School Lunch Around the World

In India, school lunches are free. In France, they’re now vegetarian once a week. In America, kids often get pizza or hamburgers — with dessert. This is what school lunch looks like around the world. 🍕

What's on the menu in school cafeterias today?

According to the 2019 edition of The State of the World’s Children from UNICEF, the childhood obesity rate in Japan is under 20%, a very low ratio compared to other developed countries. UNICEF values school meals that have a good nutritional balance.

In the United States, some students bring their lunch from home, but it is common for children to eat at the school cafeteria where pizza and hamburgers are frequently on the menu and are often served with desserts. However, former first lady Michelle Obama made healthy lunches central to her Let's Move! Initiative. Michelle Obama said to a crowd of students, “Studies show that when you eat healthy foods and vegetables, that can actually help you pay attention in class, and do a better job on your homework and tests,”

In India, the government delivers free meals to students. While this is a good reason for parents from unprivileged families to put their children in school, there are also some concerns about food quality and safety. Serving 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools and Education Guarantee Scheme centres, it is the largest of its kind in the world.

In France, schools will be required to serve vegetarian meals once a week, starting from November this year. The French Ministry of Education takes into consideration children’s health and the impact on the environment. By 2022, 50% of the ingredients will be sustainable and 20% will be organic.

Nowadays, there’s a greater push for schools to step it up. With additional nutritional programming in place, and parents’ growing concern over what their kids are eating, school lunches look different. A more modern, home-packed, school lunch in America might consist of something like a turkey sandwich, crunchy carrots, and blueberries for a sweet treat these days according to Kitchn.


11/04/2019 12:58 PM
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  • Kezmen F.
    14 hours

    I want some chicken wings now.

  • Angela V.
    2 days

    In Puerto Rico, school lunch is free and it's not junk food.

  • Kelley J.
    2 days

    I wanna know we’re those American school lunches were bc I sure in the hell didn’t get no good lunch

  • Jacqueline S.
    3 days

    You all go in about obesity and how it's the food but it not its kids being on their phones and gaming consoles all day. It kids not wanting to go out and play or living in an area where they can't. When we were kids we eat the same lunches the difference was we were out side playing all the time. The world is changing and kids not go out and play they stay in and chat game are look up crap on line. It's a problem starting before pressing school.

  • Joe B.
    3 days

    Doesn't matter how healthy you want to make their lunches, if they won't eat it then what's the difference.

  • Smit H.
    3 days

    What do you expect - most Americans CAN’T COOK...frozen food it is...Chef Mic (microwave) has a job security🥴😂😂😂

  • Teddy K.
    4 days

    Meanwhile in Africa school lunch is only aprivilage to some kids they wish they would have the American school lunches.

  • Taylor L.
    4 days

    FYI. Pizza and hamburgers isn’t on the menu 24/7 in america. Pizza was at fridays, sometimes. Desserts, you barely get

  • Elli M.
    5 days

    The problem with Michelle's plan was that now children go hungry because of controlled government food that comes n Boxed up when there is an actual kitchen for the cooks to use. There isnt enough for them to eat. Some kids have fast metabolism and salads do not cut it. Also the food is disgusting. Its close to fast food grade food.

  • Loraine N.
    5 days

    In Puerto Rico the breakfast and the lunch are free. Also very nutritious and healthy

  • Dayan T.
    6 days

    That guy Michael Obama!! American being healthy food system way before you and your wife Obama allowing guy can used women restroom. Stop manupulate the young generations.

  • Haydee R.
    6 days

    Pizza and hamburgers can be healthy. In Germany, they eat bratwurst and breaded meat panfried in butter and are way skinnier and healthier than most Americans, Myself included. So stop the nonsense. There is not such thing as healthy food or unhealthy food. We need to eat well balanced diets with regular exercise and go to the doctor once in a while. In USA, there is no universal healthcare so many Americans can't go the doctor until is too late.

  • Phatness G.
    11/12/2019 12:38

    They need to come to the USVI 😔

  • Melissa L.
    11/12/2019 04:46

    American adults absolutely vilified Michelle Obama for trying to get their kids to eat controlled portions of healthy food. We are a nation of buffets and 44 oz drinks... Even normal portions of unhealthy foods are considered ridiculous, let alone salads. I'm not sure what the obesity taste is now, but it certainly isn't less than 20%

  • Linda M.
    11/12/2019 00:46

    I truly believe in her Idea ..Really think about it..Healthy food at least once a day..Could never figure out why the adults were so against this..

  • Jeff B.
    11/10/2019 16:03

    American kids aren't obese because of school lunches. It's lifestyle at home. I've worked in public schools for years. The amount of uneaten, untouched food that goes into the garbage is huge. I'd estimate at least half.

  • Mirjam N.
    11/10/2019 08:48

    School lunches aren't even a thing here. You bring your own sandwich 🥪

  • Torr L.
    11/09/2019 22:35

    They’re also vegetarian once a week in .

  • Leah R.
    11/09/2019 15:34

    The lunches in US schools are a joke. Everything was prepackaged microwaved crap with tons of preservatives with a side of canned peaches in syrup.

  • Aniano M.
    11/06/2019 16:39

    Aquí tenemos que mejorar la nutrición de nuestros estudiantes, si el gobierno no se robara los fondos asignados