Aaliyah Busstra is four years old and attends a private school on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. She’s got a Vegemite sandwich made with continental dark rye bread and butter as well as a Tasmanian cheese, Arnotts Jatz biscuits, strawberries and a chocolate chia seed cake. (see the recipe for this healthy gluten and dairy-free cake at the bottom of the article).
Bruna Castellanos is ten years old and attends a private school in Sao Paulo. She goes home for lunch but brings in a snack box that it’s very common in Brasil to share with the other kids at school. The kids then come home and tell their parents about what they’ve eaten and shared. Commonly, there is a mixture of sweet and salty foods. Today there are wheat crackers, chocolate cookies and a grape juice.
Margaret Yoner is the mother of five girls between the ages of 15 and 1 and prides herself on creating wholesome, nourishing and homemade lunches every day. Every bit of the meal (except the crackers) is homemade from the moose sausage and corn soup to the dill pickles, banana chocolate chip muffin and homegrown garden carrots.
Wesley Wong is 13 years old and attends year 9 of an ESF school in Hong Kong. His lunch box is very typical with steamed broccoli and cauliflower along with wok fried pig meat tibia with white rice.
Mythri Nhalur is eight years old and attends grade 3 at a private school in Hyderabad, India. On the left is a tiffin tin with her morning snack, which she eats at school at 10:15am: Poorie (circle-shaped pieces of wheat dough, fried in oil) and fried potatoes. Her 12:30pm lunch meal is rice mixed with a curry made of cooked Dal (lentil) and green leaf, mixed with some ghee (clarified butter). The bottom has rice mixed with fried capsicum and ghee.
Hiro Takafuku from Tokyo is five years old and the eldest of two sons. Everyday he requests from his mother, Sayuki, what kind of character he would like crafted into his lunch box. Today he has Japanese Tokusatsu warrior Ultraman shaped in his seaweed atop his tomato flavoured rice with cheese, vegetable egg roll, steamed veggies and grilled salmon.
David is the youngest of seven brothers and sisters and the last one remaining in the homestead. He’s 15 and makes his own lunch; his mum laments his use of white bread rather than wholemeal but you’ve got to choose your battles on the parentfield. David has a honey sandwich, orange muffin, “Shapes” crackers and as it’s citrus season in New Zealand, a mandarin orange.
On the menu for the first day back to school in Qatar is a grated carrot, cheese and beetroot pickle wrap, followed by a selection of fruit and accompanied by a strawberry yoghurt.
Su-Chen Seng is six years old and an only child. She attends an international school and has a Singapore fried rice with chicken and vegetables for her lunch.
Hannah and Rachel de Lange are nine and eight years old respectively and attend a private primary school. Their lunch is sushi sandwich rolls, biltong, raw vegetables and fruit as well as chocolate chip cookies. Their mother is the author of children’s cookbooks and has shared a few recipes at the bottom of this article.
Sara Mohamed is 5 years old and she’s diabetic so her mother, Naheeda, makes a healthy lunch for her everyday. She has a cheese and butter sandwich on brown bread with mixed fruit and veg for a lunch here.
José Luis Ocon is 12 years old and attends a state school in the town of Campo de Criptana in La Mancha. In Spain, many of the schools finish at 2pm, which is the beginning of the Spanish lunch time, which takes place over two hours and generally consists of a two or three course meal. Most children have breakfast at home and then take in a merienda (snack) for break time and eat lunch at home. José has peeled fruit and milk biscuits called tosta rica along with a probiotic drink.
Aroon is eight years old and one of three children in his family. It’s common for him and other kids in Thailand to buy their lunch from a local street stall on the way in to school. He has a Thai omelette rice and vegetables as well as some fruit for his lunch.
Will Laird is 10 years old and has two younger brothers. They all walk or cycle to their school in Oxford, England. Their lunch box contains a salami bap, Pink Lady apple, Walker crisps and a Nature’s Valley oat and chocolate cereal bar.
Megan Breetzke lives in Boulder, just outside of Denver, Colorado. She is 11 and has a younger brother. Her lunch is a green salad with dressing on the side, along with a smaller chicken salad with grapes. She also has berries and kiwi and a squeezable yoghurt. For a snack, she has cheddar cheese, rice crackers and sugar snap peas and baby carrots to keep her going throughout the day.
Recipes to Try at Home
If you are feeling particularly inspired by the above, the lovely providers of these photos and stories have also included some recipes! Try your hand at them and then tag us at afoodieworld (Instagram) and foodiehk (Twitter) so we can see your marvellous creations.
Chocolate Chia Seed Cake (Gluten and dairy-free) by Aleisha Busstra
- 4 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of cocoa
- 125g butter or 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 5 medium to large eggs
- 1 cup almond meal
- ¼ cup raw sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp bicarb
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line tin with baking paper.
- Soak chia seeds in 1 cup water, stir regularly
- In the meantime, place cocoa, butter/oil, eggs, almond meal, sugar, salt & bicarb in a bowl.
- Whisk to combine well and break up any lumps.
- Add chia seed jelly and whisk until combined.
- Pour into cake tin. Bake in the oven for 40 mins or until it bounces back when pressed in the middle.
- Let cake cool for 5–10 mins in tray then move to wire rack to cool further.
- slice of soft bread
- cream cheese
- cucumber, thinly sliced
- Cut the crusts off and flatten the bread using a rolling pin.
- Spread with cream cheese and top with the cucumber slices.
- Roll the bread slice up and secure the end with some cream cheese on top of the cucumber to make it stick together.
- Cut the roll into slices using a sharp knife.
No-bake Granola Bars by Sarah de Lange
- 2 ½ cups Rice Krispies
- 1 ½ cups oats
- 1 ½ cup chopped dried fruit (cranberries, raisins etc.)
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Line a 20x30cm dish with baking paper.
- Combine rice krispies, oats and fruit in a large bowl.
- In a seperate bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey and brown sugar together and place in the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir.
- Add to the cereal mixture and mix well, then press it into the dish.
- Cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the dish and cut into bars.
Cheese Sticks by Sarah de Lange
- puff pastry
- cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cut the puff pastry into strips or any shape you want using cookie cutters.
- Sprinkle cheese on top. Brush with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes