NEWS > Active Learning New York School Goes All-Vegetarian

Active Learning Elementary School is the first US school to go ALL-VEGETARIAN!

As of January 2013, the Active Learning Elementary School in Queens New York, NY began offering all vegetarian meals for ALL of its students.  According to a CNN Report, the all vegetarian Queens New York school sees health and nutrition as part of educating the whole child.  For us at Just Add Good Stuff, this is incredible news!  We’ve always believed that there was something wrong and something missing with our current educational system.  From elementary to high school, our students are NOT taught anything about 2 of lives most important things: health/nutrition eduction and financial education.  It looks like Active Learning Elementary School has some forward planning and forward thinking educational professionals leading the way!

As of May 2013, the all vegetarian New York elementary school has moved to all-vegetarian meals five days a week. The Active Learning Elementary School in Queens has nearly 400 students, from pre-kindergarten to third grade, and was founded five years ago on the principle that a healthy lifestyle leads to strong academic achievement.

“We decided on a vision where health and nutrition would be a part of educating the whole child,” school principal Bob Groff said.

The New York vegetarian elementary school first went meatless three days a week in mid 2012. It also tested meals on a small group of students, gathering feedback and changing the menu accordingly. The New York Department of Education also noted that many of the students attending the Active Learning Elementary School were already more accustomed to eating more vegetarian/clean eating diets than most US students.  This is because almost 85% of all students here were of Hispanic or Asian decent … who’s diets have always been more notably ‘vegetarian’.  Many vegetarian Active Learning New York students were used to vegetarian meals at home too.

One of the sticky points with an all-vegetarian student meal in New York and the United States is that it has to be approved by the USDA.  In most cases, the USDA just wants to make sure that the proper mix of nutrition and nutritional foods are consumed by students of all ages.

The hardest part to adhere to is the amount of PROTEIN PER SERVING as no animal meats were being served at the all vegetarian New York school.  Officials said that it was a combination of routine (the routine of eating animal proteins) as well as the lack of education (that many vegetables and whole foods have adequate amounts of plant based proteins per serving) that were tough to understand.  In the end, the Active Learning New York vegetarian school opted to serve more tofu, roasted chickpeas, vegetarian chili, brown rice or falafel in their all vegetarian meals.

Students appear to be enthusiastic about their healthy meals. When you’re healthy, you can do better on tests and you can fight more diseases.

Currently, New York schools, which provide meals for 1.1 million students daily, offer principals vegetarian and non-vegetarian lunch options.

We are really impressed with what the Active Learning Elementary School has done in adopting an all-vegetarian mindset in combination with educating our children about health and nutrition.  This is ground-breaking and we are hopeful that other New York schools will also do the same.

Click here for the original CNN article: New York school goes all-vegetarian.