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School Lunches From Around The World

Written by Brittany Poulton

Photography by Photo Via Sweetgreen/Tumblr

Would you put steamed tofu or stuffed grape leaves in your kid’s school lunch? Well, those goodies come standard in school cafeterias in South Korea and Greece, respectively—according to Sweetgreen, an organic and eco-friendly restaurant that published a series of photographs to show what children are eating around the world—and it doesn’t end there.

Some of the countries featured have nutritional staples that are truly drool-worthy. In France, kids feast on Brie cheese (yes, please!) and rare steak, for example—a far cry from the cardboard fish sticks and traumatizing tuna noodle casserole we remember from childhood. But our children are growing up in a very different era. As we become more health-conscious as a society, it inevitably trickles down to our kids. Which is a good thing.

Whether something is gluten-free, GMO-free, organic, free-range, or vegan—you get the idea—kids are asking questions and want to be a part of the conversation. DoSomething.org’s “Fed Up” campaign demonstrated just that. The project asked young people to snap pics of their school lunches and share what they’re being served (for better, or worse) with the world—and it attracted over 25,000 participants nationwide. It seems young people today want to know what they’re eating and why.

So, maybe Sweetgreen is onto something. Their photographs—while aesthetically pleasing, and styled to entice—start an important conversation. Not only about what our kids are being fed once we kiss them goodbye in the morning and send them off into the world, but what our kids aren’t being fed. For the most part, young people in America aren’t served grilled fish, like they are in Italy, or beet salad, as kids are in Finland.

Perhaps if our kids knew what children across the globe are eating, we could further the discussion in our own homes. Not only could it start a valuable dialogue about health, it could open our youngsters to a whole world of culinary possibilities.

What do you think? Would your kids want gazpacho in their school lunch? Or perhaps these photos below will inspire you to try something new at home… We’d also love to hear what other globally inspired meals you’ve been dishing up—because we know how fun introducing new food to kids can be!

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