Classroom teachers must know which of their students have allergies. But it’s also important for teachers to know about any special eating preferences. Managing a specific allergy is fairly straightforward; the offending allergen must be avoided. But when it comes to managing a student’s eating preference–such as veganism–teachers may be at a loss. This article focuses on how to manage classroom treats when at least one classroom student eats vegan.
A vegan is someone who consumes no animal products–as well as no plant foods that come into contact with animal products. Simply put, vegans eat no eggs, dairy, meat, or fish. Most vegans also eat no honey. Teachers need to grasp this, particularly when it comes to communicating with parents about parties and classroom treats.
Children don’t wish to be singled out for eating differently. Giving one student something different from another can create jealousy or conflict. Keeping treats similar is really the best option. To do this when there’s a vegan in the classroom, means knowing what treats will work for all students.
Here’s a list of vegan treats that would work for classroom parties–provided there are no student allergies to any foods listed. If there are allergies to gluten or nuts, this will narrow down the list. Many schools already have rules regarding no peanuts. But for classrooms where there are few if any allergies, this list of vegan snacks will work as a basis for communicating vegan treat options with parents.
Popcorn–not topped with cheese or butter, using only vegan margarine
Rice crispy treats–using only vegan margarine, vegan marshmallows
Granola bars–sweetened with cane sugars
Chocolate dipped fruit–using a dairy-free chocolate
Carmel apples–using a dairy substitute, vegan margarine
Fresh fruit salad–not sweetened with honey
Fruit pizza–dough made without dairy or eggs
Eggless Cake–leavened with vinegar, baking powder, or flaxseed
Trail mix–using dairy-free chocolate bits
Breakfast cereals–ones shaped into easy snacking shapes
Vegan cookies–dairy-free, using vegan margarines or nut butters
Celery with nut butters–almond butter works well
Dried fruits–whole or pieces, no sulfites
Cut veggies with hummus–carrot, celery, cucumber slices
Fruit smoothies–non-dairy milks
Cherry tomatoes–remove stem
Olives–black or green
Roasted nuts–any for which there are no student allergies
Rice cakes or popcorn cakes–plain, salted, or flavored
Corn chips–eat with salsa or vegetarian refried beans
Potato chips–watch for cheese or dairy seasoned chips
Flap jacks–made without dairy or eggs
Dried dates–stuff with brazil nuts
When school begins in the fall, teachers communicate with parents–usually via letters home. Usually, one letter mentions classroom allergies or classroom treat procedures. This list here provides a reference list for such a letter home.