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Mom's Post About Nursery Going Vegan Without Consent Sparks Heated Debate

Photograph by Twenty20

It's no secret that kids are picky eaters, but who gets to decide what they eat (or don't eat) once they start school?

A mother in Britain, known only as Aimee, said she felt "railroaded" into making her son a vegan after nursery school officials changed the menu—removing all meat, fish, eggs and dairy—without consulting parents, according to the Daily Mail.

When school administrators ignored her complaints, Aimee reached out for advice through a forum at U.K. parenting website Netmums.

"I have complained but basically was shrugged off by the manager," she wrote, and went on to explain their reasoning.

Aimee said the change took place after the deputy manager returned from maternity leave.

"She is the vegan," wrote Aimee, and "it's for her son."

Curious as to whether the deliberate incident was enough to warrant a call to the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), the angry mother explained that she comes from a meat-eating family and that "the nursery is on a farm which rears animals to kill."

The post led to a string of mixed feelings, some sharing Aimee’s outrage—slamming the nursery for not talking to parents first—while others argued that she could still feed her child meat at home.

One woman said she was "really surprised" by the nursery's decision. "Nurseries have to be inclusive of all children's needs, including meat eaters," she wrote. "I would put a complaint in and maybe speak to someone from your early years local authority team."

Another questioned expenses, suggesting a change like this could end up costing parents more.

"Lots of children are picky eaters at this age, and some point blank refuse to eat vegetables and fruit and healthy options," another wrote. "Also will costs go up and be pushed onto parents? Why can't the nursery cater to all the children?"

One mother suggested another perspective. "Imagine the uproar if this was turned the other way about and the nursery insisted that a vegan family's child would have meat on their plate with no offer of a substitute?"

Despite those who believe Aimee is justified in feeling angry, some disagree, reminding Aimee that she can feed her child whatever she wants outside of daycare. "You are obviously free to feed your child meat/fish on evenings and weekends," one woman wrote. "They are not forcing you to make your child vegan. I'd have no issue with the nursery going vegan, assuming the new menu still gave good balance of nutrition."

How would you feel if your child’s nursery did the same thing?

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