Without a doubt, this has to be one of the most nicely presented school meals we've ever seen. There's 6 different compartments for each different course of the meal - you could almost compare this to a tasting menu! It's safe to say that the children at this school won't be rushing home for a chocolate bar or bag of crisps after they finish!Sourced from Femanin
Now, where do we even start with this monstrosity. It's definitely a version
of mac & cheese, but was it superglued together? The only saving grace is that it's served on a proper plate and not a paper plate - but then again, I don't think a paper plate could hold the weight of this concrete slab.
Yes, I have as many questions as you do about this. It must have been exciting to hear it was hot dogs for lunch, but then getting served this would have been a severe disappointment. Chips, beans and cucumber can be seen on the plate too - but surely that sausage needs a bit of sauce?
If you went out for a meal and received this then it would definitely be worth the money. But, imagine getting this for your free school lunch each day?! Burger and sweet potato fries - this would go down an absolute treat! Sign me up to going to school in Germany!
5. Bamako, Mali
This is what the school offers children for their lunches: fried donuts. Yes, this sounds like every child's dream to bag themselves a portion of deep fried donuts every lunch time. But, realistically, they aren't getting any of the necessary food groups they need. As a result of this, most students go home to eat.
6. Beijing, China
This school meal looks far off what we'd be served here in the states. Meat skewers, mixed vegetables, rice and then in the top right corner there is lotus root. I definitely haven't tried that before, but I think as a student you'd be very happy to be served this during your lunch break!
It's safe to say that Japan definitely knows how to feed its kids! The portion sizes are absolutely huge! Lots of rice and mixed vegetables to accompany the main meal. The students are also served half an orange and then a carton of milk to wash it all down with - lucky students!
Now, this is the perfect plate for people who don't like their food touching. It seems they have really stocked up with the fruit and vegetables on this plate, ensuring that the kids at this school are getting enough energy to keep them going through the day!
9. Bueno Aires
What we see here is very typical Argentinian food. There's a portion of potatoes which are great to fill up students and give them energy to burn throughout the day, and accompanying this is a delicious freshly made empanada filled with thin slices of meat inside!
10. Havana, Cuba
In Cuba they offer a range of different elements for the school meal. Firstly, there's a portion of rice paired with a chicken croquette and a piece of taro root. They offer yellow pea soup, some fried plantains and then the students each get an orange drink to accompany it! A very well rounded meal!
In Sweden the free school meals are really amazing. The portions are huge and they include boiled potatoes, beans and a salad. Typically in Sweden they have a buffet where students can decide what they want for lunch - they can even go up for seconds if they wish to do so!
Yes, it looks like quite a boring school meal. However, it's really good quality and gives the students a lot of brain food before tackling the afternoon ahead. A freshly cooked piece of salmon, with boiled potatoes, some broccoli and a side salad. You can also see they have a glass of milk there too!
This school dinner, served in Panama, consists of a chili con carne, with some rice and tortilla chips. There is also some pico de gallo and cheese perfect for dipping! This is something that is easy to make in bulk for all the students and will fill them up for the whole day.
14. Barcelona, Spain
This school lunch consists of; pan-fried veal, mixed salad, bread, cream of vegetable soup, a banana, an orange and a glass of water. It looks like Spain have a huge focus on ensuring their students are getting a nutritious meal and they are well on track for hitting their 5-a-day with this meal!
In Zimbabwe is it common for students to have sadza for their lunches - this is essentially finely ground corn maize. This particular image was taken in Harare, Zimbabwe and shows students eating sadza with some dried vegetables, some beef and then tea or water.
This is a meal at a canteen of a school in Poland. As you can see, the portion sizes are absolutely huge. Usually, one plate would be enough but here' they like to make sure their students are well fed and ready for the day ahead. Soup, bread, meat and vegetables all make up this amazing school lunch!
In Hawaii, some schools are using the initiative to only use local, fresh produce in the making of their school dinners. In my opinion, this is a great idea - and could probably cut costs down! This lunch consists of teriyaki chicken, mixed vegetables, brown rice and slices of orange - divine and very filling!
This lunch is offered at a school in Tirana, Albania. Here we see a small soup for a starter, with some bread to dip in. Followed by chicken nuggets, chips and two different types of salads. Only look like quite a plain, basic salad and the other looks like a delicious greek salad!
