What kids of the world eat at school

April 20, 2011 · 124 comments

You are what you eat. In some countries kids are fed with really delicious food, in some – with food rich in nutrients and vitamins, while in others kids do not get enough vitamins from food at all. I’d pick Asia for my kids.

Japan



Korea

Brazil

USA

Belarus

UK

Taiwan

Slovakia

Singapore

Philippines

Kenya

Italy

Honduras

Ghana

France

Estonia

Czech Republic

Chile

via fresher.ru, trinixy.ru

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{ 107 comments }

Zachary June 25, 2011 at 1:43 am

Just about all the food looks better, and of course healthier, than the USA food. No wonder we’re all so fat and unhappy. =[

Alexander June 25, 2011 at 7:56 am

In germany we.. just.. didn’t get food o.O and our day was as long. The food that we could buy was actually very expensive… a single sandwich for like 1.50€. But the french food seems quite good!

Chelsey June 26, 2011 at 3:11 am

American schools serve such unhealthy crap, and then everyone wonders why we’re the fattest country in the world.

Kara June 28, 2011 at 10:59 am

I saw America’s “average” food. Being an American, it makes me cringe just looking at it… I’m so glad we had such a healthy food program when I was in elementary (at least compared to this). Why would you give kids fried chicken? Salts, fats, grease and the healthiest part has been fried in it all… Yucky. What really outrages me is HOW ARE NACHOS AND MEAT LUNCH?! Maybe a snack at a football game, sure, but kids need HEALTHY energy to get through their day. We have access to vegetables, so why feed children such crap–unless it’s what they serve in all those severely cheap-ass schools…
Rage at nutrition aside, Singapore cuisine has always fascinated me– all their different cultures gathering in one nice, clean city. Sure looks tempting to taste some authentic meals.

quentin July 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

thanks for the post this was really interesting. i would love to go to school in slovakia and chile for the food. and is that a raw egg in czech republic?

Yardana July 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

I have to say, France’s food looks worse than America’s. They’re both pretty bad though. If I sent my kiddo off to public school & had a choice of these I’d probably choose between Brazil & Singapore.

LippLooLoo July 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm

What? One dish to represent the UK and France which I have never seen on the same plate anyway. And actually France is one of Europe’s leading cuisines. More American internet rubbish. Why don’t you actually go to these places and form an educated opinion.

Erik Smoren July 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

France serves artichokes? Here in America that one artichoke costs me, wholesale, what they budget for each kid’s lunch in school. How awful. Oh but we need to cut govt spending so lets start at school.

Caitlin July 17, 2011 at 7:08 am

I must say that for me this wasn’t really an accurate representation of the food kids are served in schools. There were at most about four pictures per location, which leave hundreds to thousands of schools unaccounted for. I have gone to 6 different schools (I live in America) and not all of them had terrible food. In most of grade school the meals were not a bag of chips and some over processed meat, but were home-cooked type meals; mashed potatoes made from actually potatoes and not instant from a box, homemade dinner rolls, gravy from scratch, green beans, beef stew from scratch, and the like. When I moved from Illinois to Virginia it was much the same, but even better (the main cook at the school was this little Italian woman who trained all the other cafeteria staff. It was obvious she brought a lot to the table). In middle school it wasn’t as great, but it was still better than these pictures shown. Not all of the meals were home cooked type deals, but we always had to have the main part of the meal, one fruit, one vegetable, one desert, a carton of milk, and a carton of juice. The pizza pictured above isn’t what ALL of the slices looked like; there were usually two like that in one batch of about 30, and we weren’t given greasy burgers either, because they were always Morning Star soy patties. By high school it was pretty much a thing of ‘hey, you should know what’s good for you and what isn’t’. There were too many options to list, but they ranged from unhealthy stuff like a bag of Doritos and a pop to a chef salad and a water.

Belle July 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

seriously they didn’t feed you at school?

Erik July 21, 2011 at 9:39 am

Actually, Slovakia pictures are wrong, usually you get a soup and a baked cake or something sweet that doesn’t come from the grocery store. Great concept overall.

Fernando July 22, 2011 at 4:20 am

Don’t send your kids to public school in Brazil for food. The food is really balanced, and thought off. But only when it’s there, and more often than not, it’s not. Or it is neglected, and left to rot. It’s one major problem in education here. More than I like to think off, the food at the school is the ONLY food most kids in the public school system get for the day. The picture above is the exception, not the rule here.

