Meat-free daycare centers in Freiburg: No more meat on the children's plates? Yes, finally!

My two-year-old daughter goes to daycare five times a week: once a week there is meat, once fish, twice there is vegetarian food and once a week there is even a vegan option.

Meat-free daycare centers in Freiburg: No more meat on the children's plates? Yes, finally!

My two-year-old daughter goes to daycare five times a week: once a week there is meat, once fish, twice there is vegetarian food and once a week there is even a vegan option. If the city of Hamburg told me that fish and meat would be removed from the menu with immediate effect, I would applaud them.

Just as I applaud the city of Freiburg, because it is doing pioneering work, even if the reasons are of a financial nature: In future, there will only be one vegetarian standard menu in city day-care centers and elementary schools. To save costs. If you want to eat meat or fish, you will have to get it somewhere else in the future. The Ministry of Agriculture rages that the Stuttgart Ministry of Agriculture does not support an exclusively vegetarian diet as a requirement. For the politicians, a balanced diet also includes meat. But is that really true?

"That depends on which form of vegetarian food is chosen," was the response from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). If parents or children opt for a balanced and varied ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet, i.e. without meat and fish but with eggs and dairy products, there is nothing to be said against a completely vegetarian diet. However, the DGE considers a purely vegan diet to be unsuitable throughout childhood.

So, dear Stuttgart Ministry of Agriculture, meat is not part of a balanced diet. Anyone who cries out now that my child needs his meat can serve a meat meal in the evening. If life were a request concert, my daughter would only eat home-cooked organic food in daycare. But the reality is that a convenience caterer pulls up. Is that why I'm crying? No, because in the evening there is food that meets my requirements. It can also be meat and fish, but rarely, because my daughter spurns it anyway, apart from spaghetti Bolognese and fish fingers. Classic kid.

The ministry in Stuttgart argues that children "have the opportunity during their development to develop their own tastes and to try them out. This also includes the consumption of meat". I'm even with the ministry for the former. But it's not just the day-care centers and schools that are responsible for that, but also the parents at home. Every parenting guide preaches to offer the child as many different food groups as possible.

And while we're getting excited, wouldn't it be wiser to channel your energy into increasing the proportion of organic products in day care centers and schools? Because purely for cost reasons, the meat that is still offered in day-care centers and schools is more likely to come from factory farming than from organic farms. And that's not particularly good for the health of the children or for the environment. After all, in Freiburg, the proportion of organic products in school and daycare catering is to increase from 20 to 30 percent. That's not enough.

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