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I am a father raising my children vegetarian. Disney has made it difficult for them to eat vegan food.

I’m raising my kids vegetarian, which is a real challenge sometimes. While vegetarian options are growing everywhere, from fast food to grocery stores, the United States remains a carnivore-centric country. One of the reasons we’re so excited to visit Disney World is its reputation for vegan cuisine.

In fact, Disney World offers some of the best vegan dining options in the country — unless you’re a kid.

My wife and I loved the food, but our kids didn’t have much of a choice

Disney’s adult vegetarian dining is exceptional. Whether you want a quick-service Impossible Burger or a three-course vegan dining experience, there really are plenty of great vegan food at Disney World. Disney chefs create perfect, delicious foods, and we’re impressed that so many of them are so unique. Instead of mock meats and dishes that simply try to replicate non-vegetarian tastes with vegans, most of the vegan options are unique and wonderful. The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort served a three-course 50th anniversary vegetarian dinner that was particularly delicious.

While my wife and I were content and satisfied, our kids were always on the sidelines. In every restaurant we visited, we encountered a similar situation, where the kids menu offered vegan options – usually macaroni and cheese – but nothing for vegans. There are vegetarian options for children in some, but not all, restaurants.

This left us with two choices at each place we ate. We could order oversized veggie plates for our kids, which would mean paying twice the cost of a kids plate, knowing the kids probably wouldn’t eat as much. Or we can give our children non-vegetarian food.

We had to think outside the box to feed our kids

Faced with not wanting to buy our kids meals for adults, our main tactic was vegan snacks. Plenty of popcorn, vegan ice cream, french fries, and fruit between meals. In actual sit-down restaurants, we didn’t feed our kids much.

We could easily have gone vegan, but not vegan. We encouraged kids to try our food, but gourmet cuisine doesn’t necessarily appeal to kids. We always tried to order fruit cups, french fries, and applesauce at every restaurant we went to as sides to our adult dishes, which kids eat as meals.

In addition, we packed vegan protein bars with us, and brought them to amusement parks. Feeding kids a bar daily helped ensure they were getting protein and something important. We had a few other options and were disappointed that Disney didn’t have real vegan food options for the kids.

The solution for me is simple. Disney is a family destination that tries very hard to accommodate all dietary restrictions. Parks already offers Impossible brand vegan food for adults, so putting some Impossible nuggets on kids’ menus might be a good start. Another simple solution is to offer children vegan macaroni and cheese, a dish that is already on the menus of most restaurants.

As a vegan parent I don’t have to worry when I go to a restaurant if they will have a kids menu that we can use.

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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One Comment

  1. Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to inform her.

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