Erin July 22, 2011 at 4:57 am

When I was in elementary school (about 18 years ago), we had -lots- of vegetables. We didn’t have all these potato chips and crap until high school. Which I still didn’t like. Kinda makes me just want to pack lunches for when my son starts school.

Janice Temple Robinson July 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

I am amazed at the amount of frites or fries on the France lunch platter. That does not look healthy at all.

gustavo July 23, 2011 at 6:54 am

eh, but we eat it anyways but still “i thought fat people were supposed to be jolly” lmao

Charlie July 23, 2011 at 8:11 am

Zachary… I could not agree with you more.. The statement made first line in this article could not be more true… “You are what you eat.”

Samuel July 23, 2011 at 8:46 am

The American school lunch program was designed in the early part of WW2 to address a lack of fat and dairy in the diet of many Americans. To much of a good thing now.

Keith July 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I agree very much with this. I am very against the US public school curriculum and methodologies when it comes to teaching children. However, the lunches I was served were always much more balanced (and photogenic) than what is here. Things could change a lot in 20 years, I suppose, but I think most school districts have become MORE health conscious, not less.

Sallys July 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

It would have been nice if they said what some of that food was. I can guess most of it.

Where did they get the idea American kids eat lunch food for breakfast? They eat milk and cereal maybe a piece of fruit.

ks July 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

because vegis aren’t a government subsidized product. Beef, Dairy and Corn are. US system feeds for bulk calories, the idea being that if you child eats school lunch they won’t be starved at home if they are not fed. We also rely on Dairy (which about 1/4 of the us population is intolerant to) to provide calcium, the cabbage, greens and beans on the other trays fill this gap (plus some).

Rich July 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Um, this is a UK site, not US. So no American Internet rubbish…

Doddie Householder July 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

The lunch from the Philippines isn’t an accurate depiction of what school lunches are. Most schools don’t provide school lunches, we bring a packed lunch that our moms fix. And if you do buy your lunch in school, it would be a savory stew like chicken adobo, afritada, menudo, etc. and there will be freebie soup or veggie dish. Still a WHOLE lot healthier than US/European meals.

None July 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Sad to say my school lunches looked exactly like what is pictured for US lunches. I only wish they had served us something that looked as appetizing as the other meals posted here

Billiam July 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Plus look at the food. Far from an advertisement for American exceptionalism.

Billiam July 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Eh, I dont know where you went to school but all 12 grades in the midwest my food pretty much looked exactly like that if you replace the chicken with what looked like a canned hamburger.

Slam1263 July 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Why are they serving “Freedom Fries”?

Scott July 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm

A lot of cafeteria food is crap in the US, but I was lucky enough to have an open campus in middle school and high school, so we could eat at home or anywhere close.

really? July 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm

mussels and fries or steak/veggies is bad? christ…sounds pretty good to me

Greg July 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Trust me. I went to public school through the seventies and eighties in America and we had far far better food than what is pictured here. We had entire meals including salads, meatloaf or spaghetti or steak, rice, plenty of vegetables and the best damn yeast rolls I’ve ever tasted and yes, we had plenty of fresh fruit. If this picture is indicative of what is now served in American schools then I am truly aghast.

Brent July 24, 2011 at 12:43 am

I really doubt that this person went all over the world to a bunch of schools just to take pictures of lunches at schools. I feel like if you would have done that there would be a lot more pictures. Unless Your trying to make certain countries looks like they serve better or worse food. Which is most likely the case. Fact is there are varieties of food someone can choose in a school. There was no fried chicken at my american school

PhilinAz July 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

This is all very interesting, but how long ago were these pics taken? What IS some of that stuff? Will kids really eat it? It would be nice to know what you’re looking at. I’m an American & when I was in school back in the 60′s & early 70′s the food didn’t look that horrible. Where did they get the pics of USA lunches? Detroit? Rural Mississippi? South Central LA?

Mellisa @funsavingmoney July 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Wow the USA Food looks like a plate full of fried fat foods

Faes July 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

When I was in high school (about 10 years ago) the main meal was pizza and fries with cheese sauce, every day. The veggie option was an anemic Styrofoam bowl with iceberg lettuce in it. The majority of what you could buy was carbohydrates and fat, and it was crap.

