Montreal·Audio

Laval daycare goes vegetarian to combat budget cuts

A daycare in Laval has gone vegetarian as a cost-saving measure after daycares in the province were hit with budget cuts in the last provincial budget.

Les P'tits soleils in St-Dorothée replacing meat with lentils, tofu and beans

The Couillard government cut almost $75 million to Quebec’s daycare system. (CBC)

A daycare in Laval has gone vegetarian as a cost-saving measure after daycares in the province were hit with budget cuts.

Les P'tits soleils in St-Dorothée has completely changed its meal plan because it says meat is too expensive, given their new budget reality.

However, a worker at the daycare, Jennifer Possian, said the children are not missing out on nutrition.

In an interview with CBC's Daybreak, she said they're replacing meat with beans, lentils and tofu. The daycare's new menu was approved by a dietician before it was implemented.

Although children didn't immediately take to their new lunches, Possian said they're getting used to it.

"It was an uphill battle at first, but the more and more vegetarian meals we serve, they're getting used to the look of it and the taste of not having meat on their plates. It was a question of adjustment," she said.

Before the cuts, meat was served three to four times a week. Favourites included meatballs, chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Now, Possian said they might serve meat once every two weeks.

She said some parents were immediately on board with the changes, but others took a bit more convincing.

"Others are less understanding, but I think at the end of the day everyone realizes  that we have to live with these budget cuts, and we have to make do with what we have."

Possian wouldn't confirm how much of their kitchen budget was cut, but describes the cuts as "significant."

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