This is from The U. K. Daily Mail.

Students in Cuba are eating better lunches than American students.

Look at student meals from around the world.



  • Korean schools serve hearty fish soup and fermented cabbage, kimchi while Greece, Spain and France all serve fresh meat, vegetables and fish 
  • However, students in the world’s richest nation lunches are the unhealthiest with lots of processed items
  • The contrasts between America’s school meals and those in far less fortunate economies are stark and suggest Michelle Obama’s push for more healthful lunches nationwide may not be giving kids enough to eat


Mouthwatering photos of school lunches served around the world reveal even children in Ukraine, Estonia and Greece are treated to delectable meals each day. School children in America, meanwhile, aren’t nearly so lucky.

Whereas a kid in France might be treated to a juicy steak and a hunk of brie, the richest country in the world’s youths are more likely to receive unidentified meat served alongside little more than a starch like white pasta, fries or a roll.

The contrasts between America’s school meals and those in far less fortunate economies are stark and suggest Michelle Obama’s push for more healthful lunches nationwide may not be enough.


What is it? School lunches in the United States stand in stark contrast to the wholesome and in some cases even decadent meals served to kids in other markedly less fortunate nations

The first new school lunch standards championed by Michelle Obama have been phased in over the last several school years.

In addition to whole grain requirements, the rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond. While many schools have had success putting the rules in place, others have said they are too restrictive and costly.

Backlash against the rules have spawned a wave of social media photos along with the tag #thanksMichelleObama. If these pictures are any indication, schools have responded to the rules by cutting down on portions to reduce fat and calories rather than by using potentially more costly ingredients.

Meanwhile, the widely different meals from Spain, Ukraine, Greece, South Korea, Brazil, France, Finland and Italy are all fresh and wholesome, with fish, steak and vegetables featuring prominently.

But in the UK and US, lunch trays feature processed foods such as popcorn chicken, frankfurters, cookies, and beans from a tin. 


What children in other countries eat (clockwise from top left): Ukraine’s version of sausage and mash; Brazil’s plantains, rice and black beans; beetroot salad and pea soup in Finland and steak with beans and carrots in France (photo courtest Sweetgreen)



South Indian school children eat off a thali plate which has white rice, sambar (dhal), smoked gourd vegetable stir-fry, curd, buttermilk and kesari, a type of sweet dessert made from semolina


The school lunch comparisons were revealed by Sweetgreen, a chain of US restaurants, and website Never Seconds, run by Scottish schoolgirl Martha Payne, who logs her thoughts and experiences of eating school meals at her primary school in Lochgilphead, Scotland.

The 12-year-old launched the blog in 2012 as a school writing project with assistance from her father, David,

Written under the pseudonym ‘VEG’ (Veritas Ex Gustu – truth from tasting), with the subtitle ‘One primary school pupil’s daily dose of school dinners’, the blog features daily entries on the $3 school meal that Martha/ ‘VEG’ has chosen that day, her thoughts on the food and its quality, a count of the number of hairs, a health rating, a picture, and marks out of 10 based on a ‘Food-o-Meter’.

Martha, who has been invited to talk in international conferences is currently raising money for Scottish charity Mary’s Meals, through her JustGiving page.

Mary’s Meals  – which began in 2002 as a one-off school feeding programme – currently provides daily life changing meals to over 989,000 hungry children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South America.

The surprising pictures show just how the UK and US measures up to the rest of the world when it comes to feeding schoolchildren.

While the majority of lunches feature fresh foods, US tray is packed with processed items.

Similarly the typical UK school lunch is sadly lacking in fresh vegetables, featuring a baked potato, sausage and beans from a tin, and a half corn on the cob with a melon slice to follow.


Lunch in an Estonian school is rice with a piece of meat and purple cabbage. They also have bread and a get a cup of chocolate drink


UK school dinner of frankfurters and beans, a baked potato, corn on the cob, slice of melon and a box drink



Balanced diet: Italian children get pasta, fish, two kinds of salad, rocket and caprese, a bread roll and grapes (courtesy Sweetgreen)


In Finland lunch is mainly a vegetarian affair of pea soup, carrots, beetroot salad, crusty roll and sweet pancake with berries to finish.