Ryan July 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The American lunches actually look better than what I got in school. I started elementary school in 1994 and at school lunches a few times a week through 8th grade. They were served in a little tin container similar to what you would find at some Chinese takeout places. Most the time it was a stiff rectangular piece of pizza with tater tots or a burger sitting in some nasty green grease. You were also given a sealed plastic container that would have a cold fruit and veggie and some sort of dessert. Our food was always slopped together in one container and felt like take out rather than served what we wanted on a cafeteria tray. Luckily in high school we had an open campus.

Amy July 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I’m from Rural Mississippi, thank you very much. Our food doesn’t look at all like that. Some of the food from the schools in the city does, however. One of my cousins graduated two years ago and that’s exactly what his lunch looked like – over cooked rubbery pizza, corn chips with (hopefully) ground beef, white milk that was usually spoiled.

I graduated about ten years ago from a rural school and yes, we had fried chicken once a month with mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens and milk (that was sometimes half frozen if it was in August or May, best idea ever). We had fish on Fridays quite often, but we had lots of veg and usually an option of apple, orange or banana, sometimes kiwi. We had spaghetti with real meatsauce, yeast rolls and carrots at least twice a month and beefy veg soup with grilled cheese on cold rainy days. Our lunch ladies got there at 5am to cook our food. These days, not so much.

A classmate of mine is teaching in South Korea right now and she’s finding that her lunches there are better than the lunches served now in some of the cities in Mississippi.

Just because we’re rural doesn’t mean we don’t eat properly.

Margherita July 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I can only say that italian photo is true, pasta is everywhere, from nurseries (from 2 y old children) to primary schools ^_^

stephanie July 25, 2011 at 12:15 am

Sadly, as a teacher in an American public school, I can attest to the fact that the lunches pictured are exactly what students are being fed on a daily basis. Many large urban and suburban school districts have contracted with vendors to provide their food serivces. I know in my district of 30,000 students all food is prepared off site and simply heated up at the school. It tastes as bad as it looks.

mike July 25, 2011 at 4:53 am

In Australia there are no “provided” meals for any school year/grades – just what [we] parents provide for lunch/snack/etc..
My kids go to school with Vegimite (yes – they eat that junk… against my wishes), cheese, etc – on wholemeal bread; they MUST have two types of vegetables (school rule) and at least 1 piece of fruit..
Works really well – especially now that my 7YO has to make her own lunch and give me a sleep-in!! :D

Hillary July 25, 2011 at 5:32 am

At least not all schools in America have that type of food. My high school had healthy, homemade food that was delicious.

Christy July 25, 2011 at 6:25 am

Sad to say I went to school in various US cities (Our family was military) and our food looked EXACTLY like that usually there was usually a canned veggie and some fruit cocktail, jello with fruit (No one ate) or a sad pathetic bruised apple. I remember kids taking their lunch money and buying bags of chips or stacks of cookies because the lunches were so terrible. Also new york state lobbied and WON to make ketchup count as a vegetable. It was a huge joke in my school. We had a salad bar in highschool but it had pathetic bagged salad, boxed croutons and some bacon bits and various dressings it was awful.

Toblin July 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

No, most schools don’t have a canteen. Usually kids get breakfast at home and bring their own food. School days are from 8am till noon for the younger kids and from 8am till 2pm for older ones (just approximate values). If you have to stay in school till after noon, there’s a longer break for having lunch, but the school doesn’t give out meals.

America is Weak July 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

America will soon be eating the Asian diet in their schools. Once they are officially taken over by China in August of 2011, all those fatties will be in for a rude awakening! HAH!

Beth Donovan July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Those are far from typical lunches in the US, at least in my school district. There are strict rules about what can and cannot be served, and believe me, chips are not part of a lunch here.

qwert July 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm

No way in Brazil you have this food, trust me i`m Brazilian from Ceará. School here is a disaster, sadly. And people here is a little xenophobic about Americans.

sb July 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm

back when I was still in school (4 years ago) that was pretty much what was served to me in California. It just depends on the school I guess. For the most part I just skipped lunch everyday since back then I viewed going hungry preferable to that crap.

The Dentite July 26, 2011 at 1:39 am

Don’t you go getting any ideas about the French again.

Amber July 26, 2011 at 2:49 am

I graduated HS in the Southeastern US in 2004… the US food picture looks pretty spot on for what our cafeterias served K-12. Especially that plate with potatoes, carrots, and chicken (replace cooked carrots with raw and that chicken with a slice of square pizza and you have my lunch almost every day of 10th grade).

