A nursery in Chester is receiving backlash from parents after it made the decision to serve an entirely vegan menu to its pupils.
A nursery in Chester recently made the decision to offer its pupils an all-vegan menu over concerns for the planet, and parents are unhappy about the change.
From January 2020, the 260 children in the care of Jigsaw Day Nurseries in Chester will be tucking into dishes based on existing menu options so that the children will be “fully familiar with the tastes, textures and flavours we are going to be feeding them.”
Pupils will soon be able to enjoy dishes such as lentil-based ‘Shepherdless Pie’, potato and pea curry and a coconut rice pudding.
Parents have voiced their concerns over the move, which some claiming the decision has been made without consultation and saying that it “imposes a lifestyle choice” which “discriminates” against their non-vegan children.
One parent felt the new menu would mean her son would “come home starving”, although the nursery has said it has enlisted the help of a qualified nutritionist to design a varied and sustainable menu for the children.
According to Claire Taylor, founder of the nurseries, the new menu is “highly nutritious, varied and sustainable menu which meets all of the relevant guidelines for early years nutrition and diet for children under the age of five.”
‘For the benefit of our children’s future’
Defending the decision, which she says was “made with the children and the planet’s future in mind”, Taylor, told the Chester Standard: “We appreciate that this is a decision that comes with a business risk associated, however we feel passionately that a sustainable path is the one we wish to follow for the benefit of our children’s future.
“The food that the children eat within our nurseries not only has an impact on everyone in the setting but also on the health of our planet.”
Taylor addresses claims that parents were not consulted on the move saying an informal consultation process was carried out over several months which produced split responses to the proposed new menu.
She added: “Throughout these discussions, we have been keen to stress that our appetite has not been to remove choice, has not been to enforce lifestyle choices nor has it been to put the children’s nutritional requirements at risk.
“Our sole focus has been on making a significant and impactful change for the good of our children’s environmental futures whilst ring fencing this with robust nutritional planning which meets all the recommended early years guidelines.”