A typical school lunch from accross the world / Typicky skolni obed z celeho svetaA typical school lunch from accross the world | Czechmatediary
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A typical school lunch from accross the world / Typicky skolni obed z celeho sveta

A typical Czech school lunch

Sarka is a Czech patriot who contributed t0 a blog called What’s For Lunch? by sending in a couple of photos of a typical Czech school lunch. The creator of this blog had the greatest idea of comparing pictures of school lunches from all over the world and Sarka filled in the spot for the Czech Republic.

You can see that the cute boy is about to munch on a vegetable soup, pork meat with potatoes and vegetables, and kobliha (doughnut) as a dessert. Not bad.




A typical German school lunch


Oh my, the Germans got it good!!! Look at that spread! Rustic rye bread, pasta, fruit bowl, salad, custard…yummy!!!











A typical Japanese school lunch


The Japanese are doing pretty good too: I see a vegetable soup, rice, fish, fruit and vegetables, and a bag of fried edamame  for a dessert?








A typical American lunch


But those American lunches….fries AND nachos for lunch??? Sorry the pitiful fruit cup and a chocolate milk is not going make it look any better. THIS IS SO BAD!!!










Check out more fascinating school lunches at what’sforlunch.com.

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22 comments… add one
  • Marika December 1, 2011, 7:16 am

    The typical American school cafeteria also offers salad bar, bags of carrot sticks, fresh fruit, and 1% lowfat milk. However, the options just like the ones on the picture above are widely available as well. If you give an 8 year old kid a choice guess what they will grab for lunch. I have never particulary enjoyed the lunch in school cafeteria when I was growing up in Czech Republic but comparing it with the American version and looking at the picture above of the boy holding his lunch, it is still a feast from a 5 star hotel! Also everything in his lunch is cooked fresh, yes there is fat and sugar, but still it is fresh!

  • M. Durfinova December 1, 2011, 8:37 am

    I LOVED this article because it shows in just fotos ALONE why obesity is such a BIG problem in America. Although in America kids are provided the other items as Marika stated such as salad, bag of carrots, fresh fruit, etc…very few kids choose those selections. When a child sees fries or carrots, they will chose the fries here. In addition, a lot of the foods are full of hormones and unhealthy things and therefore, kids eating habits & bodies just go down the drain. I think it’s important to teach kids (especially at the school age) about eating healthy and having a FULL BALANCED lunch as shown above in Japan, Germany, Czech (and although Slovakia isn’t in there, I’ll add it to the list) 🙂 .

  • Martin December 1, 2011, 8:48 am

    Majority of “healthy food” in American public school cafeterias ends up either untouched, in garbage, or on the walls and ceilings of the institution. The more “disadvantaged” the school, the worse it is – while the kids get more obese every year (as your local taxes go up). Back to packed brown bag lunches, say I! 🙂

  • Jiri December 1, 2011, 8:57 am

    I dis agree with your comment that salad bars and bags of carrots are widely available. I have lived in most of this nation. Either directly effected by this (in school) or indirectly effected by it ( children in schools). I grew up in a military family and am now in the military with a family. Children for the most part, do not get access to fresh fruit and vegetable on a daily basis. It’s mostly a bulk canned product. Its a horrible thing. We make sure our children in the public school system have a healthy lunch by making them take their own lunch to school with them. If vegetable are served, the are putrid looking and devoid of any nutrient value. School lunch in America is a nightmare. If only more parents cared enough about the diet of their children, I’m sure it would lead to better behaviour and better performance in and out of school.

  • Peter Korchnak December 1, 2011, 9:37 am

    The boy in the picture does look stoked about his lunch, and good for him. He doesn’t have to eat milk soup, grenadirsky/granatiersky pochod (Grenadier March, or pasta with potatoes), or cabbage noodles that were the staples of my school cantina in Kosice, Slovakia, during socialism. At least I hope he doesn’t.

  • Secese December 1, 2011, 9:39 am

    That looks delicious and nutritious- much better than the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and bag of chips I have for my lunch!

  • Romana Osborne December 1, 2011, 9:50 am

    I love the tray in the Czech boy’s picture. They still use the same one we did when I was a kid, wwaaayy back :).

  • Vlastimil December 1, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Nachos, expired fries and watered-down milk is my favorite!! 🙂

  • Tanja December 1, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Jirko, since you make them their own lunch, are they being made fun of by other children? I am thinking about making my daughter her lunch when she goes to school but I am afraid she will be marked the ‘weirdo’ by her peers and being tortured by other kids like that is probably even more unhealthy than having a semi-unhealthy lunch.

  • Tanja December 1, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Petre, I remember the milk soup – awffuuulllll!!!!!!!! I never had that Grenadier March meal. It sounds scary just by reading the name but you said it’s pasta and potatoes so it can’t be that bad?? Are there cut up mice and bugs in the mix that you forgot to mention? 😉

  • Jiri December 1, 2011, 2:10 pm

    Tanja , no, they aren’t teased very much. It’s pretty normal to see children whom bring their own lunch from home. In fact, they even make a little bit of fun by trading foods that they like with other children that bring their lunch once in a while. They do get a little jealous that the other kids get school lunch. It seems to be a status thing. That’s the part I think is weird! The cool kids eat the worst stuff! So we cut down on the jealousy by letting them buy a school lunch once a week.

  • Tanja December 1, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Jirko, thanks for the valuable info 🙂 I think that’s a great compromise. And yes, how weird that the cool kids eat the bad food. But it does not surprise me, when you are young/little usually the bad things are cool, right?