Casey July 26, 2011 at 2:51 am

I dont know what kind of fancy school you went to, but public school lunches were primarily a brown color. I remember back in elementary school there was “taco day.” these “tacos” were beef and tortillas literally swimming in a pool of grease. I still have this image ingrained in my memory, and considering I am 22 years old this was not too long ago. Middle school consisted of pizza, chips, cheese sauce, cookies and fruitopia. I attempted vegetarianism in high school but was pretty much impossible to sustain given that there were only a few salads made a day and unless you got out of class early you were out of luck unless you wanted a ramen noodle cup. This is the real world. This is why adolescents today cannot understand how to properly nourish their bodies, and why our country keeps getting fatter and fatter.

Caitlin July 26, 2011 at 3:36 am

What about Canada, you can’t forget our Poutines!!!

Amberlee July 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm

WOW. Some of those foods look really yummy! Although I’m a little upset to say that I was stuck with American food at this point, but I kind of think that regardless… But, this clearly hasn’t been updated, because schools in America have actually gotten a lot better about what they’re feeding students. Really, the only thing I can think of though is that the schools starting changing out they’re vending machines a few years ago to healthy snack food alternatives rather than candy and junk food. I think they may have even stopped selling soda’s at school and replaced it with juice and tea and what not. There’s been a really big uproar lately going on about how obese American children are getting, and if I remember right, they actually made it ILLEGAL to have an obese child, and the parents will get in trouble if their child is obese. I may be wrong, but I know something along those lines happened :3

x31artist July 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Actually, Brazil and Slovakia..and Chile, too, looked pretty appetizing and healthy.
Please don’t complain about USA, unless you’re also going to take into that account France and the Czech Republic….UK is bright, but it’s still starchy.
It still comes down to what the kids will actually eat and what nutrition they’re getting @ home.

chris July 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

The Philippines dish looked like liempo, sabaw (soup) and kanin (rice)….typical dish found at Yoohoo in Manila. Number one killers of Filipinos – High Blood pressure and Diabetes.

Sharon Bowler July 27, 2011 at 3:14 am

When my daughter was in school in Washington state there wasn’t fried chicken as such. Nothing that good at all. Everyday there was some sort of fried thing. Corndogs, Chicken nuggets, fish sticks, always fries or tots, and usually some grey, canned veg that no one ate. There was a bowl of fruit, apples, bananas, and oranges, the most durable and inexpensive ones. Most of the milk was chocolate. By the way, we live in the district with the best reputation, and still that’s what they feed the kids.

Margaret Watson July 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I’v e had French school lunches and they were a disgrace to the country of gourmets. One day we had celeriac in vinegrette followed by cheese pancakes with extra cheese , plain pasta and mini cheese cake for desert

jackie July 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Fascinating! The US lunches are a disgrace. I hate to say it … not really surprised. The French ones are surprising. I would have expected more. And what I wouldn’t give to have Honduras, the Phillippines, and the African ones to just have a couple of more food groups.

Meg July 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

They forgot the tater tots in the US pics

ROman July 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Its not raw egg, its desert with some peach on it. And btw I am from Czech republic and those trays are from 15 years ago :). I remember them :)

Popeye Doyle July 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I’m from the UK, and the ‘dish’ shown is by no means an accurate representation of what kids eat in school here. When I was in school, most kids ate chips, sausage and gravy.. or pizza and chips.. or microwavable cheese burger and chips. There was hardly any vegetables to choose from either. Mushy Peas.. or tinned carrots which were never cooked properly and had a slight crunch in the middle. I dont know what school was chosen to represent lunchtimes for British kids, but I’ll bet that it wasn’t a public school. Public schools in Britain have crap food. I should know.. I ate dinners in school for 12 years, and for every meal there, it was chips. Every day!

They did chicken nuggets as well.. if you can call them chicken nuggets.. they probably had less chicken in than a god damn Snickers bar!

Amanda BRAZIL July 29, 2011 at 4:13 am

Hello, I’m from Brazil .. and honestly i dont know where the photo was taken.
the food here in Brazil’s public school for children is horrible and many Brazilians struggle to improve a good public education. Most Brazilians, put their children in private schools .. but only the ”good or soso class” in the country.
It’s something that I hope will change in the future, now i study in a great private school but all the things (not only the food) is very expensive. In the future i want that my children attend a good public school, and not die because the food and education is a shit.
look here a picture of Brazilian food in public schools:
http://tinyurl.com/3nvbmkn

koko July 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

Actually, the USA lunches look better than the wallpaper paste they have to eat in Honduras.

