School Lunch Around the World



A typical school lunch in South Korea might look like this.

The typical American school lunch may look something like pizza, apples, and milk. Some people consider lunchtime meals for kids to be the most important meal of the day. Of course, each country’s school lunch looks extremely different from another. While one country may have a four-course meal, another country has kids serving themselves.

Finland is the first country to have provided every student with a free lunch. Students can ensure that their lunches are full of well-balanced, nutritious meals. Half of their plate consists of veggies, starches, or grains. Some vegetables may include beetroot salad and roasted turnips, while starchy dishes consist of crepes with lingonberry (a berry similar to cranberries) jam. 

Another country that is considered to have high standard lunches is South Korea. Known for having a variety of foods, students’ lunches can have up to five different types of foods! Their dishes typically include rice, kimchi (a tangy, fermented side dish with vegetables), soup, two other “banchan”( side dishes), and fruit. Some schools in Korea even add yogurts or delicious juice to their meals.

Children in France can expect a four-course meal for their school lunch. Their first course is usually salads or some sort of mixture of vegetables. The fresh veggies are then followed by foods packed with protein. One example of this would be salmon and roasted broccoli. France is widely known for having delicious, fresh breads, jams, and soft cheeses. Students have a sweet treat to finish the meal up, such as marzipan (a confection containing mostly sugar, honey, and almond meal).

More than six thousand miles to the right of France is Japan. Unlike other countries, Japanese students serve and cook their meals. All lunches are locally grown and made from scratch, and students are taught to serve each other to achieve healthy cooking. Typical meals have lots of fish, vegetables, and rice. 

Lastly, Ethiopia is a country with many religious citizens. Because of this, most lunches children receive are plant-based. Many dishes can have different vegetables, such as zucchini and a yellow split pea-based stew named Kik Alicha. On the side, there may be some flavorful lentils. These foods are all served on a flavored flatbread named injera.

In conclusion, school lunches around the world are especially different from country to country. Student lunches all have their unique aspects. Some interesting lunches have up to five dishes for each lunch, are extremely nutritious, or are served on bread.