There are many foods that fall under the category of cheese: cream cheese, soy cheese, sliced cheese, cottage cheese, string cheese, head cheese…the potential for mishap is all-pervasive! For those of us whose families enjoy the occasional portion of imitation cheese, this may be of interest.
If you do not want your child to mistakenly eat something that contains animal products, your best bet is to use an unambiguous name for items that can be considered some sort of “cheese.” You can teach your child to call it imitation cheese, cheese alternative, or soy cheese*, however, none of these roll easily off the tongue or sound very appetizing. I strongly suggest that you come up with a name for what you are eating that eliminates confusion.
In our house, we have a name for the vegan cheese alternative that we enjoy on pizza, crackers and quesadillas: we call it “topping.” Occasionally, well-intended friends offer cheese products to us by mistake. It is reassuring that to know that my family avoids eating anything that has the word “cheese” in it.
To make it easier on children who are learning the ins and outs of avoiding eating animal products, it is important to have things as clear as possible. Come up with a name that works for your family. Who knows, you may wind up coining a new vegan sandwich!
*Many soy cheeses have animal products in them such as casein.
© Jill Powers and The Feel Good Vegan 2010.
Photo courtesy of Microsoft
Posted in: Making Vegan Living Easier for Kids