Jen July 30, 2011 at 3:02 am

Oh gosh, just looking at the USA lunches brought me back to high school (just three years ago, so I can definitely confirm that those lunches are pretty accurate). There was always the “standard meal” option of pizza, tacos, a burger or the daily special and that came with mashed potatoes/gravy, diced fruit or some wilted shredded lettuce, a dinner roll and milk or a juice cup. What made it worse though was the stockpile of chips, cookies and little debbie snacks right by the register. Not to mention the french fries! It was way too easy to take that same $3 that would have bought the standard meal to buy yourself some fries, a cup of cheese, 2 cookies and a bottle of juice instead.

Laura July 30, 2011 at 5:14 am

California Department of Education: School Lunch
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/nslp.asp

From what I can remember of a seminar in college, certain districts are now only allowed to serve pre-packaged or catered food from approved agencies for school lunch. These schools are not ‘allowed’ to cook or prepare food on site.

Ross August 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

That Japanese stuff looks better than what you get in most Japanese eateries over here.

Quellcrist Falconer August 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Read the address of the site twit. The Web page is a UK page. The domain is in the UK and the server is in Germany. Don’t go blaring your mouth about “American rubbish” before you shoot off your mouth. There is no American Rubbish here.

Sophia August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I’m from Australia and here it is extremely rare for a school to provide a hot lunch! Most school will have a canteen or tuckshop with things like sandwiches, hot pies and sausage rolls, as well as bags of chips, candy bars and bottled drinks, but you have to buy whatever it is that you want. Or.. do you pay for lunch on the day in USA and other places too? Anyway, yeah, no hot lunches for Aussie kids! Ha. Most kids bring lunch from home.

Mike August 4, 2011 at 12:50 am

Yeah, that Kenyan vegetable looks tastier, and of course healthier, than a meal with actual calories in it. Thank you for another ignorant, “Americans are fat” comment on the internet. I guess I’d want to feel good about it, too, if I was eating tree bark instead of pizza.

Set August 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Eh, those are exactly what my school lunches looked like. We had nachos every Wednesday, with double hot dog day, fried chicken day, and cheese sticks being pretty popular as well.

Pando August 6, 2011 at 4:14 am

You look at starving Kenyans, make a stupid and callous comment about eating pizza, then have the gall to feel hard-done-by because people say Americans are fat? People like you are why America has such a terrible image problem worldwide. Prick.

Andrea August 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Has anyone seen “The Cove”. On the surface the Japanese lunch looks great but what is the meat they serve? Japan cuts corners too by serving mercury laden dolphin meat, are you still sure you want THAT lunch served to your child?

Sam August 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

You guys are out of order! I’m not even American….but to be honest, some of them aren’t the worst meals… At least one of them in fully vegetarian….The french one is full of animal protein…And just because white rice looks healthy…doesn’t mean it is any different from processed bread, crackers etc

yojo August 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

philippines, eh ? your shot musta come from some middle class school. it’s like you being given a tour of the “better” parts of town which is about 30% of the real thing. the daily fare at school for 70% of Philippine public elementary school students consist almost always of a piece of yam or a bowl of steamed rice wth salt or salted fingerlings for dip, if they have any lunch at all.

Eric August 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

What everyone seems to forget about American lunches is that if you want to pack it with fresh veggies, and “healthy” foods, the kids won’t eat it. Parents don’t serve their kids that stuff at home anymore, because most of them cook out of boxes. School lunches are regulated by the federal government. My schools always offered really healthy foods as choices for our school lunches, but the truth is, no one chose them. Teenagers want to eat crap. And if you don’t choose the junk they eat for them, they will get it somewhere else. We might have eaten tons of crap in middle and high school, but it was nutritionally balanced crap.

Elizabethy August 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

At least in the schools I went to in Canada they didn’t give out lunches either. In high school there was a little canteen where you could buy a wrap or fries or a crappy salad, but everyone just brought their own food.

marcus mednez August 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

thats just santa

Evan August 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Could not agree more, honestly if people from other countries could eat like Americans i am sure they would. And i love people give “american” food so much shit when its honestly food from other countries, pizza (italy) hamburgers (germany) nachos (mexico) potatoes (Ireland) so suck it i am going to go eat a cheeseburger right now and still be fit

Jacob S August 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

We Americans have plenty of our own internet rubbish, we don’t need you to give us credit for Britain’s as well. Thanks for the thought though.

