School Lunches From Around the World

   Falafel, pita chips, yogurt and cucumber sauce, greens.

These photos of school lunches from around the world provide a look at the typical foods served in those countries. School lunches in the United States are now regulated by the Healthy, Hunger Free Act of 2010, of which First Lady Michelle Obama was a proponent and President Obama signed into law. The new standards increase the amount of fruits and vegetables served, emphasize whole grains, require lowfat or nonfat milk, limit calories and reduce saturated fat and sodium. The standards were a response to the high level of obese individuals in the United States. 

Conversely, France has the lowest rate of obesity in Europe. But their fried, carb-rich lunch, shown below, hints at the fact that their obesity rate doubled between the years 1995 and 2012, with the age group most affected being juveniles.

Yet a picture of one day's offerings is not representative of the nutrient content of the meals for the long term, nor can any valid finding be made from its evaluation. The photos are interesting to see, however. 

Look at school lunches from a number of other countries here. 

Fries, chicken nuggets, broccoli, bread, pasta salad, and a slice of cake.

United States
Turkey taco salad, mashed potatoes, peach cobbler, and iced tea.

Meat, rice, vegetables and melon.

  Czech Republic
  Semolina and vegetable soup, beef with garlic, spinach and potato dumplings, orange. 

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When I was in grade school, it was beans and cornbread twice a week, spaghetti occasionally, soy burgers every other Friday, and mystery meat and spinach most of the time. But we weren't allowed to eat in the cafeteria after 6th grade, because it was too small.

I thought my kids were lucky to get tacos and pizza, until I actually saw what they served. Now mine take their lunches every day, and are the envy of their friends.
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I thought that was a really odd combination, too. I also thought that it wasn't much of a salad. I'd want a lot more lettuce with my salad. They missed their chance to load the kids up on greens! ;)
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Why does everyone else's kids seem to get real plates and utensils, while our kids eat off of plastic with a (shudder) spork? Are we afraid that our kids will take metal utensils and turn them into shivs in metalshop class? Because metalshop was cut out of the curriculum years ago.
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