This Is What School Lunches Look Like Around The World


About 32 million children in the US eat cafeteria school lunches every day. As a nation with a childhood obesity epidemic, Sweetgreen – an organization that seeks to battle childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits for children—decided to take a look at what these kids actually have for lunch at school. The organization also takes a look at the school lunches that children from around the world typically eat, to further examine where America falls in comparison.

ITALY: Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, caprese salad, baguette and some grapes.



BRAZIL: Pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains. 




GREECE: Baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh oranges, and greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds.



FRANCE: Steak, carrots, green beans, cheese and fresh fruit.



UKRAINE: Mashed potatoes with sausage, borscht, cabbage and syrniki (a dessert pancake).



SOUTH KOREA: Fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi and fresh veggies.



FINLAND: Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries. 



SPAIN: Sautéed shrimp over brown rice and vegetables, gazpacho, fresh peppers, bread and an orange.


USA: Fried ‘popcorn’ chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, fruit cup and a chocolate chip cookie.


Unsurprisingly, the lunches in these other nations were far more nutritious and fresh, when compared to the processed meals served to American children. Through this visual project, Sweetgreen hopes to raise awareness and promote school lunch reforms in the US.

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  1. Ingredients are right in the Finnish lunch except that berries are not fresh, they are frozen. Still the food doesn’t really look as fancy as in the picture. And it is pannukakku, not pannakkau :D Pea soup is actually only food in schools, with which also dessert is served, so the picture is a bit misleading.

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