Like many parents, what schools serve for lunch became important to me when my children started attending schools that provided daily meals.
Growing up, I attended a private school where “hot lunch” was pizza served once a week. Today, most schools provide a multiple hot and cold lunch choices for kids, but the selections are not necessarily healthy, including the pizza where the sauce is considered a vegetable, and processed, frozen chicken nuggests are considered a healthy meat.
With this in mind, I wake up early each day to pack a healthy lunch for my little ones, complete with a sandwich made with lean meat on a low-carb tortilla, orange slices or grapes, carrot sticks or peppers, a cheese stick, and pretzels. Healthy right? Definitely better than what’s served at their school. Yet, compared with what many European countries serve in their schools, my seemingly healthy and thoughtful lunch is less than imaginative.
Orzo? Shrimp? Caprese Salad? In a school lunch? Yes, and that’s just the start. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite school meals served in Europe:
Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, caprese salad, baguette and some grapes
Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries
Steak, carrots, green beans, cheese and fresh fruit
Baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh oranges, and greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds
Makes you want to move to Europe, or at least rethink your own lunch, doesn’t it?