Tag Archives: eating out
We need not have feared! As Louise mentioned in a previous blog post, last week our two boys embarked on a school trip to the Isle of Wight. We did complete the requisite school forms beforehand informing all interested parties of their vegetarian dietary requirements, but still had some some worries about how it would go.
I for one had visions of my children (who, let’s be honest, can be a bit fussy about what they will eat even when it is all veggie) coming home hollow cheeked, half starved and completely ravenous. Well, I am pleased to report that this was not the case at all. In fact it was quite the opposite.
There was lavish praise all around from both boys for the selection, quality and, most importantly, quantity of the vegetarian fare that was provided for them during the course of the week. The fact that lots of desserts were on offer was of course a big plus factor but, judging from the comments so far, we may have to make some changes to the fare we provide at home. One son informed us that he was now used to eating much more than before, as they’d had a starter, main and dessert for every meal, so we’d have to start giving him bigger portions.
So well done to the school , well done to the hotel and well done to my children for making it through the week and coming back well fed as well as safe and sound.
As I mentioned before, we’ve just returned from a two week holiday in Lanzarote, where some friends of ours have a villa. I won’t bore you with the details of the holiday itself, except to say that we had a great time, but wanted to share some of the challenges we faced feeding our vegetarian kids.
As we were self catering, eating at the villa wasn’t a problem. We bought groceries at the local Spar and so, although there were no veggie meats sold, we managed to ensure that our children got some nutrition in between the ridiculous amounts of ice cream, waffles, cake, etc that they (and we) managed to consume (it was a holiday after all!)
Problems arose, however, when we tried to eat out. The majority of restaurants specialised in fish dishes and sometimes the only vegetarian food available was garlic bread or chips. There were several restaurants serving pizza, but my boys were concerned that the cheese used might not be vegetarian. We tried to ask at one Italian restaurant but it was obvious that the waiter didn’t understand what we were asking, which is understandable, as we didn’t know the Spanish or Italian for vegetarian either!
To complicated matters, a frozen cheese and tomato pizza we bought at the Spare for our boys also turned out not to be vegetarian, so ended up in the bin.
I think that vegetarianism is still a bit of a mystery in Europe outside of the UK. I know someone who lived in France for a while and she says her vegetarian son was regarded with extreme suspicion. At school they assumed he was being fussy, rather than seeing it as a belief he was adhering to.
It’s probably similar in places like Lanzarote. Unfortunately in this case it’s not possible to just do as the locals do, as our vegetarian children do feel very strongly about not eating meat. Perhaps in future we’ll just have to limit our European holidays to a week at a time so we don’t have to worry about them living on chips and garlic bread!
Has anyone else had similar problems? If so, how did you handle it? We’d love to hear any suggestions and tips you have for us about feeding vegetarian kids abroad.