This school lunch is from Jalapa in Guatemala. Compared to other meals we have seen, the portion size here looks really small - so it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that some students may still be hungry after this meal. Here there's a tortilla, a hardboiled egg, some tomatoes (very few) and then a carton of fruit juice.
This school in Singapore really focuses on the healthy side of food for their students. Here, the students are served a fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce leaves. They are also given snacks alongside this which typically include fruit, bread, natural beans and soup.
21. Jakarta, Indonesia
In Jakarta, Indonesia it is quite common and typical for students to take in their own lunches for school. A typical meal would be rice, meatball soup, tofu and vegetables. But, in addition to this students will sometimes spend money on buying pancakes from street vendors - these equate to around one cent each.
At this particular school in Montevideo, Uruguay the students can be seen eating a hearty bowl of soup. Here, the students have actually grown the vegetables that are used to make this delicious soup - which probably makes it taste that little bit sweeter! Obviously, the portion sizes are considerably smaller than other schools.
This image is taken from a school in La Fria, Venezuela. For their school lunches they have Pasta with arepas (cornmeal cakes). As you can see half of their bowls are empty, which suggests that the portion sizes are actually quite small. Not only this, but it looks as though there isn't any sauce with the pasta either.
Possibly one of the more heartbreaking images that you will see when looking at school meals around the globe. This image was taken at Jenin Refugee Camp in Palestine. Here, the children are seen buying chickpeas in front of a school from a street vendor - this suggests that the school doesn't provide meals for them on a daily basis.
This school presents a really big portion size for their students during lunch time. On the plate we can see mushroom and minced pork on the left. There's Chinese chives stir fry in the middle and eggplant on the bottom right. Finished off with soup and some steamed white rice!
This was served at an elementary school in Korea one lunch time. Yes, we have already visited Korean school lunches - but this just goes to show that they really are gourmet. Whilst people across the globe would spend a fortune on crab for their meals, in Korea is looks like they get it for free with their school lunches!
This school in Thailand has served this up for their students at lunch. Already you can see how different the serving plates are compared to other schools, there are small sections just for seasoning. Here there's a pork dish, some rice and a delicious pudding wrapped in banana leaves.
As expected, the school meals in France look extremely intricate. Not only is there a hearty main meal, there are also a lot of sides! Salmon, cream cheese and toast - the perfect starter. Followed by chicken kiev with rice, spinach and carrots. A side of brie and topped off with a chocolate eclaire - this has to be the ultimate meal!
29. Minnesota, US
There is a lot going on here, but let's deep dive into the monstrosity on the bottom right of the plate. Lots of mash, topped with watery gravy and then some type of meat sprinkled on top - my best guess is that it's chicken but who knows. I am not sure i'd be best pleased with this as my school lunch!
30. Jammu, India
This image was taken in Jammu, India. It shows all the students at the school lining up during their lunch break to receive their food. This meal is free to students and is a bowl of sweetened rice. Obviously, it's clear to see how different this lunch time is compared to other countries.
31. New Zealand
I think we can all agree that we expect New Zealand to have amazing school lunches. But, this is what one school was served up after free school meals were announced. this is meant to be spaghetti bolognese, but I am pretty sure that this whole amount could be cleared in about two spoonfuls. Shameful, and no doubt the kids went hungry!
School lunches in the Bahamas look really delicious and extremely filling. There. is a big piece of meat on a huge bed of rice or mashed potato - the students are bound to feel full for the afternoon of lessons ahead. The only thing here that's lacking is the fruit and vegetables!
Here you can see that the student meals are really hearty. To start a hot bowl of vegetable soup with a side of bread. Then your main meal is a bowl of past with meat, but they are really generous with the portion sizes. All washed down with an ice cold bottle of water!
Meals in Pakistan are thorough and you get good portions. Typically, you will have eggs, chicken pieces then either rice or pasta. They are very keen on vegetable intake as well, so you will get some vegetables in your meal. Then either mutton or cooked minced beef.
In Lithuania the first thing you will notice is that they dine on ceramic plates - instead of plastic plates or trays. There will always be soup, but then the main meal will consist of your protein, in this case chicken, carbs - in this case some (very pale looking) fries, then a side of vegetables - here it's coleslaw!
Now, this isn't a typical meal that students would be served in the likes of the USA and Western Europe. Here, there's Fufu - which you don't actually chew you simple swallow. Then the students are served caterpillars, as insects are very common in getting a source of protein.
