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<p>Just wondering how to handle the food situation at sleepovers (and other events like birthday parties and such) with a vegetarian kid? Looking for tips on how to send a vegetarian kid off to meat-eating houses and events without making a big deal out of it...</p>
 

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<p>When I was younger, my mom would most always send food with me. Usually something that just needed heating. Snack foods are go to send, too (just in case....). You might also ask to see what they will be eating. For example, if they are eating pizza or something like that, just make sure there will be cheese (if you eat cheese).</p>
 

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<p>For birthday parties (DS is still a toddler so I go with him) we just eat beforehand & I bring a treat for him while everyone is having cake. Often there are snacks like hummus or chips & salsa that he can eat, so I just make sure he's not super-hungry. I try to keep a few snacks in my bag in case there's nothing though. So with an older kid, I'd either call ahead to find out if anything veg will be available, or send him/her with a small bag of food -- maybe a bag of chips & veg dip to share, and a personal treat for cake time. Sleepovers sound trickier because that could encompass several meals. Maybe get a few 'convenience' type foods -- granola bars, a nut-butter sandwich for dinner, those mini boxes of cereal and soymilk (or dairy milk/rice milk/whatever you drink) and a piece of fruit for breakfast -- so if there isn't anything acceptable, he/she will still have something to eat. IME as a vegetarian since age 12, most situations are pretty easy for a vegetarian -- there's almost always a cheese pizza, chips, etc. It's much harder now that I'm vegan, because of all the dairy/eggs in most foods. So if your child isn't vegan I doubt they'd have much trouble finding something acceptable to eat, but I'm sure it depends on geographic location/culture/etc. -- I have friends who are Portuguese & everything they eat is covered in meat.</p>
 

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<p>I make sure that the parents know Kaia is vegan. Usually her friends' parents are awesome about it - I approach it with a "What are you serving? Can I send something with her that matches?" Sometimes I wind up making a vegan version of whatever food to take along, often the parents have no trouble adapting the menu to suit - grabbing a bag of Boca nuggets or veggie dogs* for her, or making pasta with cheese and meatballs on the side.</p>
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<p>I try to keep a few vegan cupcakes in the freezer for when I run out of time to make a fresh batch, or in a pinch, I'll grab one from the HFS to send with her to birthday parties.</p>
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<p>For something like a sleepover, I'd probably approach with "We're vegan, can I send some soymilk for Kaia to put on her cereal and drink/some earth balance and daiya/whatever*" to make life easier. Or make up a bag of pancake mix and a little bottle of syrup for her to take as a hostess gift? I don't think I'd let her sleep over with someone that I wasn't confident would respect our lifestyle choices, and if there's a slip up because of an imperfect understanding of what veg*n means, so what? It's a one time deal, and it's the effort in everyday life that is important.</p>
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<p>*We don't usually eat a lot of fake dairy and meat subs. The one occasion that I DO resort to those is just this: when I'm trying to match the foods that other kids are eating at a party or something.</p>
 

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<p>Totally random, Catnip, but I *LOVE* the name Kaia & was considering naming my yet-to-be-conceived DD that. I thought I made the name up though lol. <span><img alt="love.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/love.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>Well, you may have. :) My Kaia is actually named after my great-grandmother, though we Americanized the spelling - I figured no one would ever pronounce Kaja correctly. It's actually a common diminuitive form of Katherine and Caroline in Norway.</p>
 
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