NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY) - Preschoolers at the Scandinavian School in Jersey City don't eat your typical school food at lunchtime. The school is strictly vegan. No meat, no dairy, no shortage of recipes and ideas from dietician and chef Manija Mayel.
"Basic dishes that children enjoy eating but always keeping in mind to put different colors and flavors and textures," Mayel says.
The school opened in 2010 with four students and a vegetarian menu. A few years and 90 students later, they took feeding their kids a step further, and now the school is being sought out by parents who are vegan at home.
Scandi School, as it's called, even has its own garden in back where the kids learn the real meaning of farm to table.
"The majority of our families that are not have noticed a big difference in their children's eating habits at home as well. If they come home speaking about chickpeas, kale and quinoa, they are open to eating that which before they may not have," school director Maria Germerud-Sharp said.
Germerud-Sharp is a former au pair from Sweden. She started the school when she couldn't find one that she liked for her daughter.
The students help make their own organic almond milk and participate daily in preparing food which is served family style.
Some experts question whether a vegan diet is healthy for young children why need calcium and vitamins such as D and B12. There is little data on the long term affects of a vegan diet on children.