Scroll through the images above and you’ll notice most of these meals look like they could be straight off the menu of a nice bistro or restaurant. Then take a moment to let the following fact sink in: These are representations of what school children around the world are served for lunch.
For anyone who grew up on the mystery meat, uninspired side dishes and heavily processed deserts that are so much a staple of school lunches in the US, this will be a surprise.
School kids in Spain feast on sautéed shrimp over a brown rice and vegetables, gazpacho, fresh peppers and multi-grain bread while Italian cafeterias serve local fish on a bed of arugula, caprese salad, red grapes and fresh bread. American kids get frozen nuggets, mashed potatoes and fruit dunked in syrup.
It’s no wonder childhood obesity is so much of a problem in the states. According to SweetGreens in School 32 million American kids eat school cafeteria lunch every day and consume more than half of their daily calories at school. With the types of food that we’re serving up our kids, it’s not hard to connect the dots between health problems and nutrition. Perhaps it’s time to take a note from other countries and start serving up a little bit more of that baked chicken and orzo and less of the greasy pepperoni pizza we’re used to here.
Check out the images above.