Meals are "tasty, colorful and
well-balanced." Cooked and raw vegetables
cover half the plate. (Carrot and beet
salads are popular). Proteins and
starches each take 1/4 plate. A vegetarian
option is usually offered. Hernekeitto, a
green pea soup often flavored with smoked
pork, is usually served on Thursdays.
Most Aussie kids bring their lunch
from home. Often it's a sandwich of cheese
and Vegemite, a jam-like, salty yeast-based
spread that's been a staple since 1922.
Most schools serve lunches made from
organic ingredients grown nearby. They
center around pasta or risotto and salad.
Meat is served only a couple times a week.
Unfortunately, merendine (snacks) are
frequently eaten, especially packaged
candies and cakes. Bread with Nutella is
Italy has a higher proportion of overweight
children than the U.S.
Githeri -- a mixture of beans and
dried corn -- is the standard school lunch
throughout the country. Students line up
with their plastic bowls as servings are
ladled out from huge pots.
Korean school cafeterias often use
sectioned metal trays. The two biggest
sections are for rice, usually served with
pickled vegetable kimchi and soup. Three
smaller compartments hold side dishes of
vegetables and fish. Kids are given little
plastic bottles of a sweet yogurt drink,
which is hugely popular in Korea.
Schools offer a free morning snack
of milk and biscuits -- known as cookies to
us Americans. In 1963, the government began
a hot lunch program. Most meals are beans
and rice which is delivered by van to
schools around the island.
The school day usually runs from 7
a.m. until noon. During morning hours, kids
munch on snacks like queijadinhas, which are
muffins made from cheese and coconut. Many
children eat lunch at home after school, but
the schools offer hot, healthy meals to
Kids are served pretty much the same
things adults eat. A week's menu might
include veal scallops Marengo, hake with
lemon sauce, and lamb with paprika. Fresh
bread and salad are included at every meal,
and fruit and yogurt are the usual desserts.
In Japan, school lunch is known as
kyuushoku. Kyuushoku is eaten in the
classroom. Rice and fish make up most menus,
but students are sometimes treated to dishes
like korokke, (fried potato croquettes) or
omurice, (an omelet filled with a ketchupy
rice and chicken.)
School lunch in Zambia is nshima,
white cornmeal cooked to a thick, sticky
dough. Nshima is the staple food for
Zambia's entire population. It's eaten with
your hands and dipped into relishes made
from greens, dried sardines, or stewed soy
Denmark and Norway
Scandinavian school children usually
bring their own lunches to school. The
standard is smørrebrød, which are open-faced
sandwiches of cheese, liver spread or salami
on dense dark rye bread.
Singapore school lunches are served
like a food court. Different stalls are
rented out to private cooks, and kids can
choose between noodle soups, curries with
rice, and "Western" food. Kids especially
love chicken chop, a boneless chicken
covered with thick gravy. Chicken
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