Jacob S August 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

We HAD healthy food when I was in k-12. I just didn’t eat any of it. Give your average teenager a choice between pizza and fries and fresh vegetables, and guess what they’ll pick? At least here in the U.S, perhaps teenagers in other countries are more health conscious.

Riley August 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

Get your facts straight. All of those foods “from other countries” have been doctored by us Americans to be easier to make, and cost less to make. Which results in them looking gross, and being just as bad for us. Home cooked pizza definitely does NOT look like what you would get from a Dominos or a Pizza Hut. And I’ve been to germany before with my father. We ate at a McDonalds, and the burgers tasted like real burgers. Not those skimpy patties and artificially ripened vegetables we have in the US. Probably because they actually care about the health of the people living in the country. You can spend hours looking for overweight people in these other countries, but in america, you could probably just look down your street, and see several. You aren’t fit. You’re just one of the lucky few who have the ability to metabolize such heavy foods. And also, I don’t know why you included potatoes. We grow them in Idaho, and in other states. We don’t import.

Anon August 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I always cringe when I see articles like this cause I know they will turn into a US bash fest but everyone is quickly looking over france’s french fry, cheesecake and baguette all in one meal.

Yasmine August 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hm, in Egypt, kids just buy fast food and get it delivered to the school. Or they buy packaged shit from a little minimarket in the school. There are no real cafeterias but in expensive schools. In Lebanon, they eat Manaqeesh which is just a pizza dough covered with thyme or cheese or meat and they usually drink soda with it. So, in the Arab world it’s not better than in the US, I guess.

Ichigo August 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Actually the USA lunches pictured here are way better than what I was served in Middle and High School some 5-10 years ago. The most we ever got were snack foods like a large cheese pretzel with milk, or 3 small bread sticks with milk and sauce, etc. It was horrible.

Vic August 20, 2011 at 6:40 am

I just graduated High school in the U.S. and these are fairly accurate representations of school lunches, at least in CA, if not better. I can honestly say that the food even got worse by the year.

Carol August 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Japan made my mouth water ! That is some great looking healthful food.
I agree wholeheartedly with the commenter who said it all looks better than the American childs food tray! I know pigs are picky, do you think they would eat what our kids are fed at school? Just a thought.

Moira August 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm

WOW! Some of it looks great (SLOVAKIA HAS SOME GOOD FRUIT AND VEG GOING ON!)some looks like left overs(FRANCE??? For a country know for their cuisine this was a shock!) Of course the good old USA looks like unhealthy YUCK!
Moira

Ana August 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

In the 80′s, in former socialistic Yugoslavia, Croatia school lasted every day till 1-2pm and you could eat a small meal around 10am if you paid for it, usually a piece of bred with butter or same dairy spread & tea. Lunch was available but it also had to be paid for. Still most of us ate at home only. Still, there was never fries or fast food in school, only home cooked soups or minestone. In fact, fast food never really existed until late 90′s when McDonalds came and the country open itself to the West. So maybe we were lucky for having proper homegrown food, even now, people buy vegetables/fruit on open markets were women who grow them come & sell.

Julia August 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

See that’s where this whole thing lost some credibility for me. I taught at a school in Honduras and they never ate wallpaper paste. They ate chicken, beans, rice, tortillas, and vegetables. Cute project, but they’ve only taken photos in one school in each country. It’s easy to be selective about the photos you post in an article like this and tell a very skewed story. Any story you want in fact.

Julia August 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Exactly. Where is the outrage and scoffing at that tray?

whitmcmo August 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What in the world are you talking about? It is not illegal for our children to be obese. It is in fact extremely difficult to even get a child removed from the parents even if they’re being beaten. I would know, I’m a social worker. Please don’t post such rediculousness! That aside, the school lunches I’ve seen (as recently as lunchtime yesterday) look exactly like the pictures above. Which is why my children are packed lunches of veg grown at home and rice or quinoa, fruit, and sometimes fish. The food above is part of an antiquated program to push huge amounts of calories to keep the kids from starving during WWII. It’s not being changed because drug companies are making trillions on obseity related health care and our government is in bed with big business.