  • Marika December 1, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I have been making my kids lunches for the last 13 years. We did compromise and occasionally did let them buy lunch. My kids have never been picked on by bringing their own food. In fact, the opposite was true, the other kids wre more jealous when they saw peanut butter with home made jelly on whole wheat bread with fresh apple, home baked chocolate chip cookie, and just plain bottled water. Don’t worry about your daughter, lunches from home are lot more common then you think, especially when they come from a really cool lunch box:)

  • Tom Blaha December 2, 2011, 6:24 am

    Oh, my! The old adage that a picture is worth 10,000 words is certainly true here. These 4 pictures go a loooong way towards explaining the cultutal differences that obviously (and thankfully) still persist in a world that we tend to otherwise think has been totally homogenized by the internet and international adverstising agencies.

  • Mememe December 3, 2011, 7:58 am

    The school canteens might be a big part of the problem in the US, but I personally believe that it goes much deeper and everything starts with the family. I think that one of the major differences between countries like Czech republic or Slovakia and the US is the deeply rooted belief of our mothers and grandmothers that we would die without eating at least one fresh warm meal a day. Also, what might help is that pretty much everyone even if they don´t have a garden of their own themself, have at least someone in their family who onws their garden and grows fruits/vegetables there, therefore providing the family with fresh healthy vegetables/fruits for at least a part of the year. Also, I´m not sure whether there are any regulations on school food in the US, but I remember about 10 years or so ago, the school cafeterias actually couldn´t serve French fries for example, because it was forbidden by the regulations (which sadly didn´t stop them from giving us mashed potatoes made from the powder). Later, the regulations were changed and we could get French fries or hamburgers at my grammar school. You could always of course choose from a number of dishes, but a large number of them wasn´t healthy at all. But compared to those pictures of the American stuff, at least 90% of the time the food you got was actually cooked and mostly pretty fresh. (And the studd that wasn´t cooked was the healthy stuff for the most part- vegetable/fruit salads and so on.). But it´s pretty funny reading this article this week, when I saw a story on Slovak school canteens on the news just yesterday, where they were talking about how many of the canteens use frozen foreign meat instead of buying fresh food from Slovak producers.

  • Sarka December 4, 2011, 6:36 am

    And think of the trash… everything (except for food and the paper bowl for nachos) on the tray of the US lunch including the tray itself has to be thrown away afterwards, so many packages … compared to ceramic dishes, metallic cutlery and reusable trays in other countries. Ecology is something new for the US? It’s also probably not very economic. Would it be so expensive to pay for water and stuff for washing dishes and cutlery instead of buying plastics? I think lobbying by big food companies found its way to school cafeterias in the US.

  • Transient Drifter December 5, 2011, 10:22 am

    Personally, I always hated school lunches, although at my school growing up they were made fresh every day and if the kids didn’t eat their veggies they had to miss playing at recess. I always brought my own lunch, and usually kids wanted my food instead. Maybe it’s because I went to a small school, but I would say most of the food was relatively healthy. All a matter of personal experience I guess.

  • Marika - the other one December 18, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I am sorry to say that many people – even some of you I bet – don’t know what ‘proper’ food for a child is, because it’s not discussed or advertised anywhere.
    Our stomachs are not made for digesting meat. It takes a lot of effort for our stomachs to break down meat. This is the first truth never advertised or promoted. Second – the much promoted milk – every mother is pushing on her child, should take a look on youtube, 20/20 segment titled ‘dangers in milk’ and then take that poison out of your kids hands and replace it with almond milk.
    The so called veggies everyone is boosting about in schools, saying there is not enough of them or that their school does provide a salad bar – I will say Vlastimil is right, you might as well eat what he said nachos or your shoes, because the veggies provided in schools and most supermarket are irradiated, and therefore contain no nutrition what so ever. No school is going to buy organic vegetables, so like I said, you might as well go for the nachos and at least enjoy your food, because none of it is nutritious. I was quite surprised to learn that in France all schools were ordered to provide organic food for the kids, wow. Here, even private schools that cost 10K a month don’t provide that. The best books to read on proper nutrition are Skinny bitch, Skinny Bastard, Eating Animals, Alicia Silverstone’s cook books, and a web site titled Blythe Raw
    You can learn a lot from these to begin with.

  • Marika - the other one December 18, 2011, 7:56 pm

    PS: the german lunch looks the best to me – typical restaurant meal for at least 40 dollars!
    BUT the Japanese lunch is healthier, I think and the less cooked food, the more nutrients you get also don’t forget Japan is #1 in nutrition and health.
    Take a look at a film called Sick Around the World – av. on Netlfix

  • Idalia January 15, 2012, 9:22 am

    Haha, shouldn\’t you be chgairng for that kind of knowledge?!

  • May August 24, 2014, 2:59 pm

    I live in America, and let me tell you: I’ve never gotten nachos for lunch before. Yes, our lunches are so much worst than other countries. Its all precooked weird food that is low calorie and probably fake. They have only 1% milk, and do have apple slices and some have salad bars, and weird boiled veggies too. It’s not all bad. But it certainly doesn’t taste good! School lunches here are actually pretty healthy and you’re given very low portions. I doubt custard is so much healthier than whole wheat buns with chicken they occasionally serve.

  • LeLah February 19, 2016, 5:38 am

    This is not a typical American lunch. Where do they get these pictures

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