To learn a way of practicing Ahimsa (non-violence), through
To understand the meaning of vegetarianism.
To be able identify the differences between vegetarian and
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-
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
There are four songs (remember the text is there to follow
Hot cross buns
Pat a cake
To the market
I am a vegetarian
Activity 2 - Introduction to
vegetarianism. The question is why are
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.
1. Look at the two pictures and
identify the different food items.
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.
Finish this activity by asking your child if we do or do not eat the
food listed at the end.
Identify vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian foods.
various advertisement papers for grocery stores.
sheet of construction paper and fold in half.
one side “Vegetarian” and the other half “Non-Vegetarian”
out pictures of vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian items from newspaper and
Glue the items in the right column.
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
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
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.
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).
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.
have fun acting out the scene (e.g., playing at a party and then getting
ready to eat).
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
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.
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.