Sam August 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

USA school lunches are actually WAYYYY better then in these pictures, most of the lunches are actually healty and taste good. I should know im still in school, and almost every school serves then same thing.

Sarah Miller August 27, 2011 at 10:52 am

While I agree that the USA needs better meals in the schools, I still can not help but think that in Japan the kids are fed whale blubber once a week.

Sarah Miller August 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

How many kids would eat an artichoke? Mine will, but not many others!

Sami September 3, 2011 at 2:18 am

Don’t forget that those ‘delicious’ meals Japanese school kids get include an awful lot of dolphin meat which contains dangerously high levels of mercury and radioactive beef.

Heather M. September 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

i want to be a school child in Japan or Korea…YUM!!!!

Carl P September 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Ahhhh man! Why do we have to have the worst looking school food? They obviously didn’t take a picture of pizza hut day and taco bell burrito day…yeah thats right, on those days everyone can suck it! Keep your healthy bullshit I will take a slow greasy death any day.

bookertworm September 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I like reading all the various comments regarding this topic. I have an idea… Instead of judging the food by the pictures, which could be taken with a certain favouritism for some countries, why don’t some of you actually go to a few public schools again and try the lunches for yourselves. I know at least a few of you have the means to do that, right?

bob September 23, 2011 at 4:08 am

Are you joking, thats tofu. Experience some other cultures sometime please.

Cyelii October 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I want to send you an award for most hflepul internet writer.

djay October 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm

The US tray looks so sad! Especially compared to all the others. I would take Singapore’s lunch any day!

Gastão Ferrol October 26, 2011 at 12:55 am

I dont know whare they take the brazilian picture, but the food actually is pretty brazilian indeed. Of course, the quality of the meal in schools changes all over the country, but in public schools in south brazil, where I do live, We have to pay for the food. But its exactly what looks like in the picture. The cost is like R$ 1,60, which is 0,90 US Dollars.

Kenneth October 27, 2011 at 1:33 am

Really? Nachos are NOT Mexican, they were invented in the US., Potatoes come from South America are NOT a prepared meal. Italian pizza is a thousand times better than Pizza Hut, Papa John’s or that crap we called pizza. The Hamburger became the dish we currently now in the States. So go on, continue to eat your cheeseburger and still be a moron.

lostwhitemale October 27, 2011 at 1:59 am

Nice comeback

Lisa October 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm

http://coop.no/PageFiles/11757/matpakke-400.jpg This is what they eat in Norway ;)

Barbra November 7, 2011 at 1:15 am

Hey! I am from the Czech Republic, and we haven’t at school food like this! This is old, old picture..! :/ We have meat every day, lean meat (fish, chicken, beef..) with no fat, potatotes, rise, pasta… all cooked in vater, no oil, butter or lard! And healthy meal, a lot of vegetable and fruits. Yeah, it’s not delicious as fast food, but it’s healthy..
I don’t believe, that in France have such unhealthy food.. :/ I thought, that it’s food is just in U.S. :/ However bye.. :)

luca schiano May 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm

it’s ridicoulous that for Italy you show jusdt a simple dish of Pasta; this pic it’s more a stereotype than a real one; kids at school have more elaborated dishes for lunch and not only a single one.

FFFDDD July 15, 2012 at 1:43 am

French law dictates that fried foods can only be served four times in a month. So I guess French fries only once a week?

Chris Lamke January 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Interesting comparison. The Asian foods look yummy. I live in the USA and the US samples are terrible looking and I doubt many US schools actually serve food like that. My children are vegetarian and are able to eat at school when they want to. There are fresh fruits and vegetables and salads available and even the snacks in the vending machines are relatively healthy.

I rarely defend American behavior or food habits, but the photos here are far from representative of American school food today.

Dylan Irwin February 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I’m a student from southern Texas. I believe that this list of comments deserves a comment from an actual student. The food program has changed drastically from the American pictures that are shown above. The new program only requires the school to feed the students a fraction of the total amount of calories that they actually need to grow and have enough energy. The amount of calories the school feeds us is maybe enough for some people who don’t play sports, but what about the ones who do? They need AT LEAST triple what the school feeds us. On a different note, the food is disgusting! Have you ever been forced to eat a dry wheat roll with no butter at all? Ever ate dry chicken with no flavor? Its nasty.

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