A growing number of children are giving the thumbs down to meat, but public schools haven’t been quick to provide alternative options at lunch, according to vegetarian advocates. Recent surveys indicate that about 2 percent of children under age 18 consider themselves veggies, about the same percentage as adults. Marcia Smith, president of the American School Food Service Association, says that most schools have begun serving a vegetarian item every day. Some parents of veggies dispute that — and point out that many of the non-meat items offered don’t stand out as being especially healthful (think deep-fried cheese sticks, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese — notice a pattern?). Vegetarian cookbook author Suzanne Havala says tofu is particularly hard to find in the lunch line.