Located on 9th Street between Erie and Manila, the Scandinavian School of Jersey City is creating quite the controversy. In the past week it made headlines in The Wall Street Journal, Tasting Table, Mind Body Green, and Fox 5 News. The reason? It’s one of the few preschools in the country serving vegan meals.
According to the WSJ, the school — which charges $18,500 annually for tuition — has been dishing out vegan meals for quite some time. When two children being raised in a vegan household enrolled four years ago, school director Maria Germerud-Sharp didn’t want them to feel left, so she made the entire school lunch program completely vegan. (Prior to that it was vegetarian).
The students not only eat vegan meals, but they also grow the vegetables they consume, participate in making vegan-friendly foods — like almond milk and bread — and compost food scraps in a worm bin.
Although some experts question whether a vegan diet is healthy for children, the school says it meets with nutritionists every year to reassure parents that their children get enough calories and nutrients. Moreover, many children are vegan only during school hours, meaning they eat meat-based meals at home with their parents.
As for getting kids to eat vegan meals, the WSJ reports that the transition has been smooth with parents intrigued by the “cool” factor and children rapidly adjusting to the meat-free menu. —WSJ, Mindy Body Green, Tasting Table, Fox 5 News