The heartbreaking thing to learn here is that each child actually has to share a plate of food with another student. Here, the children are being served nsima (finely ground grits), with a side of kidney beans and then African cabbage, which has a spicy bite to it!
This image was taken in a school in Cambodia. The children eat from bowls and the portion sizes look quite generous. They are served rice and it's typically mixed with some form of protein, but it does look quite plain. Yes - it does look filling, but it doesn't look that nutritious!
This school lunch looks absolutely delicious. The portion sizes are amazing. The main meal of beef, rice and chips on one plate. The other plate has vegetables and avocado - which is great for energy. Finally, there's a bowl of fruit and a bread roll as well.
Here you can see that all the students get exactly the same, there are no options for them to choose from. Their meals are served in a round metal dish, which will be great to keep the food hot. It actually looks like either rice or beans in a delicious sauce, or maybe a curry.
This image was taken at a school in Madagascar. As you can see the class size is extremely big, but they still all have quite big portions of food to get them through the school day. Here, they have rice and vegetables every single day, then once a week they will have meat with their meals.
This image was taken at a school in Estonia. The plate definitely looks colorful and definitely a portion that is really filling! There's a huge side of potatoes, then some form of meat - it looks like beef, complimented by a huge portion of shredded potatoes. The students have a glass of cranberry juice too.
In Malaysia it is typical for students to bring in their lunches to school. Here is a meal brought in from home that consists of fried rice topped with mushrooms, egg and meat. Then on the side are some cherry tomatoes, some jelly and then a pack of soya milk as well! Very delicious!
Here, the meals are extremely big and have a huge focus on the fruit and vegetable element. There is a portion of smoke mackerel for some delicious protein, loads of red peppers chopped up, a tomato salad, a kiwi, an apple, some bread on the side and then a milk cake for dessert!
Firstly, there's ugali on the plate. This is the bit that looks like mashed potatoes - but actually isn't it. It's actually a staple in a lot of East African dishes. They have chicken, some vegetables on the side and some sauce to dip their food into. Finally, some fresh watermelon for something sweet at the end!
For lunch at this school in Kenya, they don't have a lot to offer their students during lunch times. The portion sizes are pretty small, as you can tell, but the nutritional value and the fats in avocado are extremely important for the growth of the children.
In Honduras, the children are just served a bowl of this for their lunchtimes. It looks very bland and there doesn't seem to be a big range of food groups in the meal she is eating. It is Arroz Con Leche, which translates to 'rice with milk'. Typically you can eat this hot or cold and it can be seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla.
The students here are all gathered around one big bowl, instead of having individual plates or bowls to eat from. In the bowl they have to be fair and share the rice in the bowl. this can't be very sanitary for them, but if they don't have the resources to serve each student their own bowl then it is the only way.
Here, the children are all served separate bowls of food for them to eat in the middle of the day for their lunch. As you can see their meals are pretty basic, so they aren't getting the nutrition they need from every food group. Here, it looks like they have a simple meal of rice and sauce.
The school meal in Venezuela definitely looks like it's going to fill the students up. Here there's chicken in a nice creamy sauce, a huge portion of rice, some tomatoes and then just one small slice of cucumber - which is a bit random. In the top left corner you can see a fruit salad there too!
51. Paris, France
Image Source / Business InsiderHere we have a chef proudly holding up a meal of pike fish, green beans and Paris mushrooms. That's actually a very healthy, fancy dish for a school meal - granted if the kids actually like fish, that is. Maybe there's an option to exchange for something else if not though!
Image Source / Made for MumsThis actually looks like a tasty dish, though not sure how healthy it is to have every day. This one from Ukraine is beetroot soup, pickled cabbage and the good ol' sausage and mash you can't go wrong with. All of this is topped off with a sweet pancake - a mix of savoury and sweet. Nice!
Image Source / Made for MumsThis one looks delicious in true refreshing Greek style, with a baked chicken on a bed of orzo, healthy cucumber and tomato salad, and some quintessential yogurt. This is topped off by fresh, healthy fruit with clementines, pomegranate seeds and some stuffed grape leaves.
Image Source / Made for MumsThis tray from Brazil looks packed full! This one is rice with black beans, accompanied by baked plantain (cooking banana) and it's also got a healthy dose of meat protein with its pork. Topped off with red peppers, coriander, healthy green salad and a bread roll - that's one filling lunch!
