What School Lunches Look Like Around the World
Italian schools typically serve meals centered around pasta or risotto, all made from organic foods grown nearby. Snacks are a big portion of the food for Italian school children, as well. They have a heavy consumption of small candies and chocolates, as well as Nutella on bread. This has actually been a contributing factor to a very high obesity rate proportional to the population size in Italy.
Githeri is a staple in Kenyan school lunches, made out of beans and maize
with meats, greens, and potatoes occasionally added in. Lentils and beans are very common in the Kenyan school lunch, as well. Overall, this is a very healthy concoction for school children. The Githeri dish is typically associated with the Kikuyu tribe, but has become a large part of the culture.
In Barbados, there is a daily serving of milk and biscuits to all the students in the morning which is provided for free. The hot lunch program is centered around beans and rice mostly. These meals are delivered by van to schools around the island. Overall, school lunch in Barbados consists of healthy ingredients for school children.
School lunch in France is taken very seriously for children. In fact, most people say it is valued as much as lunch for adults. Some typical menu items in French schools include hake with lemon sauce, lamb with paprika, veal scallops Marengo, along with fresh bread and salad. For desert, students are usually served yogurt and fruit. French schools have very well refined and well thought out menus which contribute to a much healthier population than other countries.
School lunch in Japan is known as kyuushoku and is made up of a predominately rice and fish menu. There are certain specialty dishes that are very popular such as korokke which is a type of fried potato omelet filled with rice and chicken. It is also common for western foods such as spaghetti and meatballs to make their way on the Japanese school menu. This is overall a very well balanced diet for school children.
Finland is widely regarded as one of the healthiest school lunch providers in the world. The government requires a substantial serving of vegetables and meats on every plate and also provides vegetarian options every day. Carrot and beet salads are popular, along with hernekeitto which is a green pea soup with smoked pork. Finland is a great model for healthy school lunches.