Sixty-nine percent of parents and guardians approve of offering more vegan options for their children at schools in the UK, recent research from The Vegan Society shows.
The survey, published in time for International School Meals Day, revealed 30% of parents and guardians said they fully supported more nutritionally balanced vegan school food, while 39% said they “somewhat” agreed with this idea.
When asked what kind of vegan food they would like cantines to offer more of, over half responded raw fruit and vegetables, closely followed by vegan snacks and wholefoods-focused meals.
Approximately 46% said they would like to see more meat alternatives available, while 42% would like to see more cheese alternatives in the school cantine.
Forty-four percent also supported the idea of including more vegan fruit-based desserts.
When it came to milk, 35% of respondents said they would like to see schools offering more plant-based milk alternatives. The Vegan Society currently runs the Play Fair with Plant Milk campaign, which tries to get more schools to offer fortified plant milk alternatives for children, who may not have families that can afford to provide them with a cow’s milk alternative everyday.
The survey was conducted as part of The Vegan Society’s Catering for Everyone campaign, which aims to get more vegan food on the menu in every part the public sector, in spaces such as, hospitals, prisons, councils, universities and the workplace.
Laura Chepner, Chair of The Vegan Society’s Education Network, commented : “As we know, no matter your age, food is an integral aspect of everyone’s lives. Access to a variety of foods promotes good health and helps to foster great social relationships and cultural bonding – all of which brings more joy into our lives.
“School meals are no different – they are an essential part of the school experience, but sadly there are still occasions where vegan or vegan-curious pupils are not sufficiently catered for. This is one of the reasons we created the Catering for Everyone campaign, which seeks to mandate at least one plant-based option on all public sector menus.”
This year marks the first time The Vegan Society has gotten involved in campaigning around International School Meals Day.
Earlier this year, Meatless Farm teamed up with non profit organisation ProVeg’s School Plates programme, to bring more meat-free meals to school cantines through the Green School Menu League competition.
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