Image Source / Made for MumsItaly, like many other countries in the world, know how to do their food, and most people would say Italian food is one of their favourites! Well for this school lunch, it's healthy fish, pasta and not one, but two types of salad. All complete with a bread roll and red grapes. Yum.
56. South Korea
Image Source / Made for MumsIf you're a fan of Asian cuisine, this one might appeal to you. Here is some protein-packed tofu in some fried rice, accompanied by fish soup and topped off with an extra healthy dose of broccoli along with peppers.
Image Source / Made for MumsThis one probably appeals to many because it's full of tasty treats. Not only do you have a delicious chocolate chip cookie on the side, but you have popcorn chicken - always popular - complete with ketchup. Mashed potato and green peas are served on the side with a fruit cup - but no doubt the cookie will take precedence over that one!
Image Source / Made for MumsThis school lunch offering from Spain has cold tomato soup (gazpacho) - which is actually a good idea seeing as children might take a while to finish the meal and the soup may have gone cold anyway. It's served with a bread roll, shrimp with brown rice, peppers and a healthy orange!
59. Bangalore, India
Image Source / BuzzFeedThis shows the lunch schedule for a school in Bangalore, India. The grey stone table and silver plates may not look very inviting, but the food is hopefully delicious! It's a plate of curd-rice and samba, but it also includes a dessert, which looks like it could be rassogula.
Image Source / BuzzFeedThis is an example of an elementary school lunch from Japan. There's the trusty milk - always gotta have milk for a great school lunch! - soup and bread (a staple of course) and it looks like it could be pickles on the side, too.
61. Texas, USA
Image Source / BuzzFeedSo although this is from the USA, it's offering something a little different than the processed chicken-and-cookies option we saw earlier. It looks a little healthier at this Texas school, with turkey taco salad accompanied by mashed potato and peach cobbler. It even has iced tea!
62. Shanghai, China
Image Source / BuzzFeedThis school lunch may be located in Shanghai, China, but this is actually an offering in a German school there. The portions look huge with this one. There's a plate of fries, large sausage, grated carrot, bread and even a pudding to finish. Very filling!
63. Finland's Christmas Special
Image Source / DemilkedSchool lunches are bound to change around the holidays, and especially at Christmas you're sure to be in for a themed treat. This school in Finland offers up this delicious Christmas lunch, complete with salad, meat, potatoes and a glass of milk. Not only that, but this seasonal lunch is free.
Image Source / The GuardianYou'd expect the cuisine from Australia for school lunches to be varied, delicious and healthy, and this packed lunch certainly seems so! It looks to be a box of seaweed wraps, no doubt with a variety of fish and healthy ingredients inside, chock-full of goodness.
Image Source / BuhamsterThis lunch meal in Russia seems to have a little bit of everything - including a little salt pot for seasoning! It looks to be fruit juice and maybe some kind of fruit jam or relish - could be savoury or sweet based on the looks of it! With some bread, meat and onions.
Image Source / Nordic Go!Iceland is known for many healthy fish options and its Icelandic yogurt, Skyr. This lunch from Iceland shows what looks to be a carton of milk, always a lunch staple no matter where you are in the world apparently, along with salad, a whole lot of greens and what looks like fish pieces. It does look healthy!
67. Seattle, USA
Image Source / ABC 7 NewsGrilled cheese sandwiches are a huge thing in the US, so it's no surprise it comes as part of a school lunch. At this elementary school near Seattle, you get grilled cheese, fresh carrot sticks, apple sauce, corn salad and low-fat milk.
Image Source / ABC 7 NewsChildren in Ecuadorean schools tend to bring their own packed lunches, and they'll look like this. The packed lunches are typically a staple sandwich with healthy feeling, a carton of juice, yoghurt on the side, a healthy piece of fruit - but also a little indulgence with a cookie!
Image Source / ABC 7 NewsChildren in Palestine, pictured here in the West Bank, usually eat their lunch in the schoolyard during their recess. This is because there are no dining rooms in schools. It looks like these children are enjoying some sort of flavoured pitta bread? Maybe on its own or used with sandwich-type filling.
70. London, UK
Image Source / ABC 7 NewsIt's always great to have a choice for lunch, and this UK example delivers. Here, you have pasta served with broccoli and bread for extra filling, complete with fresh fruit and veg. The other option looks to be some sort of curry sauce with rice. Both complete with delicious sponge cake and custard!