10 facts that explain why children are embracing plant-based diets

A survey of 1,500 children for Linda McCartney suggests kids are looking for meat-free options, as the brand turns Trinity Primary School in Lewisham entirely veggie for Vegetarian Week.

13 May 2019
image credit: Getty Images

  • One in 10 children aged eight to 13 now identify as a vegetarian or vegan, while 44% are trying to eat less meat and dairy.
  • But almost a quarter of youngsters claim they regularly go hungry at school, because of the lack of vegetarian and vegan options on the dinner menu.
  • Meanwhile, 77% of vegan or vegetarian youngsters admitted they had been forced to eat meat at some point because of the lack of options available to them.
  • Just over a third said they ended up spending cash on unhealthy snacks from the shop or vending machine when there weren’t suitable options on offer.
  • 44% of those who had gone meat-free did so to be kinder to nature and animals, and a further 31% said they thought it was better for the planet.
  • But 7% of the children aged eight to 16 admitted they were simply following the footsteps of meat-free influencers on social media, while 29% wanted to be healthier and 27% just fancied giving it a try.
  • 19% said they’d taken the plunge as they preferred vegetarian food options anyway.
  • Further evidencing the influence of others, one in 10 went meat-free because their friends are veggie and 17% because they have vegetarian parents.
  • 81% of parents with veggie or vegan kids claim there are not enough healthy and tasty vegetarian options at their child’s school, and three quarters of all parents said they thought school dinners lack variety in general.
  • Two in 10 of the children polled claim they are aiming to go meat-free within five years, while a further 15% of youngsters insist they will have given up meat within a decade.

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