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Lil - Vegetarianism

Li’l Jain Corner

Title: Vegetarianism

Age Group: 3- 6 years old


To learn a way of practicing Ahimsa (non-violence), through vegetarianism.

To understand the meaning of vegetarianism.

To be able identify the differences between vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.

As our children start to enter the school atmosphere, they are exposed to a variety of cultures and religions. To help our children be prepared to deal with one aspect of social integration with the community at large, we have created this lesson. Our children will eat at school and will see others eat a variety of foods. Let us make them aware that we are vegetarians, and why, and what are the differences between vegetarian and non- vegetarian foods.


  •  Internet access
  • Scissors, glue, construction paper, marker
  • Newspaper advertisement from grocery store.

Time to complete: Your choice – you can finish one lesson a day over the next 4 days, or you can do multiple activities in one day.

Activity 1 – Learn a song on being a Vegetarian - 30 minutes

Activity 2 – Introduction to vegetarianism with follow-up activity - 2 parts each taking

about 20 minutes

Activity 3 – Identify vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian foods - 30 minutes

Activity 4 -  Role play game - 30 minutes

Activity 5 – Is more informational, you can review the meal ideas for lunch with your child.  10 minutes


Activity 1- Learn a song on being a Vegetarian


  1. Play the song “I am a Vegetarian” (sung in tune: "Old MacDonald Had a Farm”) by Nimisha Asthagiri
  2. Play it again, but this time follow along with the words.
  3. Have your child learn the words to this song through repeated practice.


Other options:

Listen to songs from about being vegetarian

Vegetarian -

There are four songs (remember the text is there to follow along with):

  1. Hot cross buns
  2. Pat a cake
  3. To the market
  4. I am a vegetarian

Activity 2 - Introduction to vegetarianism. The question is why are we vegetarians?

Here is an article written by Manoj Jain for Jain Study Circular that helps explain vegetarianism for children. Read the article yourself and then paraphrase it to best explain it to your child, or you can read the entire article aloud for your child. The first two paragraphs are the most important. Now with new technologies and cool thermoses, we are able to send our child to school with hot food too.

Follow up Here is an activity at Jain World

1. Look at the two pictures and identify the different food items.

2. Then read over the statements of what we do and do not eat. Have your child repeat with you.

3. Then read the questions and see if your child has started to develop an understanding of what we do and do not eat as Jains.

4. Finish this activity by asking your child if we do or do not eat the food listed at the end.

Activity 3- Identify vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian foods.

  1. Collect various advertisement papers for grocery stores.
  2. Get a sheet of construction paper and fold in half.
  3. Label one side “Vegetarian” and the other half “Non-Vegetarian
  4. Cut out pictures of vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian items from newspaper and magazine.
    Glue the items in the right column.
  5. Discuss with your child why they have placed the selected item in each of the columns (maybe identifying if it came from an animal vs. a garden or tree)

Activity 4 - Role play game

Role-playing consists of acting out various social interactions that children would typically encounter. Not only do children love to pretend, but also it allows them to practice their social and critical thinking skills. The more they practice these skills, the more confident they will be when they face those situations in the real-world.

Questions about being a vegetarian will inevitably arise in the school cafeteria setting, as children are very curious about food and always compare each others’ lunches/snacks. Having your children practice responding to such questions and situations will make them more comfortable when the time comes. Additionally, with role play, your children can remember their responses better since they would think for themselves and use their own words.

  1. Start by describing the mock environment to your child: a birthday party (where they are serving non-veg pizza), a school cafeteria (where some kids are eating non-veg food), or a playdate/outing (with a trip to McDonald’s).
  2. Tell your child that you are pretending to be their friend. Provide a (real or false) name for the friend. Your child can choose to be him/herself or a pretend child whose vegetarian.
  3. Now, have fun acting out the scene (e.g., playing at a party and then getting ready to eat).
  4. Then, ask your child a simple age-appropriate question about food or being a vegetarian (How come you don’t eat meat? Are you allergic to chicken? Would you like some of my nuggets? Don’t you want to taste some fish? What’s that – Indian food?)
  5. Initially, give your child ample time to process and respond to the role-play scenarios. With more practice/play, speed and proficiency will gradually increase.
  6. As a learning exercise, you may choose to reverse roles and allow your child to see how you would respond to similar situations.

Activity 5 – What to eat for lunch when I am in school.

School main lunch ideas….

As our little ones go to day care or pre-school or even kindergarten they will start eating their snacks and lunches at these settings. I have put together a list of suggestions for main meals for lunches. What you choose is your personal decision and what your kid wants. Some of you follow the strict Jain diet and others follow variations in the diet. But this list is something you can use as a starting point and add to it. If you have any suggestions or ideas please feel free to email them to me. My son has started KG and I am always looking for new ideas.

Look at the following link: Menu ideas for school lunch


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