After years of campaigning, The Vegan Society has finally convinced the Scottish Government to add soya milk to the free Nursery Milk Scheme for young children.
Previously, children under five were entitled to receive 1/3 pint of cow’s milk free of charge, but there was no non-dairy option for those with allergies, intolerances or dietary requirements.
Going forward, the government will offer fortified soya milk as an alternative option for these children, under the new Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack scheme rolling out in August 2021.
The Vegan Society set up the Play Fair with Plant Milk campaign in 2019 after recognising the inequality surrounding milk options in various public health initiatives.
With 1 in 3 households regularly buying plant-based milk, it was about time that the government listened to demand and ‘played fair’.
In a statement sent to Vegan Food and Living, Sabrina Ahmed, Campaigns and Policy Officer at The Vegan Society explained:
“We are often contacted by parents of young children who describe the indirect discrimination they have faced due to the existing UK Nursery Milk Scheme. Many children have lost out on this free health benefit because of their ethical beliefs, which is unfair.
“We’re delighted to see that the Scottish Government has now recognised this negative impact and that the new Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme is inclusive of those who cannot consume animal milk because of medical, religious or other beliefs.
“This sets a great precedent for other public health schemes to follow suit.”
Are you running out of ideas for healthy and nutritious plant-based children’s meals?
Read our article on Feeding vegan kids: What healthy vegan children eat.