School lunch in Alba, Spain (left): white flesh peaches, strawberries and yogurt melts, cous-cous, broccoli, cucumbers and roasted salmon; (right): Poached apple pears, strawberries and blue berries, boiled swede and fresh garden peas


In France, children start their meal with a generous slab of Brie.

This is followed by a hearty portion of rare steak, served with two types of vegetables – carrots and green beans.

And you won’t find sweets on this lunch tray. The healthy theme continues into dessert, with the young ones  tucking into kiwi fruit and apples.

The South Korean lunch is equally as impressive.

A milky fish soup to start followed by a serving of stir fried rice with tofu, broccoli and peppers. On the side is kimchi, the traditional Korean condiment of fermented cabbage.

In Scandinavia, Finnish schools dish up a vegetarian lunch of pea soup, beetroot salad, carrots and a roll. For pudding there is pannakkau, a sweet pancake served with strawberries and blueberries.


South Korean children tuck into broccoli and peppers, fried rice with tofu, fermented cabbage and fish soup



Brie, green beans, carrot, rare steak and pudding of kiwi fruit and apples is served in French schools


A meal of traditional flavours: Brazil’s rice and black beans, baked plantain, pork with peppers and coriander, green salad and a seeded roll


Rice, a chicken croquette, a piece of taro root and yellow pea soup is the school lunch in Old Havana, Cuba



In Japan, school children tuck into fried fish, dried seaweed, tomatoes, miso soup with potatoes, rice (in the metal container), and milk

A plump portion of lightly fried fish sits atop rocket salad in the Italian lunch tray. This is accompanied by a small portion of pasta, a simple caprese salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, a crusy roll and a bunch of grapes.

Most of the schools have kept to traditional foods for the school lunch.

Children in Spain start their meal with cold tomato soup, gazpacho, served with shrimp and brown rice. This is served with a seeded roll, peppers with red cabbage and half an orange for dessert.

Children in Greece have baked chicken with orzo, stuffed grape leave, cucumber and tomato salad, yoghurt with pomegranate seeds and oranges.


Wholesome: Seeded roll, shrimp with brown rice, gazpacho and tri-colour peppers. Dessert is half an orange


A serving of borscht (beetroot soup) with pickled cabbage, sausages and mash. Dessert is a sweet pancake


Greek school lunches feature baked chicken with orzo, stuffed grape leaves, salad of cucumber and tomatoes, yogurt with pomegranate seeds and two oranges


hanks Michelle Obama? New school lunch rules backed by FLOTUS have students nationwide tweeting ‘#thanksMichelleObama’ along with photos of meals like these










Thanks Michelle Obama? New school lunch rules backed by FLOTUS have students nationwide tweeting ‘#thanksMichelleObama’ along with photos of meals like these

Traditional South American food such as rice with black beans, baked plantains and pork with vegetables are on offer for Brazilian children. They also had a side serving of salad and bread with their meal.

In Ukraine children feast on mashed potato, sausages, borscht, cabbage and syrniki, a type of dessert pancake.

US school lunches feature fried popcorn chicken with ketchup, mashed potatoes, peas, a fruit cup and a chocolate chip cookie.


Bowls of salad are ready to be served at Delcare Edu Center, a local kindergarten and child care center in the business district of Singapore


A healthier UK school dinner: Two trays at a primary school in London. The meal at right consists of pasta with broccoli and slices of bread, and fruit. At left are vegetable chili with rice and broccoli, sponge cake with custard, and a banana


In France, school lunch is an art form: hot, multi-course and involving vegetables. A meal of rice, salmon, ratatouille, a slice of bread, a salad with celery and carrots, and an orange and donut at the Anne Franck school in Lambersart, northern France