rice cakes, oat cakes, bread, vegan pasta sauce.

Alternatives to non vegan food:   Plant- based dairy, eggs, fish and meat alternatives, vegan kimchi, vegan pesto, vegan margarine.

Dishes we can make with this:   Curry, stir fry, pasta, pizza, tofu fish and chips, and an endless list of adapted 'normal' food, and many Asian meals which are naturally vegan anyway.

Vegans do not eat food from animals:

  • Meat:  Including processed meat

  • Fish and shellfish

  • Dairy:  Milk (of any animal, such as sheep and goats as well as cows; and also including lactose free animal milk), yoghurt, cheese, cream, butter

  • Eggs:  Animal animal eggs, omelettes

  • Honey

The principle still applies where ingredients are hidden in a cake or biscuit, or at parties.

To work out if food is vegan...

  • Many products nowadays have 'vegan' or 'plant based' written on the packaging, or carry the sunflower trademark.  

  • If buying 'Free From' foods, choose ones which are 'egg and dairy free', not just 'dairy free'.

  • First, think about whether the item or recipe would be mainly made from plants or animals. 

  • Next, think about if there are likely to be any hidden animal ingredients.

  • Then, check the ingredients list.  Allergens such as: dairy, eggs, molluscs and shellfish are often written in bold.  It is unusual for meat to be a minor ingredient, so that will probably be at the start of the list.

  • Where you are unsure, either look online, or ask the parents.  

Things to watch out for:

Eggs and milk can pop up in funny places, such as: flavoured nuts, pasta, gluten free bread, crisps and noodles.  Just check the ingredients.

Is Quorn vegan?

Quorn tends to include egg.  However, there is a new vegan range, which is always labelled as such.   The same goes for Linda McCartney.

Other meat protein alternatives

There are many new plant based meat substitutes.  Veganuary have shopping guide which lists brands of meat and dairy alternatives.  Dried soya or pea mince and chunks could be a compact, long lasting option. 

Veganising traditional meals

Try swapping one or two ingredients in recipes you already use.  For example, put lentils in a bolognese, or tofu in a 'fish' cake.

Veganising baking

This website links to blogs about vegan cake recipes and baking kits.  Also read about vegan egg alternatives on ProVeg, and various vegan baking substitutes from the Vegan Society.

Is 'gluten free' or 'sugar free' the same as vegan?

No, only 'vegan' or 'plant based' mean vegan. 

Work with parents

Parents are likely to be happy to discuss your plans and answer questions.

Vegan School Milk

Vegan milk

Litre packs can be bought from most mainstream shops, or made at home.  You can send this into nursery in a small bottle.

Small vegan milk cartons

Lunchbox size 250 ml soya or coconut milk cartons are available online, some wholefood shops, and in Asian supermarkets.  This is an option you could use if the bottle gets left behind.

Vegan milk powder

You can buy coconut or almond milk powder, which may keep longer than standard milk.

What to put in Vegan Lunch Boxes

School Lunch Box Recipes and Tips

These websites give tips and recipes for plant- based school lunch bags:

My Veggie Baby- preschool lunches and lunch

The Right on Mom- lunch ideas, more lunch ideas

Vegan Family Travels

Sweet Vegan Sara

Vegan Mammy

Plant Based Juniors

Vegan Recipe Club

Vegan School Food Campaigns

Related Pages

Meet other parents​

Directory of local vegan parents groups

Nursery Changing Bag

Vegan versions of nappy cream, nappies, toothpaste and sunscreen.

Nursery Slippers

Vegan grippy socks, moccasins, or plimsolls, clothes and coats.

School Shoes

Black and dark coloured vegan children's shoes, clothes and coats.

Learning resources

Books, art materials, stickers, teaching materials, toys, videos, music