Vegetarian meals at Nursery school

(11 Posts)
MotherJ Mon 13-Feb-12 22:38:46

My daughter attends nursery school and we are bringing her up as a pescatarian (eats fish but not meat) but all the nursery ever seem to feed her is the Quorn version of what the meat eaters are having. They never seem to branch out and make a vegetable lasagna or anything basic like that. Thank goodness she only attends twice a week.

I just wondered what experiences other vegetarian folk have had with their childrens nursery.


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OneLittleBabyGirl Tue 14-Feb-12 10:16:49

Some nurseries allow parents to pack their own food. I wouldn't be happy for DD to have quorn. I think you probably know its high in fibre and low in calories. Definitely not what baby needs. Thank goodness you are only in 2 days a week.

We don't eat red meat at home. Just chicken and fish. But we let DD have re meat in nursery. They cook an awful lot of cottage pie and spag bol kind of dishes.

MotherJ Tue 14-Feb-12 12:07:56

Thank you, OneLittleBabyGirl I think I will speak to them about bringing in our own lunch.

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TiggyD Tue 14-Feb-12 19:24:23

They're cooking a vegetarian version of what the rest of the children are having? Do you want them to cook something totally different for your child? Eg most have spag bol and your child gets lasagne? Or do you want everybody to have vegetable lasagne?

Issy42 Tue 14-Feb-12 22:50:58

You shouldn't have to take your own, you are paying for her lunch in your fees and they should cater for different needs, particularly pescatarian as most muslim children I know eat a pescatarian diet.

I had a real battle with my daughter's nursery over her veggie diet. They still only give her one portion of non-dairy protein a day rather than two. They also have a very quorn-based diet but I asked them not to give it to her - thankfully she isn't the only veggie not allowed quorn.

The food standards agency website states that quorn shouldn't be given to under 5's except occasionally so I would print that information out for them - it's in a FAQ on their website. Also worth suggesting alternatives - I had a menu planned for dd that I used as a guide to balance her diet when I was on mat leave and gave that to nursery to show them what food she'd already eaten. After a few days of picking her up and asking specifically what protein she'd had they started getting in tofu and quinoa, both of which they'd never heard of before.

curlykate99 Wed 15-Feb-12 14:47:58

The School Food Trust has published guidelines (with example menus and recipes) for pre-school settings - they actually recommend a mixture of protein (meat, meat alternatives, eggs, fish, beans/pulses) for all children, not just veggies. Perhaps you could show this to the nursery?

quorncookingmum Wed 15-Feb-12 16:25:48


as you can probably guess from my nickname I am a vege and I do cook with quorn.! However I do prepare meat (mostly white but occasionally red for the family) as it is true that quorn would not be a good 'main' protein source for a young child, fine now and agin though.

I have a slightly different viewpoint on this as i think i would be rather impressed if DS's nursery was making proper vege alternatives to each meal. Quorn is markted heavily at the moment and is branded as being a very healthy alternative to red meat (it is for adults) so they probably think it is a good thuing they are doing. Quorn is also quite pricey IMO (certainly more expensice than cheap mince etc-yuk!) so you may find they will happily accomodate your preference for pulses and vegetable/based meals.

As others have said if you give them a good few ideas/sample menus they will probably be happy to change over.


nickelDorritt Wed 15-Feb-12 16:28:26

i don't do quorn either.
dreadful stuff
not good source of protein for children.

tell them to stop using it.

splashymcsplash Wed 15-Feb-12 22:13:53

I agree with some of the above. At least the nursery is making an effort with the quorn. I also think if its only 2 days a week - presumably only 2 meals, it's not a disaster.

The problem I had with my nursery was that they didn't substitute the meat with anything. Dd would have things like pasta and tomatoe sauce, rice etc. In the 8 weeks pulses only appeared twice.

I would suggest perhaps giving them a good childrens veggie cookbook.

MotherJ Sat 18-Feb-12 22:51:25

Hello TiggyD,

Yeah I just thought it would be nice for the meat eaters to get a variety too by having a vegetarian meal occasionally. My daughter is not the only one who is having a vegetarian meal, I think there are about 3 other children.

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MotherJ Sat 18-Feb-12 22:55:41

Thank you for you suggestions Issy42, curlykate99, quorncookingmum, splashymcsplash and nickelDorritt. Yes the cooks probably need some inspiration! I will look at the references that you have made and make them aware.

Thanks so much x

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