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

Steak with carrots, baked plantain and stuffed grape leaves with salad: What school lunches look like around the world (and the UK and US are the most unhealthy)


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.

2 Finland

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

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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.


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.


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.

Also read : World's Best Breakfasts At a Glance

5 South Korea

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. Thin children are given fish oil in a measuring spoon.


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


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.

9 Russia

A Russian lunch/ breakfast meal includes sausages, buckwheat porridge, and tea.


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

11 Israel

Falafel, pitta chips, yoghurt and cucumber sauce, with green leaves


Here, children are offered quite big lunches. Noodle soup, baked beans with chicken, and nuts for dessert.

Also read : 10 Worst Food Practices Around The World

Of course, these photos are just to give you an idea of what kids are eating in other countries. You probably shouldn’t judge an entire country’s school lunches based on one photo, but it illustrates quite nicely how a country deals with nutrition.

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